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My Witness Chapter IV – A Rebuilding Year

a rebuilding year

Copyright Chris Upson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

I walked into a hornet’s nest in Texas. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Within seven months, I was all used up. I’d lost control of my branch and I had no idea how to stand up for myself. I didn’t even know it was ok to stand up for myself.

There was a management transition and the new leaders that came in knew I couldn’t make it much longer. I was grateful for the opportunity to take a step back and rebuild my confidence. That change was the catalyst for a lot of great things in my life.

Rising Out of the Ashes

I lost 60 pounds and started bonding with my employees. My new boss, Chuck, taught me the value of always being there for them. He wasn’t very eloquent at times but he knew how to build a loyal team. He had our backs and we had his. Most of us thrived in this environment. The ones who didn’t thrive saw the writing on the wall and eventually worked their way into other jobs or headed off to other companies.

Those who stayed the course and performed well were rewarded. Chuck went to bat for two employees in particular, who were applying for supervisor roles. He knew they were great candidates but he was concerned about how they would be perceived by the hiring managers because the job responsibilities were quite a bit different. He sat down with the hiring managers and told it like it was. He had complete confidence in these two gentlemen and he made sure they knew it.

Both were hired and rightfully so, for them, their families and the people they would be able to influence in a leadership role. I was especially happy for their promotions because I had supervised both of them and, I hope, made some small contribution to their development.

I sometimes forget what Chuck taught me about being unafraid of those things you’re not the best at. His heart was in the right place and he had a true passion for service and that’s all that mattered. With lemons successfully made into lemonade and things going rather well, change inevitably found me again.

On The Move Again…

I was supposed to be going into a new role at one of our Service Centers. I really wasn’t into it. I was afraid of it. My baggage – the devil’s work for sure – held me back from embracing this new role. After a total of 2 ½ years in Texas, I decided it was time to move on. I found a very interesting transfer opportunity in Cleveland, OH so, with Jennifer’s blessing, I applied. Thankfully, I got the job and we were headed east. Jennifer hadn’t lived anywhere like Cleveland before but I was looking forward to it since it resembled other places I’d lived.

I was finally going to be closer to my family who were just 3 ½ hours away in Buffalo and I’d be working at corporate headquarters with on-site health care, fitness center, and cafeteria. Ironically, Jennifer was really starting to enjoy Texas, having made good friends in our neighborhood. She was in love with our house, too. (I can’t blame her. It’s one of my favorites, as well.)

There was also the adoption to consider. Changing states meant completing another home study and updating our family profile. Despite the obstacles, we went forward with the move and ended up buying a house in the same subdivision where friends of ours, Barb and Eric, were building. We knew them from our time in Kansas City and they’d arrived in Cleveland a few years earlier.

Just after we moved in, we learned Eric would be welcomed into full Communion with the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil. We were honored to be invited to share in the event. I was a little wary about a three hour church service, seeing as this wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, but I relented.

That was a wise decision on my part…

In case you missed them…

My Witness Chapter III – Adventures in Infertility

My Witness Chapter II – Marriage and Moving

My Witness Chapter I – My Witness Begins

The story continues…

My Witness Chapter V – Transformation Beginning

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