I have the awesome privilege of writing twice this week. I'm not quite sure how it happened. I think someone mentioned they needed a trade and I was like, sure! I love writing!
And of course I came up empty of ideas.
So this is now a two-part blog thingy. And today I will start off with a story, told to me, by my mentor. You DO have a mentor, do you not? I'm talking about spiritual. Someone you can discuss your faith/life/aaargh questions with? Someone who is bestowed with knowledge, isn't pretentious and actually cares about you?
Alright, so my mentor is someone I met awhile ago while going through some counselling. The whole 'how we met' is so crazy that it could only be a God-incidence (my favourite word!). Anyhoo, we talk about many many things and even though counselling has finished, I still ply him with questions and ideas and he always has answers. Except lately. I may have to go rattle his cage...
Here's the story he told me.
One day, you, went to work as usual. You work in a tall office building with many cubicles and partitions and stale coffee and weird smells because people keep eating their bologna sandwiches at the their desk and the microwave always smells like burnt popcorn. Every single day you do the exact same thing over and over again. And over again. And over again. And yes you have moments of wondering why on earth you are stuck here in this little cubicle with smelly food co-workers who all do the same thing you do. But you need the money, and the health benefits are great because your son needs braces and thank goodness they cover all of that. And every single night you come home, tired, but not grouchy because, hey, it's a job and it's better than not working, right?
The next day you go into work as usual.
But there's a memo on your desk.
Go see the President of the Company.
So you stress about it all day. You drink too much stale coffee and you end making many bathroom trips and one of the toilets isn't working. You spill ketchup on your white shirt and there is no way you can button up your sweater to hide it because the air conditioning is on the fritz again. You accidentally send the wrong email, your daughter threw up in school and you beg your spouse to please please go get her. Your best friend is unavailable to talk to and your boss is nowhere to be found.
And then the whispers start.
'Why does he want to see you?'
'What did you do wrong?'
'How does he even know your name?'
And their worried faces and jealous faces are making you so sick to your stomach and the clock has stopped moving, prolonging your agony.
One last bathroom break, one more harsh mint gum in your mouth, you bring your sweater just in case his office is air conditionned. You don't know what to bring. A notepad? Your blackberry? A water bottle?
The phone rings and you stand up and walk down the silent hall, all your co-workers watching you and you take the elevator to the top floor. You have to endure listening to Justin Beiber as elevator music and you find yourself horrified that you're bobbing your head.
The doors open with a resounding, ding.
In front of you are two desks, facing each other. Two very busy assistants running the quiet phones, their fingers flying over their keyboards. They don't even look up at you as one points to a chair right beside the double doors.
And you wait.
Your armpits are sweaty and you have to put on your sweater to hide them and your hands are clammy and you wish you hadn't chosen to wear linen today because you are wrinkled and you really have to use the washroom but you don't see one.
And they send you in.
The single door opens and it's way taller than you and the room is vast. A large desk right in front of the windows that overlook the park. Two chairs in front of the desk and he's on the phone. Do you sit? Do you wait for him to acknowledge you?
He's off the phone and you sit at the chair he points at. His fingers together and he's looking right at you and you are trying not to squirm because you're pretty sure you're about to be fired.
And you forgot to spit out your gum.
No, you aren't wearing pockets and you don't have any paper to get rid of it. There is no waste paper basket. So you jam into the top corner of your mouth, right by your gums, and immediately it starts to burn.
And he's just looking at you.
"You've been here quite awhile, haven't you?"
You nod, yes, quite awhile.
"I'd like to give you a promotion. Starting tomorrow you will be vice-president. Your office is through those doors. Please show up at eight."
You swallow your gum. "Excuse me, sir. I'm sure there must be some mistake. I don't know the first thing about being vice-president. In fact, I'm quite sure I'm very underqualified. Perhaps you were thinking of someone else?"
His eyebrows raise and he says, "No, there is no mistake. I have chosen you to be vice-president."
"But how will I know what to do? How will I know what to say?"
He smiles and says, "I will tell you what to do. I will tell you what to say. I am only on the other side of that door. If you need any help at all, no matter how mundane, I will help you."
You stand up and shake his hand and you don't even know how you got back to your desk because you are trembling so hard.
Your co-workers are nosy and they're all looking at each other with worried faces and expectant faces and you're pretty sure there's a bet on what the outcome is.
You slowly pack your things into a box and security has come to help you carry your things up.
"What happened? Were you fired?"
You shake your head in wonder. "No, I'm now the vice-president."
And the anger is loud and complaining. "Who are you to be vice-president? You know nothing about this company! I've been here longer than you!"
And you give them the answer that he told you to use:
"Because he choose me."
Time goes on and your job is hard. But the President is always there, always on the other side, always answering your questions, always explaining things.
You make changes in the company and some people like it, and some people don't. People come to the office, to your office to commplain about the changes, the choices being made.
"Who are you to make these changes. Why are you making them?"
"Because he told me to."
Jenn Kelly is an author who really needs to finish her book so that she can get her editor to look at it and tell her it's good and then she needs to start harassing publishing companies to publish it so that she doesn't have to get a real job which involves leaving the house because she likes her house thank you very much.
This is her husband.
We have fun.