Time of humility

“It’s Hard to Be Humble” was the subject of the sermon given by the Rev. Larry Miller at church one Sunday.

It was based on Luke 14: 7-14, when Jesus said that when invited to dinner, you should take the lowest place around the table. Then the host may invite you to come up to a better seat. He also said that instead of eating with the rich and powerful, we should try to eat with the lonely and poor who will appreciate it more.

This parable got me thinking about a time in my life when I had to learn a lesson about humility and how to get along with people that seemed different.

I had moved to Baton Rouge in the early 1970s and had gotten a job at the LSU Law Center as the business manager for the LSU Law Review magazine. It was a wonderful job and I enjoyed all of the teachers, lawyers and students with their exciting ideas and big plans. It was the perfect job.

However, after two years, I had not gotten a raise and inflation was catching up to me. I took a job across campus as an editor/proofreader at the LSU Printing and Graphic Services department. It paid $100 more a month, which would certainly help my situation.

The people were really nice, but we were different. My boss had told me that my job was unclassified, meaning I would not have to punch the time clock like all the other employees, which did not endear me to the women in the front office.

I am sure they saw me as a stuck-up college grad, who did not fit in with them. I was having a hard time feeling comfortable at my new office.

About six weeks into the job, my boss told me he had made a mistake. My job was classified, and I would need to start punching the time clock.

I began to rant and rave and said that punching the clock would make me feel as if I were a garment worker.

My boss sat there for a few minutes, said he was sorry for the mix-up and he understood that I would be looking for another job.

Wow! I did not want to do that. I sat uncomfortably for a few minutes, and then I said something for which I will always be grateful: “Show me how to use the time clock.”

With that one statement, I humbled myself to become a part of my new office.

I took on a new attitude and went out of my way to get to know my new office mates. My new attitude caused them to look at me in a different way, too. I ended up working at the printing office for 25 years. Everyone there became like my family. I met my husband there, and we worked together and had a wonderful marriage.

Sometimes you just have to develop a different way of looking at things.

My boss and I are both retired now, but to this day, we still laugh about the dreaded time clock.

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