Oct. 25, 2010
My kids love to go to DisneyQuest, Disney’s Indoor Interactive Theme Park. Their favorite attraction is one in which they get to design their own virtual roller coasters.
Lately, everything has made me look at life as a virtual roller coaster. We’re all riding, but the rides we’ve created are different.
Some prefer speed. Some prefer loops. Some prefer figure eights. Some prefer corkscrews. Some love the delayed gratification of the dangling suspension. Some love the mystery of the climb. Some love the thrill of the drop. Some love the suspense of the not seen. Then there are those who opt for the smooth-gliding, reliable straight pathways with no surprises. Some even ride in reverse. And some choose not to design but have their ride designed for them. Whatever the preference, we all ride.
I never write about my full-time gig. Sure, it’s for protection. Or something like that. I’m not exactly sure whom or what I’m attempting to protect. Anyway, I’ve arrived at a place where I need to say a little because the things happening at work have affected every area of my life. I’m hostage to these stupid thoughts, so I guess it’s time to set the captive free.
Our company is being sold. The process has been a very long, drawn-out one that has caused a great deal of anxiety among the employees. Each person is handling the situation differently. To add to the anxiety of the sale, we’re also moving buildings, an entirely separate stress. By Thursday at 5 p.m., we’re to have all of our belongings packed up and labeled.
When word first leaked of the sale, a few people rushed to accept new jobs. Others haven’t been as lucky. Senior managers can be overheard in the break room or in the halls discussing the lack of response to their distributed resumes. They can’t even get an interview. Several married couples have worked for the company for double-digit years and have a lot invested in it. A large handful of employees have endured the experience of new ownership a couple of times, including a relocation of the company.
For most people, this experience is the equivalent of accepting a job—that likely will be temporary—for which they didn’t apply. We have no idea what Nov. 1 will bring, but we can expect massive changes. For the past few months, we’ve been pulled in and out of meetings, and the number of employees has decreased substantially. What started as a rumor has become something very, very real. We’re left to walk down halls of empty cubicles and boxes of what was.
(Funny, as I wrote that paragraph, Israel Houghton’s voice was singing through my speakers “Our Best is Yet to Come.”)
A few days ago when I walked out of the break room, one of my coworkers pointed to her feet. She had accidentally worn mismatched shoes: a red strappy number and a black sandal. We could only laugh. For hours. That sums up our situation pretty well. We’re running around frantically, wearing our anxiety as she wore her shoes. “Game face” for us looks like this: One person’s hair is standing up; another’s skin is breaking out like a teenager’s; and another’s eyes are bugged. One brave soul had a meeting with our general manager the other day. Trying to look calm and professional, she delivered her ideas cautiously. When she exited his office, her husband gasped and asked what had happened to her chest: She’d broken out into hives! So much for calm, cool and collected. Such is our atmosphere. It’s tough. Really tough.
So many things are changing it seems like I’ve selected the super turbo ride. But, through it all, of this I am confident: My ride drops low and fast, but when it rises, it soars. God has always protected me. Without fail. And I do not doubt him, now. I may not get it, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t smiling in the back of my mind somewhere. Why? Well, I didn’t design my ride. He did. And He is faithful.