Thursday, October 17, 2013

Service Reflection: Ian Staeheli

Lance the Laborer 
I’ve always considered myself a very hard worker. No matter how tedious the task, or how miserable it made me, I did it because I knew it was necessary if I wanted to make my goals a reality. It wasn’t until last Friday that I realized how horrible a mentality this is.

My mentee Lance works at the Pepsi bottling factory in downtown Spokane. He works with several other Artisan clients under a sight supervisor. His shift is right after our scheduled time together on Fridays, and every Friday at ten minutes to four Lance gets very anxious. Last week when I noticed him pacing and staring at the clock I asked him what was up. He replied that, he “had to be on time for work.” I asked him if he would get in trouble if he was late and he said no, but he didn’t want to be late. I pestered him with questions about his work for the next ten minutes and what he told me really got me thinking.

Lance’s job at the Pepsi factory is to check that the bottles are properly sealed for hours at a time, which to me seemed extremely tedious, but not to Lance. Lance knows how to do what is called resting in the tension. He loves difficult word games, puzzles, and other things that some people find tedious. He embraces challenges and takes pleasure in working hard even if the task is difficult or frustrating.

So this week what I took away from my time with Lance is a new mentality to develop in my own work life. The ability to not just tolerate the struggles in my daily life, but to enjoy struggling; to rest in the tension.

-Ian Staeheli

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