Professional Whiplash


My last day at my job of five years was June 10th. My first day at the architectural and engineering firm that claimed to love me was June 13th. Last Wednesday, July 27th, I had a feeling that I should call up my friend to catch up. Between my classes sucking up every spare molecule of brain function and willpower and her parents needing help moving from their decades-long residence, neither of us had found the time to connect lately.  She gave me a deposit to work on a project for her roofing company back in April and I felt terrible about not being able to find time to work on it. I asked her to lunch, resolved to offer her a full refund and to see if we could revisit the project after I graduate in December. Before I got to that point in our conversation I mentioned that my job at the new firm wasn’t really living up to my expectations.

The supervisor I thought I would enjoy working with turned out to be the most condescending, hot-and-cold, neurotic, overtired, martyr of a boss I had ever worked for. I was disappointed. And bored… God I was bored. If feeling patronized and bored isn’t a recipe for change, I don’t know what is.

Instead of accepting my offer to refund her deposit, my friend offered me a job. She knows my potential, could see that I wanted some freedom to create, so she asked if I would take the data from the 25-year old roofing company she and her husband recently inherited and turn it into repeat business.

The prospect of that much freedom and gaining that much trust was highly enticing. The next morning my friend said her husband was on board with the idea of my coming to work for them, and we agreed to meet for dinner that night to iron out details. I walked into the HR office that morning and let them know that I had an opportunity to move on and I wanted to know if, after only six weeks, they would like me to work out a two-week notice.

“Without saying too much,” the HR rep started, “I’m going to say that you should take that opportunity. It turns out that the work we thought we were going to have for you to do dried up, so Friday was going to be your last day.”

It took half a second for my brain register the implication of his comment as several thoughts shot through my head:”Today is Thursday. Tomorrow is Friday. They were going to fire me tomorrow?! I quit my job of five years so they could lay me off after six weeks?!” Suddenly the lack of loyalty I felt for their firm was wholly justified and called for anger to complete the balance the injustice.

“Oh my god!” was what I said out loud. The shock and sheer awe of the timing was life-defining. Another thought ran through my head: “If I hadn’t asked my friend to lunch yesterday, I would have been jobless tomorrow!”

Only God can orchestrate that kind of moment. I was struck with profound disbelief in what was happening and pure gratefulness for the care God took to show up as a supernatural provider in my life.

I took a few days off before I started with the roofing company yesterday. I’m still reeling from the shock of the change, but I am finally hopeful that my talents will not go to waste!


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