I can only describe my day on Wednesday of last week as “Mmm…”

The LORD revealed to me a specific answer to prayer regarding a job. In addition, I have been encouraged in what I am passionate to achieve for God’s glory, but I am so overwhelmed with the task that I backtrack like a sewer rat waiting for people to drop their food.

In fact, I had a rather weird day. The day itself was different to say the least, but mostly a weird day.

As soon as Dad parked outside Tollcross on Wednesday morning, he left the car for me to use for the day. I parked at the usual cage outside of work. When I arrived, I felt compelled to go to a coffee shop. I tend to sip inside a coffee shop exclusively on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as I travel by bus ridiculously early. I usually arrive in Glasgow for 7am, which gives me ample of time to sit and reflect.

After parking the car at the cage, I walked to the City Centre and visited a particular coffee shop. It was around 7.30am by the time I arrived on foot and ordered an expensive cup of cappuccino. I flipped open my laptop and finished typing up some documents. I stayed for an hour, before deciding to head up to work only to find that we were vandalised (yet again). The first time we were vandalised occurred one month ago, when someone threw a brick into our training room of computers. Only the window was smashed, the computers were surprisingly still intact.

Last Wednesday’s story was intriguingly different, as someone broke inside the main building (via the car park) and smashed up the signage of our organisation using a heavy duty fire extinguisher. I reckon it’s an inside job, as the fire extinguisher was targeting directly at our signage, which is positioned fairly high on our reception window. I mean, why go through all the effort to smash a sign, but not steal valuable laptops. Fortunately, no forced entry in our locked rooms, which is a real blessing for me, as I have *ahem* 4 work laptops, 2 monitors and 2 computers on (and around) my desk.

Edit: At the time of writing, we were vandalised for the third time in less than 2 months. This time, our office window was smashed. The projectile smashed through two panes of glass (double glazing), which left a near-perfect circle. Amazingly, the force of the projectile was so extreme it dented our filing cabinet opposite of our main window. The person should really be training for Team GB, because he/she has a good strong arm and will certainly go far in the next Olympics.

I learned from my immediate colleague that one of the senior management team was looking for me personally that same morning, at a time when I typically arrive around 8am, only to help her carry stuff from her car. The very same person who has received a nodding pay bump, whilst others have either been made redundant and left to look elsewhere to apply for jobs left, right and centre. Believe me when I say we have lost plenty of good experienced staff, team leaders and managers.

So yeah, I unintentionally avoided being ‘used’ by senior management. Amen!

Small Talk

I had a spurring chat with another colleague at work. We were literally whispering concerns whether our positions were safe, an inside word that is no longer sacred. It’s sadly the nature of our typical workplace – and from what I’ve heard from veterans in the field, it’s seemingly the norm in the social care sector.

I later bumped into the same colleague, as I was setting up a new telephone in her office. I only needed to connect 3 cables and leave, though I couldn’t help myself but catch up with her in conversation. From one chatty topic to another, the conversation soon evolved to social enterprises and funding, which is a topical subject that struck a chord within me. Curiously, she presented to me a folder laden with brochures and guides with regards to social enterprises. This all sparked when I shared a snippet of what I feel compelled to achieve, in the hope of helping disadvantaged people living in the fringes of society (amongst others) return to full-time employment. She actively deals with folk who are in prison as they strive for a new life outside of the cells, and I’m still wrapped up in scope and funding.

I have never found myself so absorbed in awe to learn that we bounced off each other with honest encouragement. I know my current role is to please management and my energy is sapped like a leech each day. I don’t obviously please management. I’ve never been a people pleaser, just a hard worker. During my time here, I aim to learn new skills and acquire a good reference, something which I consider to be a golden nugget in terms of future paid employment. My brain tells me to secure a stable job to save up on worldly savings for this venture. However, my faith tells me to jump, whilst my heart weeps for the lost and unreached – locally on our doorsteps.

Audible Prayer Request

After my shift ended that day, I drove home praying for God’s confirmation and wisdom, as I sought to prepare for a telephone interview. Due to my hectic day, I didn’t set aside time to prepare or even think through the advertised position.

I couldn’t help but grin and groan at my own lack of understanding. I found myself writing more questions about the role than I should be excited of the sheer existence of the position. My instantly delayed red flag. Fair enough, it’s an opportunity that is a 20-minute walk from our house, which is a 4-minute drive. But I couldn’t convince myself that this would be a sensible opportunity. It finally dawned on me that they secured a 3-year lottery grant to demand the impossible, which I know is impractical.

The distance from the advertised role is obviously very appealing and it’s a management role, which is also appealing, but when someone thinks my 2008 website is impressive, I have to raise my eyebrows. Though I can Google evidence of a corporate website that I hand-coded for a former employer, I judge my own work as mediocre, hence I would rather teach myself web programming from scratch using modern standards, than revisit old school techniques. If only there was more than 24 hours in a day!

I also sensed that there is no background or technical knowledge in digital design, programming and the arts among the senior management team, thus I will not receive the appropriate nurture and level-headed critique for me to grow in a creative role. I like a good challenge, but I also appreciate accountability if such a thing exists in today’s culture and society. I did have a glance at the board of directors and they seemed like a dodgy reunion tour band for the Village People.

I was also troubled that they claimed themselves as ‘an award-winning’ digital agency, and yet, there is no diddly-squat of evidence of actual awards, never mind proven works. Going by that suspicious standard and their quick interest to interrogate me for further interview, I pulled the trigger and turned them down.

As they say on Dragon’s Den, ‘I’m out.’

I blame myself for being so sapped in energy like a leech. If I was more alert, then I would avoid wasting time on false opportunities. As much as I want to throw myself under the bus with this underlying Kingdom-focus vision, I wish I had the balls to literally drop my balls to acquire funding, so I can focus on the project without worrying about a bog-standard annual salary. Life is worth more than £61.91 per day that I genuinely want to serve others through Christ.

It’s a good thing I was encouraged in new materials surrounding social enterprises.

I have no idea why I am blogging and reflecting more. Perhaps I am learning to be still in reflecting God’s work within my life that I feel compelled to share.

Anyhow, if I’m allowed, I hope to take Good Friday and Easter Monday off. Not only can I reflect on God’s goodness, but I want to commit time to reading and re-plan this Kingdom-focus vision concept from cheap idea to reality. Ha! Better late than never.

~Richard