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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hear (07/08/10)

TITLE: Who Does He Listen To?
By Alan Hahn


He started his government job after over a year of being unemployed. As he walks to meet his supervisor for the first time, he thinks about how close he came to choosing crime. How after having served in the military, earning a degree with high honors, and doing everything a persistent person could do to get a good job, it seemed that the only thing he could get were minimum wage or commission sales positions.
He remembers when he first lost his job at the bank over a year ago. Downsizing they called it. He and eleven other people “downsized” that day. As he was walking back to collect his personal items from receiving the news he was downsized, he passes a cubicle of someone who called himself a “friend” This “friend” does not even look up at him as he walks by. He observes this “friend” has a list on his desk and it is all the people downsized.
He leaves the office. He is a little hurt, but not worried. He is a good employee, with good work ethic, some sense about him, an education, and has much to give an employer. He buys the book “What Color Is Your Parachute?” and does all the exercises in the book. He is doing things and this will only be a speed bump he thinks.
The interviews don’t come immediately but the rejection letters do. “We thank you for your interest.” they say, but he knows they do not mean it. They probably did not even read his resume. How could they when they even said in the letter they received over 450 resumes?
He goes to the unemployment office. They have “special representatives” for veterans. He thinks they can help him. A rep send him to the trucking company for “manager trainee” position.
Finally an interview. The interview at the trucking company goes well. The interviewer asks “what’s this AA?” “I have an Associates Degree.” he says.
The interviewer replies “We require a bachelors.”
He decides to make his case: “I am sure if you gave me a chance, you would see I can do quite well for you. I earned my college while working full time and serving in the National Guard where I am a Sergeant and have completed the Non-commissioned Officers Academy. I know how to overcome adversity and adapt to change.”
The interviewer states “We wouldn’t want to deprive those who got their bachelors degrees their opportunity.”
After this, the temp agencies came. They put the carrot out that “if they like you, they may hire you full-time.” He tried this at a pet food factory. He spent two weeks being laughed at by people making three times as much as he was while he was making less than unemployment would pay him for not working. He was doing the work of three people.
After two weeks of this, he got called in to personnel. He thought to himself even though he did not do all he did to work in a factory, he could do that for what the union people made. Despite his hope, he was told “Thank you for your services. We wish you the very best in your job search.” And the next temp came to take his place.
He knew he was not following God even though he gave his life to Jesus. He had not been attending services for some time had not been reading God’s word regularly, and his prayer life was more like foxhole prayer for a job than anything else. He did not keep fellowship with other believers and at the same time he kept asking God “Why am I going through this?” God seemed eerily silent.
He gave someone a ride one day. The person offered him $5,000.00 to run marijuana from New Mexico to Chicago. He said he would think about it. He thought to himself “What do I have to lose? I seem to only be offered leftovers for jobs and can’t pay bills. I have “played by the rules” and what has that got me?”
Then another day, he was at the unemployment office. A new guy was there. The new guy asked him if he ever thought of working for the government? No he responded. The new guy let him know the process, gave him an application and directions to a veteran’s organization that would help the rest of the way.
Titus 3:5.

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This article has been read 297 times
Member Comments
Member Date
AnneRene' Capp07/15/10
You're right. Thank God for His saving grace through mercy and not our works! This story was so eye opening to the challenges of finding work in such a sinking economy. You did a great job showing the temptations of this world that go along with "surviving". I was so relieved to see the last man at the unemployment office step forward to actually help AND utilize the help of the Veterans administration. I continually thank God for our Vets who deserve so much more than they have ever received in return for their service! You also did a good job in reminding us what happens when we neglect staying in the word and surrounded by other believers.

Be sure to double space between paragraphs for easier reading ;)
Ruth Brown07/17/10
Sadly, your story is repeated over and over today. You told the story well. May God bless you. Ruth
Angela M. Baker-Bridge07/19/10
You evoked empathy for the MC and drew the reader in. Paragraph spacing is important. You may have spaced before copying and pasting it here, but that won't carry over. You need to double space between paragraphs before copying for it to give the desired effect. Before hitting the submit button, look to the left and hit the preview button first. Then you'll see if it's right. Keep writing and submitting to the Challenge!