Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Breaking News Department

On Friday the 14 last month, the boss called 12 of us in to an urgent meeting. He’d just been informed by the Department of Agriculture that our contract had been suspended, cut and canceled because of a lack of tax dollars funding. Our last day would be Monday, December 31.

He was livid. He was livid because he likes all of us so much. "You all are the cream of the crop. And you've proven that with your great work..." The timing was terrible; just 10 days before Christmas and two weeks before the end of the year. What the…? Also, he was informed just a few hours before his own vacation began and he was off to Ireland. He told us we were welcome to look for other work and use the office computer, phone and FAX.

“When you get over the middle of the Atlantic,” I said, “throw your Blackberry out the window.” It was the only bit of levity we could muster. We had two weeks to wrap up our work and wait for our pink slips. So we spent our time feverishly munching on Christmas fudge.

My First Wife and I asked many friends and relatives to pray for our situation. We prayed, too.

The boss, one of the best I’ve ever seen, made it back to work on Monday and dutifully went about meeting with everyone who was fired laid off. We all shook hands and packed up our stuff.

Funny, but he never called me. When he left Monday evening, he walked right past my cube saying, “Good night, Nichols. Have a Happy New Year. See ya Wednesday”

“You will?” I wondered silently.

This morning, Wednesday, I walked straight to his office and asked, “Are you planning to meet with me today?”


I paused, unsure of what to say next. Then I cautiously asked, “Have I somehow dodged a bullet?”

He nodded.

“I..I'm...I'm still a employee here?” He nodded again. “That’s a praise!” I said.

It's quiet, cold and lonely in the office.

I don’t understand why the Lord was so kind as to let me alone keep my job, while 11 of my friends and team members were laid off. Maybe someday somebody will explain it to me, but for now I can only thank Him.

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.”—Jeremiah 29:11

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