Photo compliments of Pixabay.com
Life isn’t always about holding good cards,
but playing a bad hand well. – Jack London
Two men are sitting behind their desks, which happen to be directly across from one another. Daniel, who is thirty five, wearing a dark blue suit, and a red tie, leans back in his chair and kicks his feet on top of his desk, so everyone can see his black, time-honored, wing–tip shoes. He’s chews on the tip of his pen, as he looks at Henry, who is forty, wearing dingy grey pants, a short-sleeve white shirt, and a clip-on tie.
“You got that position yet?” Henry asks Daniel with a tone of sarcasm in his voice, hoping to knock the expression of confidence off of Daniels face. Daniel takes his pen out of his mouth and says,
“I just want you to know, that position as the assistant director of administration is mine. Don’t you worry about it.”
“Yeah right,” says Henry. “That’s what you’ve been saying for the past two years. They aren’t going to hire you. They haven’t given it to anybody. You should give up. Nobody is gonna get it.”
“They will my friend, They will,” says Daniel. “They have to. Only Slater and I qualify for the job, and I have the most experience.”
“Says who?” asks Henry.
“Morrison,” says Daniel, and then a smug smile settles on his face.
“Morrison wouldn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground. Why don’t you just give it up and be happy working along with the rest of us ordinary worker bees, man,” says Henry.
Daniel rolls his eyes, puts his feet down, turns away from Henry, and goes back to work. While he’s working, he pauses a moment, glances at Henry, and mumbles to himself, “I don’t know why I even talk to that guy. He has no motivation what’s so ever.”
Morrison, who is fifty, stout, and clean shaven, walks into the work room. The light conversation and papers rustling in the background fade to silence. All eyes fall upon him. There is a long awkward moment, as he looks back at all the faces that are looking at him. The expressions on their faces let him know, that they know, something is up. He clears his throat and announces,
“It has been bought to my attention that the company is downsizing.” Immediately, there’s a short wave of verbal expressions, contorted faces, and sighs of shock. Henry’s mouth drops open. Daniel is puzzled. His face shows it. He scratches his head.
Morrison continues, “At lunch today, all of you please stop by the personnel office and pick up an envelope with your name on it. In that envelope will be a letter that tells you if you are laid off, or if you’ll get minimal part time.”
“What the hell is minimal part time?” asks Henry.
“Between eight and fifteen hours a week,” says Morrison, and then, he turns around and walks out of the room. The workers trade blank stares.
It’s lunch time. There’s a line of people outside the entrance of the personnel office. “Patricia Slater,” yells a woman from inside the office. Slater walks into the office rather slowly. The woman barks out some other names. Some employees walk out of the office, upset. Slater walks past Henry and Daniel, distraught.
Daniel gives Salter a sideways glance.
“Did you see that, Henry? Slater is balling. Maybe she got the ax.”
“You’re gonna get it too buddy. They are seriously downsizing. That gets cut from the top,” says Henry.
The woman calls Daniel’s name. He walks into the personnel office and over to the desk. With an expressionless face, she hands him his envelope. He takes it, opens it, and looks inside. The woman calls Henry’s name. He swallows hard and walks up to the woman. He takes his envelope and looks inside.
Daniel and Henry meet in the hallway moments later.
“What did you get?” asks Daniel.
“Doesn’t matter. I quit! Damn this crap,” says Henry, and then he slaps his envelope into Daniels hand and walks away. Daniel looks at Henry’s notice. It says Henry will work eleven hours a week. Daniel shakes his head and says to himself, “I don’t know what he’s complaining about. They only gave me eight. I’ll use the extra thirty two hours to look for another job.”
Events like this happen every day. There isn’t such a thing as living in a perfect world. Unexpected pregnancies, sudden divorces, or surprise chronic sicknesses, are among the things that happen us all. Surprise events are the strong winds that blow on us suddenly and from any given direction. It’s just one of those things are beyond our control. You may be thinking, Jonathan, what are we poor souls to do in such when things hit us like that? Just be dust in the wind? Roll over and wet on ourselves? Let the winds of changes take us where they may? I say no! I’ve learned to keep on keeping on. We must remember we always have the power to choose how we are going to respond to adversity. Henry took his news and probably made his situation worse by quitting in anger. Daniel chose to use the new found free time to find profitable work elsewhere. Same situation for both men, but very different responses to the situation, and their responses will make all the difference in their futures. As we move down the river of life, we are bound to hit the rapids at some point on our journey.
Here are five things we can do to help us navigate life’s rapids.
- Don’t give into doubts. Once we think we can’t, we can’t.
- Decide not to make things worse.
- Decide where we want to go from that point and get going.
- Decide to be resilient in the pursuit of what it is you want.
- Dot the best you can. You’ll get better if you don’t quit.
Join me next time when I share a much needed skill to help you handle the adversity.
I hope this helps you and blesses you in some situation you may be facing in your life. Remember, it ain’t over until it’s ALL over.
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By the way, I recently released volume two of my determined to win series entitled RESILIENCE. Check it out of you want learn about two characters that were dealt a bad hand and still decided to play to win.