My last post on this blog was in August, one week before I started my new job. I had been looking for a year. As you know, I’ve spent most of the last ten years sick in one form or another: cancer, vertigo, surgeries, chest pains, infections, hospital stays, almost died a few times…etc. I had taken some online programming classes for the past two years or so, hoping to get back out there into the IT world. As usual, God had other plans.
I lost track of how many jobs I applied to. I had a few interviews, and then…crickets. One job I really wanted went to a recent high school graduate. Ouch. So I told Mr. Porter I would apply almost everywhere. Just to get some extra money coming in. So yes, I started applying to retail.
All my adult life, I was terrified of the idea of being “old” and stuck working retail. But here I was….facing down one of my worst fears.
It was a Thursday when the phone rang. It was a manager from <Non-disclosed Company>. Not from the store 10 minutes away, but another store 30 minutes away. “Can you come up in an hour for an interview?”
Sure. What else am I doing with my life?
As I drove, I thought, well, I’ll go for interview practice. It’s too far, for too little money.
I arrived at the store and was told to go straight back and through the doors. The doors read, “EMPLOYEES ONLY.” As soon as I opened the door, I had a real spiritual experience: I’m an employee. I can’t explain it, but I knew it was God.
I had my interview, and was told I had to go through a background check, but otherwise, I’m hired.
I thought about how I had the interview the same day as the phone call. No night-before-interview-jitters.
The following Monday, the manager called and asked, “Can you come in today and fill out paperwork?”
As soon as I finished signing the paperwork, she asked, “Can you start work right now?” Ah, no night-before-new-job-panic. I was in. I was working.
Time went on. For the first week, I was just glad to be employed after a decade of being sick. Then reality set in. My supervisor was grumpy and snippy. No one was explaining certain things I needed to know. Pressure, stress, anger.
I decided to quit. I wrote up my letter of resignation. I went in first thing in the morning to hand it to the manager. But I couldn’t. There was like a wall of fire that I was unable to walk through. It was God. I was not supposed to quit, but keep hanging in there.
Within two months, the really nasty, grumpy manager was transferred to another store. My supervisor immediately started acting better to me. He wasn’t under so much pressure anymore, so the crap wasn’t rolling downhill.
I work directly with customers most of the day. Most of the customers have been really nice humans. One thing I have noticed is how much *I* have changed since the last time I worked retail 40 years ago. I am more mature, less shy, more confident, more patient. God has really changed me after all.
This is not where I saw myself at this stage of my life. But as Mr. Porter continues to remind me, I’m still above ground.
This is where has God put me for now.