I received a phone call a few weeks back. A couple of guys that I formerly worked alongside were working successfully in the Texas area doing insurance roof sales. They asked me if I would be interested in coming on board with
them. The opportunity was lucrative (especially in this economy) and the job offer gave way for an exceptional travel opportunity, as well. They were looking to fill the position immediately, so I was asked to give a response as soon as possible.
I visited with my husband about the details. But in the end, declined the position for a number of personal reasons.
I made the phone call to the Roofers in Texas and I declined the opportunity for myself, but I recommended somebody equally as qualified with a stronger
administrative background than even I had. I offered up my sister, Lacey.
The guys asked 20 minutes worth of questions before hanging up with “Thank you, we will keep her in mind,” before calling back to ask a few more questions. They were clearly interested in bringing Lacey on board, instead.
They called Lacey and spoke with her for an hour or so. They discussed her
background, her personal life, her abilities, her expectations, her skill set. They offered her the job and they said they needed her to come to TX right away. She informed them that she had hoped to finish out her school semester first–and that because of school, she would not be available until 3 weeks out. Lacey told me she could feel the urgency in their voices. She knew that if they had had it their way, she would have found herself on the very next trip out of town. Lacey was asked to take a couple of days to make her big decision, and to call back ASAP.
You may or may not know my family very well. We are Johnson’s. We really don’t leave the Wichita metro for anything outside of vacation time. Our furthest living relatives live in Clearwater, KS–and every year, come Thanksgiving, we all reunite for turkey dinner. Extensive travel is not involved–Everything brought to the potluck table is homemade, hot out of the oven–And very little catching up is necessary because very little changes occur from year to year (with the exception of the occasional addition of a powder-smelling, plump, little baby).
Well, despite this long-standing tradition, Lacey chose to break out of her box. She called the Roofers up and accepted the out of state job. She decided to take a risk and stick her neck out there. We were all so proud of her. The Roofers were excited, as well. Her start date was confirmed and they told her that they would go ahead and secure her apartment for her. Lacey told them that she would go ahead and place her 2 weeks notice with her current employer and that she would talk to them soon.
The pride that Lacey exuded was like none I’ve seen before. She felt like she had really made a ballsy move. And we felt the same. A week went by, and those of us around her began to accept the reality that she would be leaving very soon. Plans began to form for going-away parties, packing, hauling, etc. Her excitement built and our bitter-sweet sadness grew.
With 1.5 weeks left to go, Lacey received a phone call from one of the Roofers. He informed her that he was quite sorry but that ‘things had changed’ and that they ‘no longer needed’ her in Texas. Lacey, at a loss for words, didn’t say much. The Roofer said that his associate would call her in a couple of days to discuss the possibility of opening a Kansas City office with her. So the call ended.
Lacey’s position with her current employer was so valuable that as soon as Lacey placed her two weeks notice, a new girl was brought on board for training purposes. Lacey’s old job was gone.
Lacey went from feelings of opportunity, open door and new growth to those of regret, embarrassment and “2 steps forward, 3 steps back.” The family was furious, Lacey was heartbroken and the Roofers were nowhere to be found.
The Roofer’s associate never called Lacey back.
At this point, the men refuse to receive or return any of Lacey’s phone calls. Perhaps some part of their conscience doesn’t agree with what they’ve done? Perhaps they really don’t give a damn and they’re really just that rude.
Either way, Lacey’s outlook on this series of events is something I admire and respect. She spent about 20 minutes crying and feeling sorry for herself. But from that point forward, she accepted the outlook of “Everything happens for a reason,” and “This is the way it is supposed to be.”
She has not once badmouthed the Roofers. She has yet to freak out about the idea that she (as of last Friday) has no source of income in an economy that will not be able to offer her any favors whatsovever. She has remained her typical happy, bubbly, ‘life will go on,’ self. Lacey’s inner ‘bad-assednes’ has definitely been triggered. If I am the big sister, why do I feel like I am the one receiving the big lesson, here?
Lacey’s new job will come along when it is time. I will continue to reflect on her ability to not look back and to live today with no regret. Life throws us punches and we get right back up. Yes, it stings. But it also gives us tougher skin. (Better stock up on the Lubriderm).
(By the way, this photo was taken post ‘screw-you’ from the Roofers at Lacey’s birthday celebration. While she does wear the color pink quite often, she does not typically sport pink, flowery leis).