Outsourcing and offshoring are management terms describing the practice of many corporations. Jobs are terminated at one site and the products or services provided by those workers are shifted to a place where labor is cheaper, and employment and environmental laws are weaker.
I purchased 2 ceiling fans and a light fixture imported from such a location by a national building supply corporation. I’m not a novice at installing electrical fixtures, but these products stretched my abilities.Here’s what I encountered:
- Mechanical design flaw – mounting holes on the light were undersized.
- Missing and misordered steps in the installation instructions, and pity the English teacher exposed to such dreadful grammar. One step omitted from the manual was printed on a tag shoved inside the fan housing.
- Factory assembly of the light cover was defective.
- Poor quality materials.
I was angry. I am certain the executives at the home office felt the disturbance in the force as I criticized their choice of vendor. My evaluation of their product’s quality was venomous and unkind. I wrote a flame-o-blog about the experience, but wisely, have not posted it.
This morning I revisited my words, deleted most, and started from another angle. What can I learn from this experience? How can it build my character and make me a better person?
Quality matters. Doing my best at any task is important. Giving my all to the job at hand, large or small, is vital.
The Apostle Paul addressed a letter to young Timothy and advised him to study and work hard at ministry. People might have an issue with Timothy’s age, but his craftsmanship would be above reproach.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15
Paul shared another insight in his letter to the Colossians. Every job includes mundane tasks which I will label, “toilet cleaning”. We may feel our years of experience should exempt us from such assignments. One whiff of that thought line, and our attitude can sour. Paul suggests we do the job as though we were doing it for Jesus. That’s a convicting idea. Is there any service I would not offer Jesus in light of all He has given me?
“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men…” Colossians 3:23
My light and fans are installed and working. I hope they stand as reminder to me that quality does matter. Maybe attitude matters even more.