Today, in a meeting of co-workers, I was told that something I thought I had been doing very well (cooking for clients) was not appreciated. I also heard specific examples at which everyone (save me) laughed. I was told I need to "balance healthy with unhealthy food." I was also told that a statement I made in the meeting "Was not the truth." It was pointed out that because I have made a fuss over clients cleaning with and overabundance of chemical cleaning fluids and far more than necessary chlorine bleach, that the clinic was going to great trouble to try to find something less allergenic to me.
I allowed these things to hurt me.
And then I was told that I need to serve the very restricted lunch menu on "disposable," plastic plates. That's when I cried.
I work for the state of South Carolina, where we have been instructed by the Governor to answer the phone saying, "It's a Great Day in South Carolina." I did not see this as a particularly good day. In fact, I've been instructed to do something contrary to my religion. I said that I didn't like the idea because it was not green.
Immediately after the meeting I didn't like me. Why wasn't I able to just state, with no ugly ego involvement, that I think it's important to teach the same thing in nutrition classes as we do in the dining room. Why wasn't I able to say, with no ugly ego involvement, "Yes, that is the truth." Why didn't I say, with no fear and no ugly ego involvement, "Using disposable plastic plates to save some time is an abomination in the face of Nature, and teaching clients that is at least as important as saying a Christian prayer before each lunch." Why couldn't I just calmly state that it's not just a question of me being "allergic" to chemical cleaning solutions being used improperly - it's the fact that they are toxic, not just to me but to everyone there, that causes me to implore they are not used.
Well, basically I couldn't state those things without ugly ego involvement because my ego is ugly. It isn't about me and I was crying as if it were. I know me enough to know that anything I would have said then wouldn't have been good. And I know enough about communication to know that until I get control of my enormous, ugly ego, I'm not going to be able to make a difference in the way people think.
Or, perhaps the thing for me to do is to get ugly. Maybe nothing will change until people are brave enough to lose their jobs for their religion, even if it isn't the religion of the masses. It seems like I remember something about Freedom of Religion. I truly believe that I've already lost one job that I loved due to Pantheism and I'm sure that this will be the end of this job, too, even if they give me a gazillion other reasons. Maybe it's time to stop.
Let me get something clear. I really care about the people with whom I work - staff and clients alike. I don't think anyone can dispute that with a straight face. If I didn't care about their opinions (far too much) it wouldn't have gotten to me the way it does.
So I put it to Brothers and Sisters, what to do?