I was out in the yard gardening at 6 am this morning, trying to beat the heat, which didn’t work out, and I suddenly thought, “Hey I didn’t explain in my last blog that I was innocent of the charges!” So I guess I better expand on yesterday’s blog. I believe that many people have found themselves right where I was and I think it is good to talk about what happened and how God showed me to react in the end and why. Of course at first I reacted in a typical manner, hurt, shocked, angry, yes and tearful and wanting vindication.
As I mentioned in the last blog, a new employee accused me of being a racist after very little contact with me after just three days! I was shocked when one of my managers came into my office, shut the door and told me what had been said. I couldn’t believe it. I had barely spoken to this person and had minimal contact of any kind.
I was to learn later on that it was partly based on how I conducted myself with an upper management person from another company who came into my office in the presence of this person. This director walked past the new worker with a brief greeting and came directly into my office. He had called me prior to let me know he was coming in to discuss business and that is what we did. I had worked with this man for months and we got along well. We discussed business and in the course of it all we laughed over a few things, nothing rude or racial, just the usual talk with an associate you are used to working with extensively.
Later I was told that I was rude for not introducing him and that we talked and laughed like we were great friends and that too was rude. This new person listened to the entire conversation and related their version of it another new staff member.
From that point on I was forced to work in what the world calls a toxic environment watching my back, my conversation with the many different people I associated with to get my job done, my phone calls and my comings and goings. I shut the door of my office to make a private business call and that was deemed rude and went on the list of accusations. The job I had loved and excelled in had suddenly become a battle of spiritual warfare. I call it that because the forces at work were not natural.
Finally a conflict arose with another of the new staff and I was off for three days over something which was never explained and had nothing to do with my actions. When I came back to my office I found it had been taken over by this new person who had been making accusations. I was forced to take all my files and move to our other office a few miles away. You would assume it would get worked out and I’d get my office back soon but in my spirit I had warning that I wouldn’t be returning . When I left for the three days I took all my personal things out of the office because I knew I’d never be back. The Holy Spirit will warn you of things like that if you listen for His soft voice. I’ve relied on His warnings and nudges for so long that I never doubt them. If I hadn’t there is no telling what would have become of my personal things. When I went in to pick up my files I found all my Christian verses and sayings torn off my wall and file cabinet and tossed in the trash.
I worked in the main office for a little over a week and then the grievance was filed against me and I was sent home initially for two weeks with pay. I was devastated to say the least. My whole world was falling apart. I had a two-year contract with the company and I loved my job and suddenly because of one person it was all shattering and falling around me. I didn’t even know what the accusations were for over a week, when I was called in to have a hearing with the company HR man and my advocate.
I had kept lots of notes on everything that happened on the job since the first accusation so I had a pretty good idea what was going to be said and I was ready with answers. Again, the Holy Spirit had prompted me when things happened that didn’t seem right and I recorded everything. The HR man was pretty much on my side and I felt it would all be dropped but he quit the job a day after the hearing and it started over.
An upper management man from a company office in another city was trying to push it through in a hurry. I wasn’t ready to have him make the decision so I took all my sick leave and what few days I had of holiday pay and stayed off two more weeks. It required a certificate from a doctor but by that time I was so stressed it was easy to get. During that time I sent letters to the company headquarters HR on my behalf and consulted with legal advisers where I live and by phone in another city. The answers from all the legal advisers was constructive dismissal and you won’t win due to new work place rules here in this country that say if you aren’t with the company for 6 months or longer you don’t have any say.
I spent a lot of the time studying the Word, reading good books by Christians and listening to God’s directing. It was a very hard time because I have never been accused of anything like this person came up with, in or out of work. It was all lies and distortions. This person was good friends with upper management so I didn’t have a chance of having my defense believed or listened to.
Long before the grievance was even filed, I had decided I was going to stand on the truth no matter what happened. We are called to shine light on darkness and what was happening to me was definitely in the darkness. I knew that in the end there were only two ways I could choose. I could bow to the lies and accept the discipline which would have been hours of counseling about my work and my attitude and what good would come of it all? I would have a check against my work ethics which was unmerited. The accuser would be even more empowered by the apparent win and I would still have to watch my back. This person had made a statement that satisfaction would only come by my dismissal.
Denying it and providing my own proof of how the story really went had done no good. The fact that I had a spotless work history, did my job very well, was highly respected by all my associates from other companies and within my own company including management, meant nothing to upper management. I had raised no dispute with my accuser other than in the beginning I had asked for answers as to what I had done so I could apologize. All I was ever told was, “you know what you did.” That was clear as mud.
So after much discussion with God and listening for His directing I decided not to submit to the discipline for something I didn’t do. I didn’t turn in a resignation but merely wrote a letter telling them that I stood on the truth I had told them. I could no longer work for a company that would treat a staff member in the way I had been treated. They had not adhered to their own rules in the procedure. In a few words I told them I was very disappointed in their conduct as a Christian company and that I could no longer work for them so I was terminating my employment with them immediately. Oh I didn’t mention earlier that this was/is a well-known Christian organization which made it all the harder to accept.
I had perfect peace about handling the whole thing that way. I felt God was working out something with the whole situation and I had to trust Him. Next blog I’ll tell you what He was working out for me and the company.
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27: 13-14
Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today… The LORD will fight for you….