Have you ever been rewarded for doing your job by someone who was so grateful for the way you served them, that he or she decided to show their appreciation by giving you a gift of money or something else of value? It feels good, doesn’t it? Getting a tip just for doing what you’re being paid to do is one of the highest forms of validation, and a source of great encouragement that you’re doing a good job. Tipping in the service industry is normal in our society, and in some cases is even encouraged. But for those who work in sensitive positions like government or financial services, receiving a tip can be a dangerous trap that can tarnish one’s record and end one’s career in a snap. In all the banks I worked for, the policy on receiving gifts and emoluments from customers is very clear; do not ask for a tip or a bribe, and even if you are offered a tip after performing your duty to the customer politely turn it down or refer the gift to your boss for equitable distribution among all members of staff. This is done so that such an employee will not be lured or tricked into committing a crime by influencing a transaction. This is taken very seriously, and in my career I saw several employees lose their jobs or promotions because they received gifts from customers to give them preferential treatment.
Nowadays employees ask for gifts from customers in different, creative ways. The most common of these ways is by asking “anything for your boy sir?” this is kind of like asking for a gift without openly doing so. Unfortunately it has become part of our culture to ask for…and even to demand for gratification from those whom we have been paid to serve. Such a practice is encouraged by dishonest clients who want to circumvent due process and break the law, and they use greedy staff to achieve this. Demanding for cash gifts from customers has destroyed the integrity of the workplace, and if you choose not to participate in such you may well be the exception to the rule.
Look at the story of Elisha the great prophet of God, and Naaman, the Syrian army general (2Kings chapter 5). After some back and forth, Elisha finally decided to heal Naaman of leprosy, who in his gratitude offered Elisha a present but Elisha refused. Unfortunately, Gehazi who was the servant of the prophet could not bear to see such an offer of gratification go to waste. He raced after Naaman and after lying to him that Elisha sent him, obtained two talents of silver and two changes of clothing. Of course Elisha found out and cursed Gehazi and his descendants with the same leprosy that Naaman had just been healed from.
If we examine that story – and if we want to be honest with ourselves – we see that what Gehazi did is no different from what we have made a culture of today. After all, the job had been done, and the customer just wanted to show his appreciation…right? But know this; demanding gratification for doing your job tarnishes the quality of your work and your character. It reduces the value of your efforts, and it creates a greed for lucre that if not checked, can destroy your career. We cry about corruption in the land, but fail to see what we do every day at work. The line between demanding a bribe to do your paid job, and requesting a reward after you do your paid job is very thin indeed, and like Gehazi, the leprosy will follow not just us, but our generations to come.
So, if you’re reading this and you are in the habit of asking to be rewarded with cash for doing work that your employer has paid you to do, have a rethink today. Only accept gifts in line with your company’s policy, and when you cannot decline a tip, make sure you let your boss know and ensure that your entire team partakes of the gift and give their sincere thanks to the gift giver. This way your integrity is protected, and the sanctity of your spiritual walk is not tarnished. If you’re not sure how to proceed, just follow my personal rule: ‘when in doubt…give it out!’ May the Spirit of the Most High God protect us in our locale and keep us from suffering the fate of Gehazi in our lives and careers. Amen! Have a blessed and profitable week ahead, and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel by clicking the link https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmE-xv2bKtcYlfxKJnZJIug and hitting the SUBSCRIBE button. Visit my website www.ifeanyiubawords.com and order a training or seminar for your staff, group or company. And while you’re at it, order a copy of my books #360degreemastery and #getupgetbusygetthatA to support our efforts at #theifeanyiubafoundation to provide books and scholarships for the less privileged. Namaste!