Fair warning

A few days ago I was listening to the St. Helen’s podcast. It raised a very valid point. It spoke about something that not enough people warned me about. Something that I don’t think anywhere near enough young people are warned about.

We get warned about bad guys and climbing trees too high. We get warned not to do drugs and that we need to all be good little boys and girls.

No one warns you about poor systems. Bad employers. Bad churches. Bad co-workers.

The toughest part of my job hasn’t been moving interstate. It hasn’t been my patients or my bosses.

The hardest thing is my co-workers. Nobody warns you about spending 14 hour night shifts in a truck with somebody intent on bullying you because you went to uni when they went through an apprenticeship. They don’t instruct you how to manage your partner when they’re aggravating the 7 foot drunk guy that you have to have in the back with you for the 20 minute drive to hospital.

And oddly enough, this surprised me. We live in a culture where we unreasonably expect things to be fair and go our way and when they don’t we are caught off guard.

If you’re a student, heading off to uni, if you’re graduating and looking around for your first real job, congratulations on your first successes. You, the same as me, will make many more friends than enemies and many more good teachers than bad.

As you enter the workforce though, be on your guard. I have learned the hard way, whilst many people are out to help you, even more are indifferent to your success. Sadly a few will quite happily fail you for either their own gain or pleasure.

You will find many more friends than enemies. But it would be foolish for us to maintain the belief that we are still protected by the advantages of childhood.

Teachers, co-workers, humans in general will almost always seek to protect and disciple you when you are young.

They will not when you’re an adult.

Just because someone is paid to teach you doesn’t mean they will. Because a building says church doesn’t mean the people inside are Godly. Enjoy the many friends you will make, and learn the most from the amazing mentors you will find (and trust me, you will find them). But do not be surprised if the person in whom your workplace has entrusted your development is the one who bullies you the most and makes work hardest.

But most of all don’t be disheartened. The majority of people who put you down aren’t out to get you. They’re just there to get themselves ahead.

You don’t need to sink to their level. Endure it and nearly all will eventually respect you. Pray into it and capitalise on the friends and relationships you do make. Make the most of the new job and opportunities. Just don’t be surprised when you catch some friendly fire. Don’t be alarmed when you find a bad boss, poor preceptor or unbiblical church.

It’s just like pizza shops and coffee: despite your best attempts, you expect to stumble upon a couple of bad ones. Just move on, and make the most of the great ones.


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