As a household we have been experiencing a sea of uncanny terrible luck for nearly a month now, in fact I am so on edge that when digging through my cabinet and knocking over a series of old antique glass spice jars that bursted all about my bare feet, it was the spilt salt I was in hysterics over. I quickly tossed salt over my shoulder, hoping I could only keep up in accordance with the large amount that now lay on my floor. You can laugh, that is fine, you don’t have to believe the crazy superstitions I do, my beliefs don’t harm you, just as in turn your beliefs don’t harm me.
Yes I believe many things, like to avoid ladders, cracks, and black cats. I do not quote, or speak of the title of the Scottish Play even outside the realms of the stage. I am cautious with mirrors and I eagerly seek out lumber upon the discussion of hopes and dreams. In my first store we had quite a dated register that dinged each time it opened and I appreciated it. Our business continued to accumulate and the ringing of the bell, in my mind, protected our good fortunes and the good investment of our customers.
I feel faith is a personal adventure, and I do not believe as most of my southern neighbors believe. That is fine, I respect their discipline of faith, I respect their ability to believe, and I respect their own passions. I never speak ill, or even disagree when they express their religious dogma in reference to my own actions, because I honor their intents of good will. I’m also confident in my own christianity, this is between me and God. I had an employee who actually quit due to his offense to the buddha shrines that we carried, and that was fine with me. What was not fine was that the respect I held for his beliefs was not returned. In his mind superstitions were something laughable and a challenge.
It didn’t hit me how one sided the respect was with this employee until he pulled out an umbrella form our display rack. “Please leave that shut,” I pleaded.
He laughed, “You’re not really superstitious are you?”
It really did start out fun, not something I took seriously, but over time as events started to happen in my life I started to see the connections. I didn’t go into a spiel on the results of my high school sweetheart, the lead in our play, was admitted to a mental hospital the day before opening after a series of insane bad luck incantations, and how on our closing night each and every detail to the scenery fell to the ground piece by piece, before the entire wall came crashing down on about five cast members on the final scene. I didn’t go into my past in retail, my past in college, of events that seemed to unfold due to superstitions. I have attempted the explanations before, but that just adds to the fuel of ridicule for the type that go into it finding you ridiculous. Instead I just said, “I just prefer to play it safe, please do not open it.”
His laughter grew louder as he opened the umbrella right there in front of me. I couldn’t believe it; after how respectful I had attempted to be, I felt I had been cordial to his beliefs and religion and in this one moment, this one request, I was mocked and ignored.
Do you have a time when you felt your crazy silly beliefs, or serious ties to faith were not taken seriously in the workplace? How did you handle it?