Learning to be wise as serpents while being innocent as doves.
The first full time position I landed in Albuquerque was working at a brokerage firm. I had never worked in the Securities and Exchange area before and it was quite fascinating. I had many opportunities to share the gospel with my supervisor/co-worker (let’s call her Joy). My manager (let’s call him Charles) was not a Christian, although very devout in this faith and a very interesting man. He knew I was a Christian and tried to convince me that our faith was one and the same, but I knew better.
Initially I was hired to answer the phones and do mailings, but eventually I was entering orders on the phone and occasionally calling back customers with purchase confirmations. One day, after I had worked there for about 7 months, my manager was gone. A customer came to the order window and I took his order from him. He asked, “Is it legal for you to take an order if you are not a registered broker?” I had no idea what he was talking about and asked my supervisor/co-worker.
Wisdom seeks for truth.
The first to plead his case seems right,
Until another comes and examines him. Prov 18:17
She had worked there for several years and had just received her broker’s license (after a lot of stalling on the part of our boss). She stepped up to the window and said, that she would take the order from him as she was a broker. The next morning I asked my manager what this man was talking about. Charles assured me that the law stipulates that a registered broker must be employed in each office but that anyone could take an order. I went back to my desk satisfied until Joy said, “You can believe that if you want to.”
Now, of course, I had to investigate to find out what the law really said. I called the Security and Exchange Commission and asked my question. Finding out that you were unwittingly committing a felony was not a pleasant feeling! It is illegal for anyone but a registered broker to take, enter and confirm an order from or to a customer. As a clerk I could print out order confirmations the next day and mail them but I could not interact with the customers in any way regarding their stock orders.
Counting the cost.
I had to confront Charles with this information and tell him that I could no longer take orders, enter orders into the computer he had taken on the phone (which was the bulk of my job) or call back customers with confirmation. He seemed very understanding to me at that point in time.
The next morning, he called me in and told me that our office was doing so poorly that I was being reduced to half time employment. This was interesting since I had just opened a letter that morning saying how our office had one of the highest profit rates in the region!
These twenty years I have been in your house; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flock, and you changed my wages ten times. Gen. 31:41
Over the course of the next several weeks, Charles changed my hours 4 times. He had me coming in to work before the office opened at 7:30 to do clean up work from the night before. He later changed that so that I would stay at least a half hour after closing so that I could get mailings completed and ready for the early morning mail. Once he changed my hours so that I worked 2 hours early in the morning and 2 more hours late in the evening.
Learning to trust the job to God.
At the last change I went upstairs to an insurance company and applied for a position in the file room. The supervisor said that I was very over qualified but I said that if it didn’t bother me, it should not bother her. I was willing to work hard and do an excellent job but I needed full time work. She hired me on the spot on Thursday afternoon for me to start on Monday. I accepted.
That afternoon just before Charles left for the day, I gave notice saying that Friday was my last day. He, for the first time got really angry and said I had to give two weeks notice and which would mean the job upstairs would be gone. Fortunately, I had read my company handbook which stated that all part time employees were not required to give ANY notice when quitting. When I went in the next morning, there was a note on my desk saying that due to budget cuts my job was now eliminated and I could go home immediately.
This was a stressful time where I felt like Jacob, who had his wages changed so many times over the twenty-one years when he worked for Laban. But in the end, God was the One in charge of me. He provided a good job that I kept for the next year until I got married and moved to Indiana. At my new job I was able to lead two gals to Christ and have a bible study during the lunch hour. It was a wonderful victory, but it is so important to understand that my challenging time with Charles helped to mold me more into the image of Christ. And for that I’m truly grateful!
All Scripture quotations are taken from the NASB.
Unless otherwise indicated, photos from pixaby.com