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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Part II: Wherein My Faith In Humanity Shoots Through the Clouds


Today is Part II of II.  Didn’t read Part I?  It was posted yesterday.  Go ahead and read it – it’s short.  We'll be here when you get back...

George told me to wait a week.

I waited 10 days. 

And while I waited, my life centered around how to get from here to there. 

People do it all the time, I told myself, unfolding a bus map.  This is no big deal.

The bus scheduled revealed itself to me in all its convoluted glory and promised to add two hours – in each direction – to my day.  I studied it, further deepening the worry lines on my forehead.  Could this be right?  Would I really have to take a bus from my first-ring suburb into the city only to take another one out to a fourth-or fifth-ring suburb?

Yes, indeedy.

I hobbled rides together to work, for groceries.  People I had thought to be my friends revealed themselves to be unreliable strangers.  People I had not spent much time thinking of emerged as thoughtful and caring friends.

“George,” I said, leaning in the doorway of his office, “I don’t know how much longer I can live like this.”

“Shhh,” he said.

It was around lunch time that the first phone was dropped in shock.

In a phenomena known as “prairie dogging”, the news spread amongst the massive cube farm that was our corporate home.

The first head up above the cube walls was a man whose wife was home, seemingly hours away from delivering their first child.

“Hey!”  he shouted.  “Hey!”

A dozen people stood, only their heads visible.  “She have the baby?”

He shook his head, his mouth open in disbelief.  “The mail came.  A check came.  In the mail a check came.”

And then a phone rang.  And another phone rang.

And that’s when the shouting started.

Snatches of conversation shot above our heads, people ran by in tears.

There were checks.

Checks in the mail.

George appeared at my desk, grinning.  “I wanted to tell you,” he said.

And the story came together.  Controlling share of our company had been sold to Benetton, and our President had divvied up the profits, each according to the length of time they’d been here.  Checks for as little as a couple thousand dollars to as much as forty thousand dollars had been mailed to each employee with nothing but the notation “John 3:16” on the card holding the check.

I don’t recall how I got home that night.  I may have flown. 

What I do remember is that there was plenty of money for the down payment on a decent, working car.

George called that night.  "Hello," he said. 

"How long did you know?" I asked.

"Just a day or two before your little liaison with the fire department."

I shook my head.  "Why  I oughta..." I said.

He laughed.  "Why you little..."



I've not had a car fire since then.





58 comments:

Shelly said...

My family is waiting for me to get into the car so we can be on our way to the beach- I delayed so I could read this part- it was worth the wait!

Pearl said...

Shelly, you're a love. :-) Say hello to the Texas beaches for me!

fishducky said...

No more car fires--excellent idea!!

Simply Suthern said...

Maybe another car fire would bring more good luck.

There are those in the corporate world that really do care. They make working there a blessing.

I've had a similar experience and you feel you owe them and they want nothing in return.

R. Jacob said...

You made me laugh! Prairie dogs indeed!
I can picture it vividly, cubicle wack-a mole!

aw Pearl, nice story...

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

What an exciting day that was. And you made us wait for it.... why I oughta.

Pearl said...

fishducky, fish gonna fry in the kitchen, beans gonna burn on the grill -- but no more car fires. :-)

Simply, it was a wonderful place to be -- at a wonderful time to be there!

R. thanks!

Delores, can't have too big a post, ya know. :-) Wears the peoples out.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I love happy endings!

Buttons said...

YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!!B

Pearl said...

Starting Over, they're the best ones!

Buttons, largest windfall to date. :-) (Of course, it was a while ago, and now I am ready for another one!)

Mitchell is Moving said...

Oh, Part II was so worth the wait!

Pearl said...

:-) Thank you, Mitchell!

Hannah Denski said...

Aw, I love happy endings! Movie?! ; )x

PattiKen said...

Hooray! I just love a good suspense story with a happy ending. And I'm with Hannah - sell those movie rights. Let's see, who will they cast to play Pearl...?

esbboston said...

I think car fires have something to do with having leaks in fuel lines and such, so its because they use things like gasoline. As soon as they figure out how to make cars run on water then this problem of car fires wiLL go away. But, sadly, it wiLL only be replaced by a new problem of people drowning inside their cars from a leaky fuel line.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

It IS a wonderful life, isn't it?

Camille said...

Wow....speechless over here. What a wonderful finale to a great story. There are angels among us afterall.

savannah said...

now THAT was a great ending, sugar! of course, the link back to how it all started was damn good, too! you are a joy, sweetpea! xoxoxoxo

Joyful Things said...

The world needs more Georges I think.

L-Kat said...

When crappy things happen (like cars starting on fire), it's so hard to see anything positive, but usually things like this happen at just the right time or for a bigger reason. Now, I just need to convince myself that hearing "No" or not getting the answers I'd hoped for may actually be a blessing in disguise. :)

Joanne said...

