Sun rays streamed through the huge windows behind me as I sat in my cube at the U.S. headquarters of a London-based phone company. I could hear voices over the tops of the office cubicles, “Well, hello Donna. So nice to finally meet you in person.”
“Well, nice to meet you also,” was the reply from a Donna.
“I’ve heard so much about you from Barbara. I’m glad you agreed to come back to us.”
“Well, thank you. I’m glad to be back…I think,” she said and got the expected chuckles.
They moved their conversation down the long hallway away from my cube as they were greeted by squeals of “Donna, you’re back!”
I dismissed her as a contractor who had worked there before. Little did I know that she would have an impact on my life. By the time I was able to welcome her myself she informed me that she had actually been hired full time as a trainer of our sales reps. We became friends from that day.
Sure of herself and confident in her abilities, Donna knew how to work the corporate system. Before a few months had past she was a senior training manager. During a company re-organization she became the manager over our team. I had anxiety over a friend becoming my manager but it was unnecessary. Donna was good at both.
Even though some didn’t handle her appointment very well, Donna was firm, clear and sympathetic. Her work style was a thing of beauty. As the years went by I watched as this bright-eyed fair-skinned black woman did her job despite many nay-sayers. They may have complained about her being in authority but I would hear them mumble, “She does know how to do her job.”
No matter what relationship she had with people Donna gave them presents. Everyone in the department seemed to have some fun book or ornament or bauble that Donna had bought for them. It was always appropriate and the perfect thing to encourage them in whatever their situation.
My relationship with dear Donna continues until today. Recently we went shopping at Nordstrom’s and she showed me that I could wear white. White tops and bottoms. I had never dreamed that possible with my plus size body and big bottom, but she said my bottom was big, yes, but oh so beautiful. This was a turning point in my life which has allowed me to walk holding my head up higher.
I have also had the opportunity to work as a manager and often used Donna’s managerial tactics especially when I faced opposition. There was many a day when I resolved problems or dealt with staff just as I remembered Donna doing it.
Another impact I have felt from Donna’s presence in my life is that I have become a giver. I give to any and everyone as often as possible. A short time ago I was able to give Donna a gift, the gift of refuge in my home when she was evicted from hers. In the giving of this gift, I saw how, like Ecclesiastes explains, she who casts her bread upon the waters, after many days will have it come back to her again.
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This is a wonderfully encouraging article with so much to praise God for. You have a humble heart, despite your grand title! I loved to read about you becoming a "giver" - reminds me of the One who gave all - and never counted the cost. Praise God for your heart of obedience, love and talent!