Friday, June 15, 2007
The View From Above
I was nearly hoping today that I would be met at the door by a group of my management, escorted to a closed office, and dismissed. I was nearly in tears as I drove in today, not at the thought of the humiliation of being terminated, but rather at having to stick it out for one more day.
I've experienced burnout before, but never to this degree, never without an end in sight, never from a position in which I am so completely trapped. And I have to admit, I feel abandoned by God in some ways because nothing is happening and I can't find an escape hatch from this professional burial ground. And I'm running out of air.
Funny thing, though; God uses the every-day to get our attention and teach us lessons we would not otherwise understand.
I've been dealing with a customer who had a bad experience with a new vehicle. Unfortunately, due to some bad advice she was given, she's now in an even worse position. I explained her position up front, having to be very careful to let her know that I was not giving any final answer, just defining the worst case and probable scenario while I worked to research the issue for her. I had to give her a lot of information, which, I knew, at the time didn't make a lot of sense. I realized I'd be having this discussion with her again.
Today we spoke again. I had spoken with the person who made the error, learned something additional, and called the customer to follow up.
She was very upset. She expressed that she literally felt like everyone had abandoned her and because she had to make calls on her own to another company to step up and handle the situation, that she was totally on her own. In reality, this woman experienced a miracle; she managed to get this other company to do something I had NEVER been able to get them to do in my years in this job. Nor had I ever met anyone else who had success with them. And so quickly! No, they aren't resolving her problem...not yet...but it looks promising.
She continued to vent, telling me how unhappy she was with me, with us as a company, with the person who made the error, and how abandoned she was.
I sympathized with her; she had a point, and certainly I did understand it. But I had to remind her that I had been very up front with her with regard to what she was facing; she agreed with that. But she was still angry.
Somehow we managed to go point by point, in a very logical manner, and I did a lot of listening. She said what she had to say, and while she was upset, she was rational and recognized the humanity of all parties involved. I actually found her to be quite refreshing, for this was a woman who had a right to be frustrated and angry, but who had the balance to be able to discuss the issues and even HEAR the answers.
I told her how amazed I was with what she had accomplished, and explained why; I explained the process I'd have to follow in accordance with company policy and state law. I explained the detriment to her, the time frame, and the historical response from the other company, likely due to their own policies. I explained the frustration on our end because of the stonewalling, delays, etc., and that I have NEVER gotten the response that she did. I explained how she had knocked down barriers that can not be ovecome from our end.
She was amazed, too. She was under the impression that we, being in "the biz" had all the clout and that things would be easier. How far from the reality of the situation!
Somewhere during this conversation, I realized that I was so clearly able to see her entire situation as a big picture; I knew the steps, I knew the legalities, I knew all the little pieces that had to fall into place. I knew the players involved and what they do and don't do. And I also knew the unfortunate customer's position because I'd worked with and for so many like her.
But she had a very small view; she had her notions as to how things should go, and had no idea how large the picture really was. During our conversation, I revealed to her all the workings behind the scenes, and remined her also of the fact of real people doing real things to work towards a decision or resolution of this issue.
She was amazed. She was floored. She was delighted to learn that things WERE happening, even though she couldn't see it. She was thrilled to learn that all the people involved really DO care about her situation and truly want to help her.
Is this beginning to sound familar to anyone?
I'm going to come out and say it; this scenario I lived out professionally today is exactly the scenario I've been living out spiritualy for a long time now.
I know I'm miserable. So does God. So do the Angels and the Saints. Everyone knows I want resolution, and everyone knows my preconcieved ideas as to what that resolution should be, and perhaps it is...but that doesn't mean other things have to be done first. It's a process, but one far more complicated than what I described to my customer today.
God sees the entire picture. He sees my problem, he really is helping, and so are all those Saints to whom I have prayed for intercession. I have experienced much grace this week, in spite of all my trials. I have experienced real affirmations of intercession. I still don't have the big picture; but God does.
And one other point, perhaps a very important one; I revealed to my customer today how detrimental our involvement would be in this situation, and how she's accomplished so much and knocked down barriers by virtue of the fact that we could NOT be involved.
And that little interior voice is telling me the same thing; if God was doing it all for me, crucial things would not be overcome, because I'm the only one with the authority to knock down those barriers. There are certain things I have to do myself, certain steps I have to take, and no matter what, God remains in charge of when those barriers fall and which remain erected.
I think we can all identify, because we all challenge God, we all want things our way. But as it says, God's ways are not our ways, which is as it should be, for He has the grand-scale view, He's reading the blueprints, he's designing the blueprints and he's tracking our progress.
When I was a kid, one of my favorite songs in church was, "I believe in God", typical of the folksy liturgical style of the times. But I have to admit, that song has remained with me and still serves to remind me that things are not always as they seem.
"I believe in the sun, even when it isn't shining.
I believe in love, even when there's no one there.
And I believe in God
I believe in God
Even when He is silent."
I learned today that God is not nearly so silent as I thought.