Category Archives: Workplace

Just Say No

Just Say No
by Danny Tariman

“We are concerned for what is honorable not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of others.” (2 Cor 8:21)

“Hi Danny, can we meet this Wednesday?”

“Sure! What is the agenda?”

“Will discuss when we meet.”

This was the exchange of text messages between me and my friend of many years.

Over lunch, we updated each other. He did most of the talking. He told me a lot of stories about his growing business.

In the last few minutes, he requested to me go to a bank for a meeting, where his team will see a manager to discuss a project that his company is proposing to do. He asked me to pretend that I am a Software Architect/Business Analyst representing a competing technology company. I was also told to pretend not to know his team.

I was just listening to him discuss the meeting room scenario. He told me that I have no business card to give because I am supposed to be a new hire of this company that I am “representing”. He further asked me to give my mobile phone as contact number of the company I am to represent.

After about 5 minutes briefing of what I am supposed to do, he said “Bro, you have to go now as the meeting is to start at 2:30”.

I told him that it will be difficult for me. But he insisted.

And so we parted ways, with me walking toward the direction of the bank.

While walking, I prayed to the Lord to guide me as I was not at peace: these are all lies and pretensions. I also called my wife. She too was not at peace and felt that this is not pleasing to the Lord and very deceptive to the client.

With a very clear message from the Lord, I texted my friend “I am sorry bro, I can’t do this.”

He quickly called me to once again prod me to do it. But I insisted and asked for understanding. At this point, he did not press me anymore.

Although I needed a project for a job, I felt free and released from the burden of pretension when I said “No!” As the Bible says “Better to be poor and walk in integrity than rich and crooked in one’s ways” (Proverbs 28:6)

I know and believe that the LORD will honor my trust in Him and my obedience to His Word. I know He will answer my prayers and my dreams will come to pass very, very soon!

Backbreaking Slow!

Backbreaking Slow!
by Danny Tariman

“A lazy life is an empty life, but “early to rise” gets the job done.” (Proverbs 12:27)

It was another day of waiting for things to be done.

We were in the middle of a system testing process where a new computerized system will be implemented in a couple of months.

I had been prodding the project lead to move quickly but I am getting a lukewarm response. He got a pocket-full of excuses. It would have been better to pull up tasks so we can finish the project ahead of time.

But not this project lead. He seems to be not an ‘early riser’. He takes things in stride. Because of this, the team is getting ’empty’ days, days when not much are accomplished.

The Bible is pretty clear about this:

Don’t drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them. (Hebrews 6:12)

As a team member, we should not be a cause for delay. We cannot afford to drag our feet. We have to maintain our pace as per the scheduled plan of tasks, so that we can achieve goals, we can finish more tasks.

Three E’s to counter slowness:

1. Be enthusiastic

“Do not lag in zeal, be enthusiastic in spirit, serve the Lord.” (Romans 12:11)

We must be an eager team member to be part of the success. We have to be enthusiastic about the results of our project. Look up to the Lord as your ultimate ‘team leader’.

2. Be engrossed

“If you don’t work, you don’t eat. And now we’re getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you. This must not be tolerated. We command them to get to work immediately–no excuses, no arguments–and earn their own keep.” (2Thess 3:10-12)

We have to give our all for the project. Give it your priority. Give it the attention that it requires. No excuses, no arguments. Be totally absorbed by the tasks ahead.

3. Be excitable

“Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily!” (Eccl 9:10 MSG)

Let us put excitement in our response to duties assigned to us. The verse above says that we have to “grab and do it” – this implies quick response giving all our ability!

I pray that you will be encouraged to give your all in whatever task you have, and may the Lord grant you success in your endeavor. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Meeting is Called to Order

Meeting is Called to Order
by Danny Tariman

“Each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself.” (Philippians 2:3)

I had attended a number of meetings recently and there is one common thing I had observed: exchange of ideas are heated, two opposing views are shot at the same time while voices are raised. It is almost chaotic.

As I was going out of the room after the meeting, a leader appeased me “Danny, I hope you won’t get disappointed with the way the meeting went. We are like that, and after the meeting we remain friends.”

Deep inside, I thought “Yes, it is alright that you remain friends. But as Christian leaders, I believe, we should exercise restraint.”

The Bible is very clear about it: we should in humility, treat each another as more important than ourselves (Phil 2:3).

When someone is speaking, we should let him speak his view, without interruption.

When you have another view or suggestion, wait for your turn to speak, wait until the person speaking is finished.

You may raise your hand so the leader can acknowledge your wanting to speak, but control yourself not to speak until the one speaking is done.

There were instances that because the argument is heated, the speakers don’t hear any more the leader’s call to order; to the point that the leader is disregarded.

I urge you to pay all deference to such leaders … and be subject to them (1Cor 16:16 MSG)

The Bible tells us that we should give deference to our leaders.

Webster dictionary defines “deference” as “a yielding in opinion; submission of judgment to the opinion or judgment of another. Hence, regard; respect.”

It is a call of God upon us Christians, that we should yield and submit to our leaders with respect.

When the leader or presider speaks, everyone should listen. And listen attentively.

I pray that the next time you have a meeting, let it be a meeting called to the Lord’s order, and may you have great success in your meetings!

Volts and Nuts

Volts and Nuts
by Danny Tariman

“Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

My vehicle’s battery is dead. I tried to start the engine but only ‘clicks’ from the ignition can be heard.

I and my wife were in a nearby province north of Manila. I frantically called my son back in the city to phone the call center of battery company who services cars stalled on highways and roads. Unfortunately, it was a Sunday, and the shops were closed.

We prayed. We asked the Lord in faith that we will be able to run again.

The good thing is we were with our car mechanic.

