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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Great Expectations (not about the book) (08/25/11)

TITLE: What You See is not Always What You Get
By Cheryl von Drehle


Beth buzzed Cassandra over the intercom: “Cass, come to my office please. I have an assignment I need you to handle.” Within minutes, Cassandra appeared at her doorway.

“Hi Cass. Can you please edit this report this morning? It’s an emergency request that production needs to get out today. It shouldn’t take you more than an hour. Then you can get back to your other articles.”

Cassandra’s dark stare penetrated Beth’s friendly demeanor. She didn’t move forward to take the paper from Beth’s hand. After a few uncomfortable seconds, Cass said, “I can’t fit it in this morning, Beth. I’ve promised to have edits done for two interns by noon. I know our priorities are not the same, but I have commitments. Why don’t you ask Tamara.” Cassandra turned abruptly and disappeared down the hallway.

Beth raged inwardly, but she was not surprised by Cassandra’s response. Why do I even expect cooperation from her? Because she’s the best editor in the city, that’s why! But she is so prickly.

Beth pressed the intercom again. “Tammy, please come to my office.” Ten minutes later, Tammy poked her bright sunny smile through Beth’s doorway. “Hi ma’am, what can I do for you?” Beth’s pulse slowed immediately. She was ecstatic about her newly hired protégé. Tammy had all the right credentials. She was so confident and bright, capable of great things, Beth was sure. She beamed back at Tammy. “Can you get this report edited this morning?”

“Sure thing, ma’am; right away.” Tammy plucked the paper from Beth’s extended hand and bounced out of the office.

At 11:30 Beth went out on the floor to retrieve her edited report. Tamara wasn’t at her desk, and neither was the report. Looking around, she found Tammy holding court in the breakroom. Beth’s heart rate surged with impatience as she stepped into the room. “Tammy, do you have my report for me?”

There was that languid smile again, exuding peace and good cheer. “Report?”

“Yes, Tamara. The urgent one I gave you two hours ago to edit.”

“Oh, that,” sighed Tammy. “Cassandra came and took it from me. She said she changed her mind about doing it.” Tammy turned back to her companions, picking up her story without missing a beat.

Beth decided Tammy’s sweet soothing voice was actually quite irritating as she headed back to her office. On her way back, she glanced over at Cassandra’s desk. Cass was bent over her desktop, furiously attacking yet another article. Beth stepped up to her own desk to find the emergency article placed neatly on top of her other papers, in perfect order.

Inspired by the parable of the two sons, Matthew 21: 28-32: which of the two met his father’s expectations?

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This article has been read 351 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lollie Hofer 09/02/11
I like this modern version of the Biblical parable. Lots to ponder. Good job.
Linda Goergen09/02/11
Interesting take on the parable! Enjoyed!
C D Swanson 09/03/11
Nice job! I like it very much. God Bless~
Rachel Rudd09/05/11
Great story.. I thought the ending was strong.
Sydney Avey09/06/11
Nicely drawn characters. I love stories about the workplace. We spend so much of our time there but it is rarely the setting for what we write. There is gold in those hills!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/08/11
I liked this modern day parable. Though I'm glad you added the footnote because I don't know if I would have made the connection on my own.