A high-tech worker is reminded that her demanding new boss doesn't have the power—God does.
Posted in , Mar 6, 2013
High-tech work in Silicon Valley was always demanding, but my new boss made it unbearable. The first thing he did was move my office across from his so he could interrupt me all day, demanding updates or reports on top of my already backbreaking workload.
Quitting time? Never. He’d follow me to the commuter van with more demands. Once he chased me out into the parking lot and gave me a laptop. “Now you can work while you commute,” he said.
All the pressure took its toll. I tossed and turned at night. I churned out reports at home instead of spending time with my family. Clumps of hair came out in my brush. One afternoon my chest seized up. I couldn’t breathe. I shook all over. The doctor said I’d had a panic attack.
While my family sang the opening hymn at church one Sunday morning, I went over shipping schedules with the office from my cell phone in the vestibule.
“I feel like David battling Goliath,” I whispered to my husband, Randy, when I finally joined him and the kids in the pew.
“Maybe you should change the way you react to him,” Randy said. Sure. Easy for him to say.
Later that week I picked up my daughter from her afterschool youth program. She handed me a picture she’d colored herself: David and Goliath. What a coincidence. I hung it up in my office.
Then my son came home from Sunday School miming David with his slingshot. “I love that story,” he said. My pager buzzed. My boss was ordering me in to work to do inventory. Another Sunday ruined. Goliath had struck again!
The subject of the sermon the following Sunday? David and Goliath! Obviously, God was trying to tell me something. I’d forgotten that David beat Goliath because he had God on his side.
God, you’re right. This problem is just too big for me alone. From then on I stopped worrying about my boss and trusted that God would give me the strength to handle the pressure. I might not be able to change the situation but I could change the way I responded to it.
Not long after, we got news at work. Our new director was suddenly moving on. By then, though, I’d already won the battle.
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