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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Expert (09/05/13)

TITLE: The Storm Before The Calm~
By C D Swanson


“You’re supposed to do it that way. I should know, I’m the expert here!” Donna’s voice was loud. She stood with hands on hips, her head tilted.

“I wasn’t aware of any changes. I’ve always done it that way…for years in fact.” Clarissa’s brows scrunched together as she bit her lower lip.

“Clarissa, just who’s in charge here? I’m not hearing a response, hello?” She cupped her hand behind her ear.

“Okay. I’ll do it your way.”

Donna’s promotion clearly went to her head as evidenced by her behavior, and outrageous demands towards her former colleagues. She was at the company for five years .Her whole life was wrapped around her job. She’d always been known as the “girl who’d make it no matter what.” She didn’t care who she’d have to step on or over in the process.

Clarissa was employed by Belina Associates for fifteen years,and an exemplary employee which was reflected in her outstanding reviews. However, it was her compassion that was most appreciated by everyone.

“Clarissa, I’m going to be checking your work and giving you tips along the way. It’s not my intent to dismantle your position. Instead, I want to encourage, and provide guidance to make you productive. Which would thereby increase your worth here at Belina.”

“Please don’t placate me Donna. I respect you and your title, but please respect mine as well. I’m not going to argue, nor am I going to defend my position. If you want things done your way I’ve no problems implementing according to your instructions…”


“But, I want it in writing and I’ll sign.”

Donna shuffled her feet and leaned forward. “What?”

“I need this in writing please. I’ll begin the process immediately thereafter.”

“Now who is placating? Are you friggin kidding me? I’m the expert and you’re telling me what to do? I don’t care how long you’ve been here Miss-Hotshot-fifteen-years. I’m your boss! You’re not only insulting; you’re navigating your boat through insubordinate waters.”

“I’m sorry you feel that way, that’s wasn’t my intent. I merely want to protect myself because…”

“Because you think you know more than me? Do you realize that you’re acting and sounding like a complete retard?”

Clarissa, a mild mannered Christian hardly ever lost her temper. She felt her face burn with indignation. She approached Donna like a stealth cat seeking her prey and stopped inches within her face. “How dare you? You can say anything you’d like about my job performance, but when you make it personal, you’ve crossed the line. You’re aware I have a mentally challenged child. To casually throw out that word is not only offensive, but completely inappropriate, and totally unacceptable behavior! How dare you? Who do you think you are?” Tears of anger scrambled down Clarissa’s red cheeks.


“Donna, I need to see you in my office…now!” The CEO was within ear shot for the entire exchange. “Clarissa, I’ll see you when I’m through, it won’t be long.”

Clarissa reached with shaking hands for her tissues. She pulled out her mini Bible and opened up to Colossians 3:15 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…” She needed God. There were times—like now—when she needed him desperately. God help me. I’m sorry I lost my temper, but I was so angered by her careless and cavalier disregard toward my child’s mental status. It was so wrong, but I realize You’re in control at all times. I love You Lord, and I’m asking for help. I want to feel your loving peace embrace me right now Help me. In Jesus’ name I pray.

She was struggling with medical bills for her daughter and was under pressure from Donna. But, there was no excuse for her behavior.

“Clarissa, please come into my office.”

“Yes, sir.” She followed and wondered if he was going to fire her for being insubordinate.

He motioned for her to sit. “First of all, let me say I’m sorry for Donna’s totally unacceptable behavior. She was terminated.”

“Oh, but sir…”

“No! She had it coming. The scene I witnessed was abhorrent and cemented my decision. That’s not what my company represents. Effective immediately, you’re officially the expert now.”

Tears rolled down as she absorbed what just happened. “Thank you.”

While she walked toward her office she said a prayer for Donna. They crossed each other in the corridor, “Donna, I’m sorry.”

“Actually, so am I.”

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This article has been read 454 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Goergen09/12/13
So sad that behavior like Donna’s happens in real life all the time, those who let a little bit of power rule over common sense and compassion. You have told a wonderful story with powerful messages! It is so sad how often disability related terms are still used in demeaning speech! I am so glad justice was done in the workplace in this story (wish reality always ended like that!) and I love how your story ended with forgiveness. Great job!
lynn gipson 09/12/13
Whoa..this one had me with the first line and all the way to the end. Gripping story. Donna got her due, I'm afraid. Clarrisa stood strong with Christ! Loved the whole well written, faith packed story. Excellence in writing once again!
Dannie Hawley 09/12/13
Your title caught my attention and your compelling story kept me hooked to the very end of the piece. Excellent job.
Danielle King 09/13/13
Grrrrr - I almost blew a fuse when I heard that word. Having had the same derogatory term used towards my own learning disabled sons, I was happy to see Donna get the boot. That is so very not a Christian attitude! I'll work on it. HaHa.

Your story flowed well and was original for the topic. It certainly held my attention to the end. Great job.
Noel Mitaxa 09/13/13
Wow! There is so much passion here, which you have detailed with a powerful mix of precision and objectivity. And all put together as soon as the topic was announced. In my humble opinion - since I have so much to be humble about - this is a winner.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/13/13
Wow! What a powerful story. My eyeballs almost popped out of my head on the word retard. That is such an offensive word and people use it often. I'm a firm believer in words themselves don't hurt but it's the intention behind them. You showed how vicious the intentions were in this.

The only red ink I might suggest would be not to tie the ending up quite so neatly. Sometimes open endings can be the most powerful because it can seem more realistic as well how the reader needs to have it end.

Your message is powerful. I could feel my blood pressure rise as I read. In a good way, of course. You did a wonderful job of creating a vivid picture in my head. Great and powerful writing.
Leola Ogle 09/14/13
Amazing story! Glad things worked in Clarissa's favor in the end. God bless.