In the coastlands.

Three twenty-one in the P.M. here in the coastlands on this weekday of Thor, 17 December 2015. I am sipping Maxwell House dark roast and mulling over options as to how I will spend the rest of this day.

This morning I awoke around 6:30 and read in Job and Psalms before calling my supervisor, who had attempted to call me yesterday. He asked some questions about customer contracts, then proceeded to ream me out over the fact that my company car was late getting serviced. I tried to explain that I have been out sick for the past two-and-a-half weeks and was therefore not responsible for making sure the car was serviced, but he continued to be threatening in tone, implying that I would receive corrective action if this ever happened again. After I got off the phone, I told Sikki I was in trouble for something that occurred at work, though I haven’t been at work for nearly three weeks. She wasn’t even surprised. I thought about calling his boss, but decided I’d cool off first since I was pretty riled up.

I prayed about it. The Lord is a God of knowledge and nothing is hidden from Him. Being attacked for something that isn’t my fault in light of my recent prayers seems like it should hold some meaning. I am a servant and a son, so I quickly turned the anger over to Him, and the unfairness, and the sheer strangeness of the accusation. All of it. I asked Him for wisdom in what, if anything, I should do about it.

I went to the doctor for followup this morning and explained that my lungs are still funky and I’m crazy tired and short-of-breath. He is keeping me out of work until I see the pulmonologist on the 23rd. I was in the waiting room for an unusually long time and happened to look over the past several text exchanges I’ve had with my supervisor. Surprisingly (and ass-coveringly), I had texted him on my way to hospital 15 days ago, 12/2/15 at 3:30 P.M.:

“My car is due for service.”

For a minute I thought I’d email a screenshot to human resources and his boss and everyone and their mothers. But I only emailed him:

Hey bud,

I know the pressures of your job come constantly and you have to put out fires from above and below — there’s always a crisis. That being said, I was pretty furious this morning regarding our discussion of the company car. I was trying to tell you that the car just became due for service at the time that my sickness began, which was 11/30/15. I have not had the car or the keys or any responsibility at all concerning the vehicle since then. I asked Jeff whether the car had been serviced when I spoke to him last Monday. He said it hadn’t, but that he had written it up. I said, “No, you have to turn it in..turn it into Rob in the morning.” That is how the car happened to be turned in this week: my intervention into the situation while out sick.

In addition, when I was on my way to the hospital 15 days ago, I also notified you via text that the car was due for service and where my Support Vehicle Checklists could be located. (Screenshot attached.)

I felt as if you were trying to lay responsibility for the problem on me this morning and when you said, “I’ve talked to you about this before and I ain’t going to talk about it again,” I took that as a threat of disciplinary action and a failure to hear me.

The last time something like this happened, I called Randy immediately out of sheer frustration. My knee-jerk reaction was to do so again this morning, but I didn’t: I am not interested in rubbing anyone’s nose in things or making people look bad. I think you do a fine job as a manager; and I understand the often overwhelming nature of being in middle management at this company. One of the things I told Randy at the height of my frustration this summer is that I want you to be successful in your role. I still do.

Things will come up and I’m not perfect, but if you can give me the benefit of the doubt next time, I’d appreciate it.

Thanks for your help and support,
Steve

Life is full of strange dramas. Sikki said the other night: “Maybe you won’t go back.”

The doctor said, “I haven’t seen a patient like you in a long time.” Meaning that I’m not all better and he doesn’t know why. They did another chest x-ray and the pneumonia appears to be gone. I asked the doctor whether exercising is advisable to help me get my strength and breath back. He said no, but I might disobey him a little because I cannot just sit around, eating and sleeping. Yesterday I did a load of laundry in the morning and then literally spent the whole rest of the day and all last night on the couch and in bed. I have never felt so lacking in energy. Even just sitting here typing, I am breaking out in a sweat. Gravity is bearing down hard.

Therefore glorify the LORD in the east, The name of the LORD, the God of Israel, In the coastlands of the sea. – Isaiah 24:15

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Author: Steve Hobbs

I live and write near the beaches of Brunswick County, NC. I entered this fallen reality in 1975. My wife Sikki and I were married in 1997. We have five children. I am a follower of Jesus and a seeker of truth.

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