employment archives

A Pipe into a Well of Pure Waters

Today in a large team meeting, one of the presenters read the following quote from the October 2008 issue of the Church’s international magazine, The Liahona:

”A Pipe Into a Well of Pure Water”
I am deeply grateful for the great work you have done with LDS.org. Permission to own and access Church materials is extremely limited in our area. Having access to the scriptures and Church materials over the Internet is like having our own pipe into a well of pure waters. Please know that your efforts make a very real difference in the daily lives of our members. What a miracle it is for them to have our Heavenly Father’s message in their own languages.
~Name withheld

This made a couple of deep impressions on me. First, it made me very grateful to live in an area where “permission to own and access” religious materials is not limited, and where my name does not have to be witheld for expressing my beliefs.

Second, it drove home the importance of our internationalization efforts, to bring our message “to every kindred, tongue, and people.”

Lastly, while our group has on occasion talked about being “temple builders” of a sort—creating sacred spaces where people can reflect, or be inspired, or do a good work—I hadn’t ever considered myself a plumber. But what could be a nobler vocation than building “a pipe into a well of pure waters” so that the spiritually thirsty can drink?

posted by ted on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 · 2 comments

Yesterday we had the privilege of listening to Bishop McMullin, at our department’s Christmas devotional. I guess that’s one more thing that is different (and cool) about working here.

posted by ted on Wednesday, Dec 05, 2007

“People are more important than projects.”
Jason, citing one of the reasons it’s so great to work here

posted by ted on Thursday, Nov 15, 2007

“We get eternal stock options on our final retirement.”
Just overheard, on the benefits of Church employment

posted by ted on Wednesday, Aug 29, 2007

Working in a Cloister… NOT!

After re-reading my musings on things that are different working here at the Church, I realized some people might get the wrong impression about the atmosphere here—that we walk around all the time chanting “Ohmmm…” or reciting scriptural verses, or witnessing to one another in the hallways. So just to balance things out, here’s a sample of the lighter side of working in our group.

You get to hear about Little People in Foster’s Head. At our off-site, several team members introduced themselves by playing the guitar and singing. I fully expect to see Rob’s original song “Little People in My Head” on iTunes sometime soon—if not on the charts. Serious dude, that was awesome. And Pete better remain your backup singer. Seriously, I was so impressed with the diversity of talents and depth of personality that came out in our last off-site. So much variety, so much talent not just in design, but in Living.

You can wonder why Gilbert nicknamed Jason “Debs.” What’s up with that?

As Tadd once noted, “Lunch is very important to our group.” I’m among the less lunchy crowd myself, but many of us get together often to enjoy food and conversation, whether it’s at “Street Meat” (a taco stand a few blocks away), Thaifoon at the Gateway, Crown Burger across the street, or on rarer occasions Ahh Sushi. Those like Rob or myself, who have had a “bad experience” with raw fish can enjoy Teriyaki chicken or other wimpy cooked food, though this does expose them to public derision from the raw fish eaters on the team (and those likely fakers who only pretend to like the raw stuff in order to impress Tadd).

Laser tag, rock climbing, Dwight Night, and the WII. We have been known on occasion to get together for no other purpose than to have a good time. True, no alcohol is involved, but that’s never been a draw for me anyway.

Again, I’m sure my team mates could think of more to say. So, if you’re wondering what it’s like to work here, it’s both uplifting and fun. That’s a good combination.

posted by ted on Friday, Jun 29, 2007

Things That Are Different

While serving in the Sweden Stockholm Mission, I noticed many things that were different than what I was used to. Customs, door handles, food, idiomatic expressions—the little things and big things that make a culture unique. For the most part I enjoyed the differences. The same is true working here at the Church; some things are very different, most of them enjoyable. Here’s a sampling, some of them spurred by our all-day off-site a few days ago.

