For years Dawn’s mental state had been a roller coaster ride; with many highs and lows; most of it brought about by working at “Ben and William’s Tax Office. Thirty-five and unmarried, she often felt like the ‘winds of life’ were pushing her constantly toward a destination that was both unknown and dark.
Growing up in a dysfunctional family, where indifference and indecisiveness ruled the day, she grew up not understanding her role in life; not knowing where or if she belonged.
Working in the tax office on Main Street in Utica, Ohio, her days were filled with customers who didn’t know what to do or how handle their years of careless tax recordings. Ben and William Forthright, owners of the small tax company always treated her with respect and caring but they often took her for granted, letting her handle the really tough cases, while other employees skated by.
Often, she wanted to talk with Ben or William about how things were being run and about some of the customers who were obnoxious and unchristian, but she just couldn’t muster the courage to do so.
And so it was on a cold but bright spring day when she decided that she had had enough and that something had to be done. She could no longer endure the poor management skills from Ben and William and the slurry and often frustrated and obnoxious customers who wanted a bunch of something for nothing.
It was on a Wednesday when she summoned courage and began the long walk that lead to Ben and William’s office, a small and disorganized office room in the back of the building. The old-fashioned clock in the hallway read, 9:15 and as she passed it, the only thing on her mind was letting these two men know exactly how she felt and then leaving.
She arrived at the door to their office, shaking but determined to have it out with them. Before knocking on the door, she leaned close to the door and put her ears to the door. She couldn’t hear a thing but she kept to her post, thinking that maybe they were in the room but not answering. She heard from others that they sometimes pulled the "silent routine."
After about a full minute, she knocked a few times. No one replied and she heard nothing but silence. This was unusual, she thought, because there was always something going on in the back room with clients and competitors.
Next, she took hold of the door handle and slowly opened the door. What she saw was an empty room, with nothing but piles of paperwork and a small radio spilling out some country and western tunes.
Surprised and shocked, she returned to her small desk and began her morning work. It wasn’t until later in the afternoon around two that both men walked in, smiling and saying a “Good Afternoon” to everyone in the building.
Later in the afternoon, Dawn thought that she would go ahead with her plan. She didn't want to put it off any longer.
She knocked on the door and heard one of them reply, “Come in! Come in, whoever you are! We are here to help!”
She walked in and took a seat in one of the comfortable chairs in front of their desks.
She began…”Ben, William,I have been unhappy and unfulfilled here for a very long time. My work load has been way too much at times and if certain changes can’t be made, then I will have to leave!”
Both men looked at each other, then looked back at her and smiled the broadest smiles she had ever seen.
Ben spoke first. “Dawn, we realize that you’ve been working very hard and we were getting ready to surprise you today with a promotion. We are also hiring two other people and they will be helping you in whatever way you need. We’ve been so busy just trying to keep the business going that we have been blind to some our employees’s needs. We hope you will stay, for we appreciate and need your help.”
The only thing Dawn could say was “thank you” and as she walked away a line from “Streetcar Named Desire” came to her mind. The character Blanche in the play whispered to herself in gratitude, “Sometimes, there is God, so quickly.”
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