Douglas came home with great news yesterday. He had won his second Platinum award at his job. What this means is that for the second time, he had earned 20 employee awards, a total of forty awards in less than eight years! I am so proud of him, but I am not surprised that his customers and bosses recognize that he always gives his best.
These accomplishments almost didn’t happen. Douglas had been a chemist in his younger days, and he had also earned two Masters’ degrees. For three years, he had been a missionary in Kenya, Africa. He also had earned a law degree, before finding out that practicing law resulted in him getting ulcers.
So, he had always been a learned man. In fact, when we met on the Internet, I nicknamed him “Scholar,” and I still call him that today. He is one of the smartest people I know. He was looking forward to another academic career, teaching or as a chemist, when we moved to California from a small town in Illinois where I was teaching but he could not find a job.
He thought that he had found his newest career when he was hired as a math and science teacher at a Christian school. But Douglas believes that children have to earn grades, and that you do not help children learn their capabilities, if you do not hold them accountable. So, he gave a lot of failing grades, which, ultimately, lost him the job.
So, we found ourselves with me as the only breadwinner, and two weeks after I accepted a teaching position at a prestigious university, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I had not taught one class, so we feared that I would be fired, but, thanks be to Jesus, I retained my job.
By this time we were both in our late 50s, and everywhere Douglas furiously looked for a job, he was rejected, even with all of his educational credentials. It was a time of tremendous anxiety for us both.
Then, I came home one day to find that he had an interview! I was so excited, until he told me that it was for a laborer position. Although I didn’t believe that he was too good or too dainty for manual labor, I worried that taking a position below his capabilities would lead to depression and self-loathing on his part.
But, quite the opposite happened! He loved the work! He enjoyed talking to people and helping them find exactly what they needed for their homes, ensuring that they didn’t overspend. He relished a barrage of questions, providing answers and great service!
He liked that his colleagues thought him capable and honest, and that his bosses knew that they could depend on him to give eight hours’ work for eight hours pay. Truthfully, he gave more like ten hour’s work, as he gets restless when there are few customers, so he starts doing other people’s work!
I admired the fact that Scholar was willing to put aside his pride and do what needed to be done. So, I am not surprised that he is a Platinum employee, for he always gives his best, as a husband, father, Grandpa, Christian, and human being.
Congratulations, Scholar, on a great achievement. Your wife could not be more proud of you. Now, if I could just get you to retire permanently, as my wanderlust is going through the roof!