After the economy went belly up, I found my entire department laid off, and people who had much better resumes than me were competing for jobs that a year before, none of us would have wanted. Like so many others, I had to branch out with my lesser-depended on skills, and find a job in fields that I really had no experience in. This may be fun for the young, but for the middle-aged me, it was stressful.
Through a friend, I was able to land a job as a paralegal. Now, the analytically inclined curve of my brain really
loved this kind of work. Attention to detail is something I really enjoyed, as well as the pure beauty of the law. But then, add in that you work for lawyers, and it all kind of goes right into the toilet. The fact that I was working for an unscrupulous attorney who seemed to think I was an idiot made it even worse. This guy joined one of the biggest churches in Tulsa to drum up business, and his accounting practices were deceitful and greedy. No, I wasn’t going to last at this job.
I could write posts and posts on this little misadventure, but I’ll skip it today. The guy was a twit. Instead, I want to talk about killing time at work. For whatever reason, it has always been an unspoken rule that one should always look like you are busy, even if you have completed your work. I know, I know. You’re being paid, so you should give your employer 100% effort. I get it. But, isn’t it lying to pretend that you are working when all you are doing is laying manuals around your desk in an effort to look busy? Yes. I’ve done that, too.
Working in Human Relations and accounting, this was kind of a thorn in my side, but I found a really, really cool past time for killing time when I was working as a paralegal. I began to read the appeals the State of Oklahoma published on-line. Hey! Learning about the law = becoming a better paralegal, right? Oh.My.God.
There are some pretty evil people in this world, and they aren’t wearing signs to warn the rest of us. After two months of reading appeals in my down time, I was freaking myself out. My grown kids suddenly had all kinds of rules about checking in with me, and what started as a way to make time pass at work became a full-fledged obsession with me. I was reading them at home, sometimes late into the night.
It seems like everything the Worst People in Our Society did always started as something simply innocuous, like this:
They always ended by doing something terrifying and horrible to some unsuspecting person who had wandered into their sights. I was getting jaded about humanity. I stopped being friendly, especially at convenience stores. Eye-contact was vanishing, and a homeless guy wandering near my car was enough to trigger a full-fledged panic attack. Suddenly, everyone was a potential murderer and rapist in my world.
My eldest kid, Bekkie, was appalled by my hour-long lectures on being safe while functioning in this world, and told me to stop reading those stupid appeals. “Either God is in control of what happens to us, or He isn’t,” were her wise little words. I took them to heart, and started wading my way back to reality.
My mother told me once that there are two wolves in every person — the good one and the bad one. Whichever one you feed the most, that one will be the stronger one. I had to make a decision to stop feeding the wolf that was terrifying me, making me afraid to live my life, and start feeding the one that trusted God and knew He was at the reins of my life.
Lesson learned, I always have to guard my eyes and my heart. Being cautious is a good thing in this life, but being afraid of every shadow makes life too stressful and unhappy.
I’m going to go to the convenience store and strike up a conversation with the homeless guy…but I’m taking my husband to guard my back… 🙂 .