Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Since I missed my post for last Tuesday, I thought I'd do a double-header today.

The ones we love
The faith-based health care organization that I work for has a set of 9 service standards that all employees are held to and measured against during performance reviews:

1. Treat everyone as a valued individual, giving first priority to our customers.
2. Seek out and address customer needs.
3. Make eye contact, greet and welcome everyone.
4. Display a positive presence.
5. Keep customers and co-workers informed on a regular basis.
6. Work as a team.
7. Maintain privacy and confidentiality.
8. Keep a clean environment.
9. Show compassion and care. Embrace the spirit of joy.

I think those are some great guidelines for behavior. Everyone in my department agrees that we should strive to achieve these service standards in our behavior with customers... The amazing thing is that those people who espouse this behavior in external relationship are more often than you might expect the people who fall short of these standards in internal relationships.

I'm not sure if it's ego or self-righteousness or lack of patience. Perhaps this pattern of behavior is like the old adage that "you always hurt the ones you love." I can't find a link to it right now, but there's a classic story about the parent who works all day long, treating co-workers with great professionalism and respect; but returns home to treat family members will impatience and frustration. If anyone has a link to any version of that classic, please post it.

The One we love
(The related sub-titles and segue will be a bit of stretch. Just think of me as a politician who twists the interviewer's question back into something that I want to talk about...)
I'm writing this post on Saturday, right before we leave on a family vacation to Disney World. I delayed the post until Tuesday to match the schedule. I'll be eating breakfast with Mickey Mouse when this publishes.

The vacation did remind me of a short summer-series of family-oriented Sunday School classes that our church did this year. The title of the class was something like "Finding Christ through Disney," or something like that. We watched short clips from several different Disney movies and discussed where we saw Jesus and His message for us in those stories.

Nemo as a Christ figure?
Toys as the Disciples?
Potato-Head as a doubting Thomas?

Sometimes a bit of a stretch, but when you stop to think about what the crux of the exercise was, it's actually very powerful: look for the message of Jesus Christ in everyday pop culture. For me, it helps keep my faith relevant, applicable, hopeful, universal, powerful.

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