Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Social Media (12/01/11)
- TITLE: Privileged Information
By djvenzke Venzke
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With pizza in one hand and a mouse in the other, Matt moved through his bookmarks. He clicked the icon for his social media site to check on the postings by his family and friends. He took interest in a post by one of his co-workers, Eric. Eric was a twenty five year old he'd known for about a year now. The guy was very insecure at first, but had been growing in confidence as his experience accumulated.
Eric wrote that he was nervous about taking his driver's license road test the next afternoon. He asked his on-line friends for prayer support.
Matt hadn't known that Eric didn't drive, but then surmised that if he lacked confidence at work it probably made sense that he lacked confidence in other endeavors as well. He offered a quick, "Lord help him pass," and moved on to another web site.
The next day work had been normal in most respects. At one point, Matt was away from his desk for a moment. A few other guys had gathered with him in the break room and were discussing football. Chet, in particular, was droning on about his dissatisfaction with the local team's quarterback. "The guy lacks confidence. They need to trade him."
As the group pondered his evaluation, Eric entered the break room. Matt remembered the posting he'd read the previous evening. He saw an opportunity to boost the man's confidence for the test.
"Yeah, confidence is important, isn't it Eric?"
Eric looked puzzled so Matt elaborated. "You're taking the driver's test this afternoon, right? You need to go in there with confidence or you could bomb."
One of the guys asked Eric, "What? You're kidding right? You don't have a driver's license?" A couple of guys snickered.
Eric blushed, gave Matt an angry glance and then left the break room.
Matt was stunned by the reaction. He replayed his words, looking for reasons for the anger he'd seen in Eric's eyes.
After a while Matt returned to his desk, noticing that Eric's cubicle was empty. He was putting on his headset when the supervisor approached.
"What did you do to Eric?" he asked. "He just quit. He said he couldn't work around someone like you."
Matt was shocked. "I just mentioned that he's taking his driver's test this afternoon. I was trying to boost his confidence."
"Well he sure didn't see it that way. He looked like he'd been sentence to death for something." The boss walked away grumbling.
Matt's insides were sick. How could Eric have been so unreasonable?" He stewed on what had happened and why, but it made no sense. He asked the Lord, "What's the matter with Eric?"
For several minutes no phone calls or on-line requests came his way. Those words kept replaying in his mind. As the quiet continued Matt decided to quickly check some of his bookmarks. When he checked his social media site he saw that Eric had already discussed what had happened. He posted a long tirade about how a co-worker had embarrassed him to the point that he could never face the people at work again and had to quit. He added that if the person had been the Christian he claimed to be he would have been more sensitive to Eric's phobia about driving. He complained that he had just shared about taking the test with selected friends to get their prayer support. This co-worker had betrayed that trust and opened him up to ridicule by people who had no business knowing his personal affairs.
Matt checked the comments being left and found they all sympathized with Eric. One encouraged him to file a complaint with human resources and get the offender fired.
Matt felt horrible. How could he have been so wrong? More important, what should he do now? He came to a quick decision and began typing into a comment box.
"Eric, you are right. I am sorry and I hope you can forgive me. Come back to work. You are doing so well. I promise I'll be a better friend."
Matt clicked submit. His heart still ached, but at least now maybe he could get back to work. After a few minutes the phone rang.
It was Eric. Yes, he forgave. No he was not returning. No, he had failed the test. Click.
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