An angel’s gift not always topped with pink ribbon

I wanted to take a few minutes to continue my thoughts on our angels’ gifts, the quote that I wrote yesterday.

Angels cross your path daily to bring you what you need for the road you call your life. They may be long time travel buddies known as friends or just passers by; either way, each angel’s gift makes you who you are today and continues writing your road map.

When we think of the word gift, we often think of a nice present, something to smile about, a refreshing token of one’s appreciation of us. Unfortunately, or fortunately, our angels’ gifts can be quite the opposite at first, sometimes painful and scary, although they guarantee remarkable results on a longer term. WEIRD!

No, not so much… it follows the concept of lessons in life (that I will post about tomorrow). Such lessons can indeed be very painful, but the learning process that follows and the final outcome is always very positive. Consider this scenario:

A few months ago, a woman from the technical department transferred to our sales department. She was very pleasant and charming.  She would often come to us for help and because she was so nice, we agreed to give her a hand. Soon we realized she wasn’t doing anything on her own. We were always ending up doing the work for her.  She would often wait for the last minute and panic for help. We wouldn’t have a choice but to help out to get things done. In the meantime, our work piled up and we would have to stay longer to get through our pile. Everyone noticed this abusive behaviour and started complaining about her, but our boss didn’t seem to care or do much about it, as long as the work was done.  I was so upset by this, I was losing sleep. I kept talking to my husband about this and although he listened at first, he eventually told me to either do something about it or give my resignation. He was sick and tired of my complaining and this was causing arguments at home.  The children were affected by it too. I often skipped meals and stayed at work late to finish my projects. It wasn’t a healthy pattern at all. I knew others were in the same boat but since we weren’t ready to make a move, the situation didn’t get better. 

After one particularly bad argument with my husband, I finally decided to put a stop to this insanity. I thought of the options and wrote down my thoughts. The following week, I asked to see my boss and proposed to have an accountability project put in place for each employee, as a way to better calculate bonus structures. I told him this was a great motivator and an excellent way to increase productivity with a bonus incentive. He agreed and called a staff meeting to discuss. Each employee was now responsible for his and her own accounts.  As nobody was in the department for less than 6 months, everyone could work on their own accounts alone. I smiled knowing that I would finally sleep at night. The company may fall due to my slacking co-worker but things will get straightened out. That evening I told my husband what I did and he said he was so proud of me with a huge smile. I knew I was on the right track. 

As expected, everybody started getting busy with their work right away. The bonus incentive was a huge motivator for many of us. The first reports would come out at the end of the month, in 3 weeks. When our co-worker asked for help, we now had ammunition. “No, sorry, I have to work on my project.”  Needless to say she failed miserably and the company lost 2 good accounts within that period. The team didn’t take the blame for it, she did. She was put on probation immediately and soon after we heard that she handed in her resignation.

This passing angel may have caused a lot of pain, anger, frustration and ulcers, but she taught me something very valuable. She pushed me to the point where I had to use my brains and all my strength to come up with a solution; and I did. I helped my co-workers through the ordeal too. Imagine how proud I feel now to have come this far. My husband is also very happy for me and we have been able to surmount the obstacles.

Next step, pick up my bonus and ask for a promotion!

I think the story is pretty self-explanatory. This was just one example related to work, but we will also experience relationships or business dealings where a passing angel may or may not give us good information or lead us the right way, where they might be good to us or very harsh and cruel. In any case, the gift is a lesson in life that we should cherish as part of our growth process. If we use the gift well and learn from it properly, the outcome is tremendously beneficial.

Angels may stick around a long time or just pass by; they’ll always offer a gift, big or small, lovely or hurtful. Welcome them all equally. The path we call life would be quite lonely and boring otherwise.

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