I am on work stoppage assignment in New York as the unionized Verizon employees in the northeast have called for a strike. This post is not about who is right or wrong, nor is it about the politics of unions, etc.
This post is about my experience so far working with one of the managers in my garage. Kevin is a great manager and a great employee. More importantly, he’s an amazing human being.
In the course of preparing us for what to expect, he did not lose sight of the human aspect of this work impasse. Not only does he have empathy for those of us having to be away from our families, he also is aware of the human aspect of those on strike.
“Have ZERO engagement with the picketers,” he told us. “Even if they wave at you, do NOT wave back. Although you may think you’re being polite, they may interpret it as condescending or ‘in your face'”. He added, “These people aren’t getting paid right now. They don’t have the money they’d normally have to buy food, entertain their kids, etc. Remember, at the end of the day, they’re human beings, too.”
They’re human beings, too.
It was the reminder I needed. Behind the F bombs and verbal suggestions I check my prostate with the airhose used to inflate tires (yes, that actually happened), they’re human beings, too.
Some would say Kevin is being a humanist. Having seen him in action with the team and spoken to him one on one, it’s not that he’s a humanist but rather that he’s a Christian.
“Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.” – Luke 6:28
Jesus taught us to love our enemies, and our current situation is one of well defined enemies; people on the other side of a line, all actively hoping for us to fail. They literally curse me. They emotionally hurt me.
But Kevin sees above the noise and through the crap that is this work stoppage.
“Remember. They’re human beings, too.”
A manager or executive is someone who stands tall and says, “follow me.” A leader is someone who through their actions and examples makes you want to follow them.
Kevin is a leader, and he is the reason this assignment has not been as miserable as it could be. Yay God for Kevin.