He checked the battery terminals and found out that the negative clip was not securely fastened. This could be a reason the battery is dead. It did not charge while we were traveling.

Fortunately, we parked just across an auto-supply shop that sells car battery clips. But no battery.

Our mechanic, knowing that the battery is discharged, just put on the clip and securely fastened it to the terminal.

I started the engine. He couldn’t believe that it started. A miracle indeed happening before our very eyes!

“I tell you the truth, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

We were finally able to drive again.

As we drove back to the city, our mechanic told us another story involving our other car a few months back.

We have this other car checked by him at his shop because I hear an unusual sound at the front while driving.

Upon inspection, he pointed to me that there was this big nut supposed to hold another part near the front tire’s axle. And it is missing. Wow! Thank You Lord we didn’t had any road accident!

I asked if I can buy the item from a store. He said it is not usually available. He told me further that he might have that single missing piece of nut in his house garage. Being a mechanic, he usually have a stock of spare nuts – old and new.

So I requested that he bring the following day that nut we were looking for.

He related to us that he tried to look for that nut in his boxes of bolts and nuts when he arrived home from work. He found nothing. He tried again, piece per piece, looking for the item. And again, he found none.

He said he prayed that the Lord will show it to him. In jest he told us “you are close to God that is why I believe the Lord will show it to me”. Laughs.

Just when he was about to quit and sleep for the night, he found that single missing nut!

Whatever you ask in prayer, if you believe, you will receive. (Matthew 21:22)

Truly the Lord works miracles! Have faith in God.

Thank You Lord for giving us a mechanic who believes in You!

Free to Obey

Free to Obey
by Danny Tariman

“Our old self was crucified with him, so that… we might no longer be in slavery to sin.” – Romans 6:6

Grumbler. Disobedient. Proud. These were my workplace traits.

As a young professional striving to move up, I would almost always find a way to complain about what my boss would tell me. I’d question his wisdom, thinking, “I know about computers more than him. I know what I am doing!”

Consequently, running into trouble at work was a normal happening. I didn’t know that when I disobeyed my boss, I was disobeying the Lord.

As I got renewed in the Spirit, I came across the Word in Romans 13:1-2 which says, “Let every person be subordinated to the higher authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been established by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed.”

I repented.

As I strive to obey the Word now, I am blessed. The Lord is prospering my work and blessing all my undertakings (Deuteronomy 28:12).

I am now free to obey my boss!

Reflection
“Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God.” (Ephesians 6:6-7, The Message)

Prayer:
Grant me, Lord, the grace to obey the authorities You’ve set above me.

[This reflection was originally published in Didache, April 3 2010]
[Photo credit: Nieva Adique]

If There’s a Will, There’s a Way

If There’s a Will, There’s a Way
by Danny Tariman

“If you wish, you can make me clean.” – Luke 5:12

Meet Gioni (not his real name). He is an on-the-job trainee, about to graduate from college, easy-going, extrovert and young.

He seems to be able to get on his own terms. He reports to work at his own time, sometimes not following instructions.

I required all my staff to report at exactly 8 a.m. at the project site. But he reported almost 9 a.m. His excuse? He was not feeling well.

The next day, he came in at about 10 a.m. Again, more excuses. “Sir, there was heavy traffic. I live very far.” He lives only 10 kilometers away.

I countered, “You live ‘very far,’ but one manager lives farther and another even farther. They arrive on time.”

We sometimes tend to go on the easy path, not knowing that it is a way to failure. The Bible says: “The gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many” (Matthew 7:13).

After confronting him, he began to come on time.

Yes, if you are willing, you can!

Pope Francis Says: “Love is expressed more clearly in actions than in words.”

Father, grant me the grace to accept my shortcomings and the strength to do Your will.

[This reflection was first published in Didache Jan 8, 2016]

Procrastination!

Procrastination!
by Danny Tariman

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. (Prov 27:1)

The Webster defines the word “procrastination” as “putting off to a future time” or “delay”.

We are in the thick of testing a new system that is planned for implementation at the turn of the new year.

The project plan had been laid out; detailed work breakdown had been scheduled.

The testing team was able to finish 3 to 4 modules successfully. In fact, the last of the modules tested was finished ahead of schedule. Because of this, the testing team was “vacant” and had not been testing for almost a day.

I spoke to the project manager about pulling up some scheduled tasks for the next week, so the team can start ahead in as much as they are done with their scheduled task for the day.

However, instead of being met with eagerness, my advice was received with reluctance. He reasoned out that the tasks are yet to be started next week.

I could not let this happen, as project consultant, because the testing process is very unpredictable. I am concerned that the project could be delayed if issues come out during the testing.

I spoke to the project sponsors and reported the situation. Promptly, they called the attention of the project manager, who grudgingly started the testing process on my advice.

Three A’s to learn from this situation:

1.  Advance – do not procrastinate;

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. (Proverbs 27:1)

The verse says that we cannot tell what the future holds. Since we do not know about tomorrow, we should not procrastinate. Advance the work; do what you can do now. In project management, it is always best to finish tasks ahead to have more buffer time for succeeding tasks in case these meet some problems.

2.  Advice – seek it from your “coach”

“Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.” (Proverbs 11:14 MSG)

As Christians, we have to seek counsel if and when situations arise. It is always prudent to get advice from experts in order to succeed in our endeavors.

3.  Accept orders gladly

“Obey with enthusiasm, as though serving the Lord and not people” (Ephesians 6:7)

The Bible says we have to follow orders from our higher-ups eagerly, with gladness in our heart. Our focus of doing things should be the Lord.

I pray you will be victorious in whatever it is that you are undertaking, right now! In Jesus’ name, Amen!