Shocking in many ways. The man or boy, he was quite young, swore at his supervisor and walked out. Until a few months ago he had always been pleasant and well mannered : one of the brighter stars. People were surprised. No one saw it coming. There was no choice in the matter. If he returned he would have to be disciplined for unprofessional conduct, or dismissed if he failed to reappear. People were at a loss to explain his conduct, and in the absence of anything else to go by put it down to jealousy.
When they met at work a friendship slowly developed. Both with other people in their personal lives they were drawn to each other, laughed at the same situations, jokes and shared much of the same outlook. He was sympathetic and understanding, gentle and looked out for her. Clever but undirected he used to help her with the more technical side of her job.They shared lunch hours, emails and coffee breaks but there was nothing to suggest there was anything more to the relationship, although they always looked right together. There was an intimacy of feeling between them but both were held back by their current commitments
Two people went up for the same promotion, a boy and a girl. There was nothing to choose between them. Both were excellent employees and could fill the vacancy with ease. It turned out, although it was not disclosed, that the girl had been to the same school as the sister of the manager, and in the absence of any other factor this got her the job.
A man came to this country many years ago, escaping the unrest in his homeland and through pitiless hard work, built himself a small business supplying lunch packs to large offices. The lessons of his life were harsh and his standards unforgiving. When his daughter got into university it was the proudest day of his life. She left after one year, “because she wanted to find herself”, he was beyond frustration and lashed out at her verbally. He had long since forgotten the comment.
A boy was quieter than his siblings and somewhat younger than the rest. Living inside himself he seldom spoke, and found his opinion to be the last one sought. Clever but shy he seldom made new friends, and opened himself up slowly to their lives. When opportunity came near him he always seemed to be second choice and wished they would take him more seriously. He has a girlfriend who is decent in her way but once at work he made a friend with whom he could finally be himself. He trusted her with feelings never shared before.
She had never been taken seriously at home and her boyfriend always seemed to poke fun at her. Always the awkward one she normally sat on the fringes of crowds, a spectator rather than a leader. She was ambitious but didn’t know how to express it. Caught between her parent’s culture and her friends. When she left university after one year her father, angry beyond measure had stated. ” You will never amount to anything by yourself. You need to smarten yourself up and find a good husband to look after you”. The comment revisited her on regular occasions and made her eyes sting with anger and frustration.
Now in her new position she couldn’t but help mention her promotion to her father on a regular basis. It was the first step. The vindication of what she had done. She longed to feel his pride in her. At work she loved the slightly larger desk. Her closest friend, who didn’t get her job, told her it was just luck, not skill which put her in that chair not him. She was his boss, she thought, and should show her some respect.Why could’nt he just be glad for her. She made a point of examining his work more thoroughly than the rest, and ceased to lunch with him as it would just not be right, or so she thought..
So it continues, born of parents with histories of their own,ricocheting from almost forgotten events. No clean slates we must scribble where we can Part of a play we joined half way through, or near the end: whose to say . Reacting to others strengths developed unconsciously, or over laboured or somewhere in between, we struggle to make sense of where we are, and seek for answers in the lives me meet. Some lost in thought seek out the wilderness and pray for answers far from public gaze. Others, lost or muddled as are we, barge into us searching for common themes; wishing somehow, they could start it all again. That person that you meet, is searching as you are, recovering and growing all at once. Could we step outside our own experience and validate a life that is not our own . Bestowing faith where only judgements dwelt.