This was almost in another corporate era, wasn't it. I hope George is happily retired in Tennessee, where they talk slow, but don't think slow. A story to smile over.

ellen abbott said...

Well, yes, then, I guess there are angels.

BamaTrav said...

You said, "snatches."

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Fantastic! I thought George was gonna give you a car, though. Way off!
Sigh. How I miss good news in the cube farm. Since 2001, there hasn't been much of that.

CarrieBoo said...

Wow! What a great story... I feel all warm and fuzzy now. :) (You don't meet many George's, I imagine.)

Craver Vii said...

Wow, that's GREAT!! I like the older story, too--the one that showed how you took care of George.

I also appreciate how he tied this gift to God's gift (Jn. 3:16). Not preachy, but profound.

Ms Sparrow said...

Awww, your story brought tears to my eyes. I just love happy endings and even more, the thought that sometimes really nice things happen to good people.

TexWisGirl said...

now THAT is awesome!

Linda Myers said...

Wow! I've never heard of generosity like that in the workplace. Restores my faith in work. But not so much that I'll go back there. I'm retired now.

bill lisleman said...

Good story of a company run the right way. So often it's just talk that the company is it's people. Sharing the wealth is the right way to do it.

jenny_o said...

What a wonderful happy ending - and bonus points for no more car fires :)

NotesFromAbroad said...

I am a sentimental mess today - thanks for ruining my mascara.
Love you.

vanilla said...

Oh, my word! Your trust was not misplaced. To know someone you can trust that much and not be disappointed is more precious than the cash. But still, it takes the cash to buy a car.
This story made me smile in happiness for you.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Humanity is alive and well. What a lovely story.
So, did you start over with the bumper sticker collection?

Leenie said...

WOW! Pearl followers and lurkers prairie dogging out of their blog bunkers!!! We love's ya, Pearl. And we love to read about real honest hope and gratitude.

Eva Gallant said...

"and she lived fire-free ever after!"

Belle said...

Great story, Pearl. Your boss was a sweetheart.

Symdaddy said...

Hang about here, will ya?
I'm just popping over to yesterday to read Part 1.

I might leave a comment, which might make my next comment here look like I have developed a knack for time travel. Don't be fooled.

Back in a mo!

Symdaddy said...

Ok so I'm back from Part 1, and guess what? ... I'd already read it tomorrow!

Then I came back here only to find that I'd read this one last Monday!

Confusing, isn't it?

middle child said...
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middle child said...
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Gigi said...

I knew I liked George the last time you wrote about him (elbow bleaching and all) but now I know I love George. What a very good man. Lately you find very few of those in the corporate world.

ThreeOldKeys said...

I hope that there is a limit on car fires ... maximum of one per customer per lifetime.

I wish there were no limit to executive decisions like the one George knew was coming ....

And I bet the guy with the new baby was so pleased he went ahead and got two of 'em.

Nessa Roo said...

oh man, oh man. That may have restored my faith in humanity... or in something...
Ain't it great when good things actually do come to good people?

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

That is wonderful, Pearl! Great story! Everybody dreams of this kind of stuff happening...":)

W.C.Camp said...

Wow great story - what good fortune and a nice boss. Too bad they are not all that way! W.C.C.

Crystal Pistol said...

I thought about your post all day. I was at work and couldn't read it because people breathe down my neck and tattle tale when I take blog and FB breaks. :( But you were in my thoughts. :)

Now that I have read it I must say I am not disappointed! My heart swelled and I wanted to cheer aloud as I read. YAY! What a magical, miracle moment.

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

That's lovely.

But.

What has John 3:16 got to do with money?

A reliable car is good.
A reliable car that runs on holy water is just strange.

Roses said...

You so had that coming to you!!!

:-)

George is truly lovely.

River said...

This was so heartwarming, I almost cried!
I'm currently doing the bus-to-city, second-bus-to-work, reverse to get home again routine. It's very tiring, the time spent waiting at bus stops is longer than the time spent on the buses.

Dave King said...

Great story, and so beautifully told. An exemplar, if ever there was one. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Pat said...

You make me laugh - you make me cry - I'm putty in your hands.

Jeremy Bates said...

This sounded like a faerytale but it shows that one should never lose faith in others. Thanks for the inspirational story.

Nota Bene said...

Wow...what an amazing post to read on my first visit here....

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

Great story, Pearl. So happy to hear the firetrucks aren't following you around any more.
Rosemary

Diane said...

Oh. My. Goodness. And they say that miracles don't happen! Thank you for this wonderful story. You've made my day!!!

the walking man said...

So are you still diving that Pinto or have you upgraded? really though--that is the way all companies once ran. With the morale of the their employees at least somewhere in the corporate conscience.

NellieVaughn said...

Stuff like this only happens in movies. You certainly have someone looking after you. The Universe, God, a lovely angel. Perhaps all of the above.