Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SLOTH (indolence; laziness) (01/29/15)
TITLE: A Quote of My Own
By Jody Day
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“Here, give me those.” Carrie, the boss’s secretary hoisted the mountain of manila folders over to her arms. “What’s all this?” Her sparkly dress and blingy jewelry shone under the lights.
“Mr. Dillon asked me to help him get caught up on his reports. Seems he’s so swamped he got behind. What are you all dressed up for?” I turned the key in my office door and pushed it open with my foot while taking the work back from her.
Carrie rolled her eyes. “He asked me to do it and I flat refused. Told him it wasn’t my job and I wasn’t about to spend my weekend doing his work. That’s what he does when he wants to spend the weekend golfing, and he didn’t do his reports in time. I’m surprised he didn’t fire me. And I’m dolled up for the Company awards banquet this noon. Aren’t you going?”
“Hadn’t heard about it.”
“Well, Mr. Dillon is receiving an award for the Water Project. See if you can dig up a tie.”
He’s receiving an award for my first big account? That work was mine. What gives? Anger flew all over me as I headed toward his corner office.
I knocked but didn’t wait for an answer. “Excuse me, Mr. Dillon. Here are your reports.”
His desk rivaled the chaos of a freshman boy’s dorm room. His feet were propped up on a pile of papers, and he munched a candy bar. He sported a brand new tan.
“Oh, thanks Carson. Just put them on the desk.” He pushed papers around and then motioned to a spot. “Good work, a big help. Will that be all?”
“Actually, I heard you are to receive an award for the Water Project this afternoon. Am I to be included in that?” A cough wracked my throat and my palms went moist.
“Your name wasn’t on the notice I received.” He suddenly had to look for something in his desk drawer.
“Well, I’m disappointed. Wasn’t it my idea? I did all the work for it.” My chest heaved with fear. I’d kept my head down and worked my tail off for six months. I hoped I hadn’t picked the wrong time to speak up.
He took the last bite of his candy and dropped the wrapper on the floor. “Well, son, you know what old Harry Truman said. ‘It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.'”
Ouch. I prided myself on being a team player. But he hadn’t helped me at all. Was I supposed to just be happy because he gave permission for me to research, create, design, implement, and report on the project?
“Well, congratulations on your hard work.” I couldn’t help it.
“You know what old Bonaparte said my boy. ‘Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them.’” He chuckled and swiveled his office chair around like a child on a soda counter stool.
I backed out of his office and stumbled back to mine. I found a tie in my bottom desk drawer and fumbled it on. My mind raced to subdue my pride and hurt feelings. After all, I hadn’t been promised any kind of credit, and I had collected my paycheck. Besides, the project had created jobs for a low-income neighborhood.
Mr. Dillon left our offices the next week. He was hired by a larger company that had been watching my successful project. He left without a word of appreciation.
The good news is that someone noticed my hard work. A few weeks later I was promoted to manager in Mr. Dillon’s place. Carrie brought me a gift on the day I moved into my new office.
“Did you hear about Mr. Dillon? Seems they actually expected him to work.” She lowered her voice. “He was just downstairs in Personnel trying to get his old job back.”
I couldn’t rejoice in his troubles, but the quote on my gift plaque had a point.
Do your work with your whole heart, and you will succeed - there's so little competition. Elbert Hubbard
Maybe, but I like better the verse I memorized as a boy:
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:23
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