Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)
TITLE: A Change of Venue
By Allison Egley
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John got to his office and looked at his list of clients to visit. Not Janice. She could talk his ear off. He wasn’t in the mood. He couldn’t put it off. She’d be expecting him, even though this wasn’t a planned visit.
John listened to Janice and made the obligatory comments. He finally convinced Janice she should get some rest. Janice agreed.
“Thanks John. I’m glad you came.”
“Always a pleasure, Janice.” If only she knew his true feelings.
Next was Tim. At least he wouldn’t talk his ear off. John would have to work to get a word out of Tim. For all he cared, they could just skip the visit. He wouldn’t. Even though Tim didn’t like to talk, Tim was expecting him.
John returned to his office. The visit with Tim was just as he had anticipated: awkward with John doing almost all of the talking, Tim offering an occasional obligatory grunt.
Jay, a co-worker, stopped by his office. John wished he could confront Jay with his dissatisfaction with the job, but he couldn’t… not today. John made the obligatory small talk. Obligatory seemed to be the word of the day. Everything was an obligation. Even his family duties seemed to fall into that category these days.
After Jay left, John started his research for his next presentation. John should enjoy this part. He didn’t. John’s mind began to wonder. He thought about his wife, Kate, and their kids. None of them had been truly happy ever since their move six years ago. His wife was feeling pressure from John’s job, and their kids weren’t making friends. Everyone was happier before the move. Maybe they could move back and he could get his old job back. He had heard through a former client that there was an opening. He’d talk to Kate about it tonight. Maybe all he really needed was a change in locale. Maybe that would bring the joy back to his work. He’d pray about it. If he still felt this dissatisfied in a week and his family agreed that a move was best, he’d talk to Jay.
“Jay, I’m resigning. Kate and I have discussed it. We both agree it’s for the best. Lately, everything, including my interactions with our clients, has seemed like nothing more than an obligation, nothing more than a way to earn a paycheck. For their sake, it’s time I resign.”
Jay was stunned. “John, I had no idea you felt this way.”
“I know. I’ve hid it well from everyone. Including myself.”
“Well, I’m still shocked, John. I understand though. How much longer will you be here? Do you know what you’re going to do next?”
“I’ve contacted my former employer. They have an opening and I applied. I had a phone interview yesterday. I’ll go down next week to talk to them in person and meet some of their newer clients. If all goes well, they’d like me to start in a few months.”
“John, we’ll find someone to fill in for you next week. Go on and finalize things. I’m sure they’ll want you back. Just promise us you’ll give us plenty of time. It’s going to be quite an adjustment for our clients.”
“I know. Thank you for understanding.”
John returned to Jay’s office. “They liked me. They want me to start in 3 months. I’ll be leaving in 2 months. That gives both sides time to adjust, and time for me to put our house up for sale and look for a new one.”
“When are you going to announce it to our clients?”
“Do you think this week’s presentation is too soon?”
“Not if you can pull it off. They’ll need as much time to adjust to the change as possible.”
“…And so, it is with a heavy heart that I announce my resignation as Senior Pastor of Westmore Community Church. I have already accepted the position of Senior Pastor at Green Hills Baptist. My last Sunday here will be October 15th. Please pray for me and the rest of my family as we make this transition. Thank you.”
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