Turn About

My employer is 10 years younger than I. He has a family that he is actively helping raise, is equally active in his church, volunteers constantly and manages a business well. When I was brought on staff a little over three years ago, I was taken back by the level of interaction he had with his team of 14. It was impressive that if the coffee needed to be made or there were empty cups left in the sink, Mr. Boss would make coffee and clean cups. Every birthday was honored with pie or ice cream for the crew, always served by Mr. Boss himself. It's something I hadn't seen in any of the places I've worked over the past 25 years. Through the trials and tribulations I've personally had in my life since my employ, Mr Boss took a vested interest and always offered support morally and sometimes financially too. I am not the only employee to be treated with such graciousness.

Now, week after week I see Mr. Boss coming to work looking rather haggard at times. Sleepless eyes and weakening limbs. He's plagued by a back that more than twinges and during this stressful time of businesses going down, the back was uncooperative. Week after week my stomach's been in knots at the end of the day, wondering if tomorrow the ax will fall.

This past Thursday I was called in for the meeting I've been anticipating. I was almost giddy as we went to the conference room just for the fact of KNOWING what the plan was for me even if it wasn't what I hoped for. I didn't want to be unemployed but at least when you know what's coming your mind set can move in another direction.

As we sat down, we chit-chatted for a minute and I asked Mr. Boss how he was doing. He stated that it's been the hardest time in his life as a business owner. I told him I've been praying for him and our company for months during these trying times. Then, not surprisingly, Mr. Boss said "Unfortunately, things aren't good and we can't continue to operate in the manner we have been and stay in business. Sales aren't going out and receivables aren't coming in. It's economically impossible to continue to operate the way we have been and remain a company." I knew this. Then, surprisingly, Mr. Boss said, "I want you to think about something. As far as the office is concerned, I am going to lay you off, but not lay you off." Huh? What a turn about!

He continued to say, I would be removed from the element in which I work and set up in another room in the building to strictly focus on accounts that haven't been pursued via our database, our ignored house accounts and working on an industry list to generate some sales. Additionally, Mr. Boss said that our company has been considering adding an additional product line of steel and perhaps I would exclusively manage those sales as a separate entity of our company. Go ahead and think about it, he offered. Two seconds went by and I said yes.

I was honored that Mr. Boss felt strongly enough about keeping me on the payroll as an asset to this company and created a place for me. Overwhelmed with thankfulness, really. In the mix of time I was also able to negotiate a little different start/end work day too, which makes my life a bit easier for my evening obligations. We both seemed satisfied when we left our meeting. I thanked him for giving me this opportunity and Mr. Boss said, "see, maybe your prayers are being answered."

I drove home in conversation with God and thanked Him too, for the trust that has been given to me and prayed that this transition, which will be in about three weeks, will go as Mr. Boss has imagined it would with sales numbers improving. They may be slow at first, I reasoned, but asked God that something would be generated in a quick enough time frame so Mr. Boss can breathe a little bit easier and know that he made the right decision in keeping me on in this capacity.

The next evening another shop employee was laid off.

I'm grateful for the fact that I now know I'm powerless but also am assured that I'm in the palm of the One who has His eye on my every breath. I love it even more that this assurance isn't exclusively mine. You can know this too.

"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand."

Phil. 4:6a
*All pics googled*