How does that make you feel?

I was recently asked the questions: describe a time you did something you thought was pretty great, but no one noticed or cared. How did you feel?

I am in Information Technology. Not too long ago I was in health care IT. I belonged to a society, Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS), which advocates for process and performance improvement. One of the ways it advocates is through enhancing Information Technology.When I worked for the UAB-Health Services Foundation, I became a fellow in the HIMSS society. To most that is a real accomplishment! It takes years to achieve and lots of professional accomplishments to be named a Fellow in the society.

No one in management at the HSF acknowledged, mentioned, congratulated me, etc. That was to me a signal that my talents and accomplishments there were not appreciated, acknowledged, nor valued. I had said things to management that they did not acknowledge or agree with. At the time I had a boss who discussed the failures of at least 18 employees in front of other employees including myself. She made me aware of how tough some employees have it.

This whole scenario made me want to reach out to other employees, especially those in trouble with or fired by management. I am still friends with some of those employees today. Yes, some of those employees went through much more pain and professional difficulty than I did.

I became a better follower of Jesus  because of my experience at UAB – Health Services Foundation(HSF). When I think back to this experience, I see it as a real turning point in my career and life.  I began to think more about how I can help other men around me than about how I can get ahead of them.

Management could have “saved me” by coming to me and saying, in essence, “we want you on our team” and “we expect more from you.” But no one did that. They “lost” me and many other bright/smart people who worked around me. Management could have had great input into performance but they choose not to have that impact.

Real good came out of this experience for me. It is the only experience in my life that so troubled me that after I left the HSF, I asked a counselor to help me to put the whole experience behind me. He did a great job, by the way.

Back to the real good–yes good, because God was in it. God is in the process of making our hearts “good.” God’s goodness is at work in us whether we or others notice or not. I learned from the Health Services Foundation experience that God is my goodness. He validates me when no one else does. This experience moved me closer to God. It also made me more fearful of authority in ways I should not be. (I will share my pose related to fear and authority)

However, I am the man, the Christ follower, I am today because of this Health Services Foundation experience. I mentioned above that I wanted to reach out to other employees. I retained the desire/hunger/thirst to reach out to others because I went through the pain that I did at the HSF job. I am concerned about other’s spiritual condition, I am very concerned about and compassionate towards troubled marriages, men trapped in pornography, and mentoring others though groups.

I would not be interested in putting myself out on a limb to do any of this had it not been for this experience where I was ignored and undervalued.

We have all had experiences where we were not acknowledged nor recognized for our work or achievement.  How has God worked in your life though those experiences?

One thought on “How does that make you feel?

  1. It is hard not to look for affirmation from people, especially those with power. And learning to lean on Christ alone becomes a daily and difficult task. Doing right, simply because it is right, is its own reward under God’s authority. And when we get compliments we learn to accept it humbly rather than let it go to our head. But when life is mean it can soften our skin and lead to compassion. I wish God could teach that without the tough stuff!
    Thanks for sharing, not only the beauty of Christ, but the pain that got you along another mile on the road.


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