Meetings often start with prayer. To some of you, that might seem plain weird. Pray for clean code? Well, maybe sometimes, but more usually prayer for harmony on the team, for the ability to put aside personal biases in favor of a great cause, for a clear understanding of the issues being solved, and for the welfare of the people using the system, be they apostles or missionaries or moms or dads.

Your manager sometimes indicates that the Spirit led him to make a certain decision. Sure, they studied it out in their own minds first, did their due diligence. But when it comes right down to it, Inspiration (capital I) is sometimes the chief reason for a given decision. In some organizations, I might be a little scared by that approach; here at the Church it seems both natural and inevitable.

You can start an all-day off-site with a two-hour temple session, doing nothing that directly relates to work but many things that help put you in the right frame of mind to unify as a team and gain a common vision.

I’m sure this list should be much longer, but that’s all I’ve got time to write today. Maybe my co-workers will flesh it out…

(Also see Working in a Cloister… NOT! for the lighter side.)

posted by ted on Thursday, Jun 28, 2007

Of the Church and a Career – 8 career principles to happiness

Some time ago I assembled a small list of things that were important to me regarding my career. This effort was largely prompted by my wife that just wished for me to “settle down”. We had moved from job to job looking for the holy-grail mixture of type-place-people-pay-work euphoria. This is an expensive and taxing process if you don’t know what you want. So the list was an attempt to find out just what that was. Suprisingly it has not needed to change through the years. And equally suprising was that fact that employment at the Church (although not engaged in selling the latest product) fits each of these and I find myself incredibly happy.

1. Creative/Design Centered role: I will be a great designer. I will constantly seek out great design in the world around me. I will immerse myself in understanding new trends and tools to keep myself sharp and valuable as a designer of things. I will seek to eliminate “visual pollution” or unnecessary clutter in the realm of my responsibility.

2. Leadership role: I will inspire those that I work with to find happiness and fulfillment in their endeavors whether they are professional or personal. I will do this by listening and guiding. I will be a positive influence for those around me despite the current climate. I will be a strength to my team when they are in doubt or need understanding. I will be full of empathy for the individuals because of my life experiences. I will understand before I am understood. I will only introduce change when I have thoroughly investigated an issue. I will manage that change by providing the vision, the resources and skills, and a clear action plan. I will promote laughter and fun through the unexpected.

3. Passion for the Product: I will work for a company that produces products that I know, use and love. (the Church counts here!) I will work for a company that embraces the same values that I do as a consumer – quality above price, function and form are equals, exceptional service.

4. Mentorship from Manager: I will work for a manager that I respect and that respects me. I will receive with gratitude the teaching and training from my manager on matters of a professional and personal nature. I will be challenged by my manager to do better and I will rise to all occasions. I will have a manager that allows a debate to understand my point of view. I will respect and carry out all final decisions.

5. Compensation: I will work for a company that compensates fairly for the tasks that have been assigned for me to accomplish. I will work for a company that researches the compensation market to stay fair and competitive. I will work for an employer that rewards exceptional work that goes beyond the normal stewardship. I will work for a company that increases compensation as responsibilities change or increase.

6. Work/Life Balance: I will work for a company that respects the time I need to pursue other interests besides my career. I will work for an employer that is realistic about the amount of time it takes to complete work and allows me to govern that time individually. I will make certain that I leave my desk everyday at lunch to go and do something active to remain alert and sharp. I will work for an employer that is compassionate when personal matters beyond my control need to be attended to immediately.

7. Trust in Leadership: I will work for a company that has leadership that knows which direction the company should go and communicates with the employees honestly and openly. I will work for leaders that make sound business decisions regarding the future growth of the company and that don’t sell out for personal gain at the expense of the majority of the employees.

8. Location: I will work for a company that is located in a place that allows me to raise my family in a safe and secure environment. A location that provides stellar educational, cultural opportunities, and that provides ample and varied recreation. I will work for a company that is situated in an area that allows me to commute to work under 30 minutes in car or 1 hour by bike.

posted by paul on Sunday, Sep 17, 2006