Thursday, April 19, 2007

Conviction or Distraction?

This is going to sound a little weird, but here goes.

Since the first part of November of last year, I've had a thorn in my side in the form of a young woman that I worked with about 4 years ago at another job. At that time, I was one of the project team leaders - not a great title, actually, but I was in charge of my little group of people doing a document review project that ended up lasting a total of about 5 months. I had started with that project from the beginning and worked my way "up" so to speak from a regular grunt to being in charge of my own group.

Anyway, this woman is the daughter of a Judge here in our little state, and from the first day she started work on the project, she let everyone know it. She ended up in my room, which meant that I had to work with her day in and day out for the time she was there. She lasted maybe a couple or three weeks, total - because I recommended that she be let go, and because other people backed me up on it.

I have to say that, during the short time we worked together initially, she treated everyone she worked with as if she was fundamentally better than they were, and that they had no right to any opinions that did not match her own. She walked out of the room during a discussion on the legal history of heterosexual marriage and the problems with the proposals for homosexual marriage because, "I am so offended by this conversation, I can't stay here!" (I.e., she threw a temper-tantrum because she didn't get her way and she didn't succeed in getting everyone to agree with her). I was not sorry to see her go, and neither was anyone else of the remaining 16 people on the team.

Flash-forward to last November, when, after the unexpected departure of two of our firm's litigation attorneys, one of the partners here (who is good friends with this chick's father the Judge) happened to discuss our crisis with said Judge, who immediately recommended his daughter. Big surprise - she wasn't "happy" at her current position at another firm and was looking for a job.

The word I got (after the ink was all but dry) was that her father had "cautioned" her to not think she could abuse the relationship between himself and this partner at our firm in the course of her employment. Kudos to the Judge for recognizing that his daughter had a problem in that area, but I digress.

Since her arrival, I have tried to not be antagonistic to her, but she's still here. No one I talk to - and I don't sit around gossipping about her, but I hear things - has anything nice or positive to say about her. No one. I should mention that there is another young woman from that same project who started working here last January who is an absolute delight - she doesn't like her either, but she's much better at hiding it and being "nice" in public than I am.

Here's the dilemma: While we were all working on the project 4 years ago, I had an occasion to share my faith with the group of people in my room. I've always felt that one of the reasons I was allowed to be "in charge" and to be in that place was so that I could share the Gospel with this guy who is Jewish. I say that because at the time, judge-chick was already gone, and the only other 2 people in the room who weren't believers or at least sympathetic to the Gospel were not there and they didn't return until after the discussion was over, but I had a chance to witness to this guy from the Old Testament scripture about why Jesus was the Messiah the Jews had been waiting for.

My current issue is this: is this chick back in my sphere of influence (little though it might be) because she needs to hear the Gospel, too? Or, is it to push my competitive buttons so that I realize that my job here, much as I may complain about it, is actually meeting some very real and very pressing financial needs for my present and my future? (Or maybe both - and other stuff besides?).

I feel like Jonah - I DON'T want to go to Nineveh!! I don't want to be nice to this chick - I don't want to befriend her - I don't want to offer her any advice, especially not when she responds to any type of suggestion (no matter how tactfully phrased) with the attitude that she already knows whatever is being said to her, before going about things exactly the same way. How do I determine whether there is a purpose here, or if taking that road would be casting pearls before swine?

OK, I know how.....(Drat - I was looking for an "Easy" button). I need to pray for discernment and wisdom and compassion, and I need to ask God to soften my heart and give me whatever it would take to do whatever He wants me to do. Even though I don't want to. God can take care of those things.

1 comment:

lawyerchik said...

Susie said...
This post almost makes me laugh. Not at you, but at me, having been in that situation many times. Those people are in our lives not for us to change them, but for us to change us. There's something she's here to teach you about you; when that's done, she'll change, or leave, or your buttons just won't be pushed any more. She's fertilizer for your growth. God has such a sense of humor.

6:32 AM
lawyerchik said...
Yes, thanfully, He does have a sense of humor!! And a purpose for everything, which is why I'm still working at finding out what that might be in this case..... The sooner I learn, maybe the sooner she will leave? :)

9:24 AM