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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)

TITLE: Beth's Dilemma
By RuthAnn Cornelson


Beth heard her own voice, loud and angry, but couldn’t stop herself. “Listen April, we’re dying up here! We’re one receptionist short and the line of patients is backed up to the door. We have to have some help!”

April was untouched by the plea. “There is no help available. You’ll have to do the best with what you’ve got.”

With great effort Beth hung up the phone without a slam and turned to greet the next patient, a tense smile touching her lips. What was the matter with April!! Just a month ago she was up here, one of them, complaining about having a supervisor who didn’t understand what it was like to be short handed in such a busy office. They had all been so pleased when she had become the supervisor; thrilled to know that finally they would have someone who had been there, who identified with their plight and would support them in times like these.

But April had quickly crossed over to the dark side when she got the promotion. The dark side of management, where all that mattered were the statistics at the bottom of the printout at the end of each month. They thought April would care about them. Heck, April even thought she would care about them!! But now all April cared about was April and stats.

Beth talked with the other girls about it at lunch, still angry from the morning. She was determined to confront April and demand that she listen to their need for another receptionist. She was not going to take this anymore!

Jenny tried to calm her down. “Listen Beth, just breathe for a sec. You aren’t going to accomplish anything by talking to April in the frame of mind you’re in. It’s not going to do you or any of us any good. She’s the supervisor now, period. It doesn’t matter how we feel. It should, but it doesn’t. All you’re going to do is end up with a black mark on your record or worse.”

“C’mon,” Beth complained, “she used to be one of us. She should understand. Someone’s got to remind her and shake her out of this new-found feeling of power she has. I know she’s angry at me now. I did make a bit of a scene this morning, but I don’t really care. She deserves it!”

Jenny took a breath and talked patiently, trying to explain, “Beth, all you’re going to do is hurt yourself and maybe us in the process. Don’t you see? April doesn’t care. You can’t hurt her or get even with her, because she doesn’t care, she doesn’t have to. She’s practically the boss. Antagonizing her is not going to make her feel bad or apologize to you or do anything but come down on you. Right now you still have a little rapport with her. Go any further and… well, whatever happens, you’ve done it to yourself. Tell me you understand that.”

Beth calmed down a little as the afternoon went by, but the anger re-surfaced as she recounted the events of the day with her roommate that night. Anger led to hurt and hurt to a touch of guilt which Beth immediately tried to suppress. “I’m not apologizing. She should be helping us. That’s her job. She’s the one who should feel bad.”

“You’re right! No doubt about it,” Beth’s roommate agreed. “But…”
Beth rolled her eyes. Of course, there has to be a ‘but’. “What? Go ahead.”

“I’m not going to preach at you, OK? Beth! Don’t roll your eyes at me again. I just want to remind you of something.” She pulled out her Bible and Beth’s eyes did roll.

“OK, I’m going to read what it says and you can do what you want with it. You know what it says is true. ‘If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you’,” she read. “That means BE NICE and she’ll end up feeling bad, not you!”

Beth saw the memo lying on her desk the next morning. It instructed her that she was to attend a meeting between herself, April and a representative from Human Resources. Oh, oh, can’t be good if HR is there. Beth wondered what to do, defy April or heap some coals. Did she want to keep her job or not?

Prov 25:21,22 NIV

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 02/21/08
First I must commend you in the name of your MC :). You put us right in the stress of the situation with Beth. The answer to the dilemma was definitely given to her...you created suspense by leaving this open-ended. Very good work on this.
Sara Harricharan 02/22/08
Oooh, I was there with Beth wanting to get April back for seemingly being a hypocrite. Oh well...I guess we'll never know what she does, lol. I like the ending, leaves you guessing a bit..though I would've liked to know what she did.
Jan Ackerson 02/24/08
Oooh, I like the open-ended conclusion...nice touch in a good story.
LauraLee Shaw02/28/08
I love your open-ended conclusion, and I REALLY appreciate the way Beth's roommate pulled out Scripture to reason with her. Hopefully, the Word won out in the end. Great for the topic and an excellent message for believers.