What would you do if you felt trapped in a dead-end job?
You may have felt like the protagonist in the short story “There Was This Cashier”, originally taken from a 2008 Japanese book by Haruhiro Kinoshita, which quickly gained popularity when it was posted on a blog, and subsequently translated into English.1
The story begins with a young graduate searching for a fulfilling job, and her resume rapidly grows with a list of jobs she quit after a few months in each. This begins a vicious cycle of companies being unwilling to hire her, until she hit rock bottom working a temporary job as a supermarket cashier, typing in prices by hand.
It would have been a no-brainer to leave such a mundane job, except for her realisation of how low she had sunk, and a timely reminder of how she had been able to persevere in practising the piano when she was younger. Setting a goal for herself, she determined to master the cash register keys by heart, and doing so allowed her to notice details about the customers that came by regularly.
A chance comment sparked off a friendly interaction with a customer, which quickly became an enjoyable part of her work as she conversed with her customers and provided them helpful tips with their shopping. Her customers responded by favouring her, even though other registers were empty — a customer even pointed out that another supermarket was cheaper, but that she chose to come to chat with this cashier.
“For the first time, ended the story, “[the protagonist] saw how terrific a job could make her feel.”
What was her turning point? How could a job that most of us view as menial and mind-numbing become such an opportunity for impact on others? And what lessons can we draw from this story on the impact that our daily work could have for God?
Come join us as we explore the significance of work in our lives as Christians, at Aldersgate SG2016 from 21-24 May.
Discover how to make your work matter for God, as you hear from Bishop Dr Wee Boon Hup and specially-invited panellists – Methodists in the marketplace areas of accounting, engineering, law, property, consultancy, food and beverage, and medicine. Reflect on lessons from the life of biblical statesman Daniel through God’s Word, music and prayer, and be inspired alongside fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to live out your faith where God has placed you.
Visit aldersgate.message.methodist.org.sg, and mark your calendars now!