Monday, January 25th, 2021
Have you ever worked with someone who was jealous of you? In this episode of Fran and Jesus on the Job, Fran discovers that a coworker is not only jealous of her, but seeks to ruin her. As I periodically present these stories of Fran and Jesus, it is my prayer that you will be encouraged to practice the presence of Jesus on your job and you will seek his guidance in every situation you face.
On this Wednesday morning, Marilyn, Fran’s boss, comes into her office and says, “Fran, I want you to meet Jenny. She just transferred here from our Boston office and she’ll be working with Phil as his assistant.”
“Glad to meet you,” Fran says, as she extends her hand. “If I can help in any way, let me know.”
“Yes, Jenny, you can always count on Fran. She’s one of our best account reps, so she knows the ropes really well,” Marilyn adds.
“Well, that’s nice,” Jenny says, “but I can hold my own. I. . .uh. . I was sales leader in the Boston office last year, but I had to transfer out here because my husband took a new job, so. . .”
“Well,” Marilyn chimes in, “we just didn’t have a sales slot for you right now, but I’m sure something will open up before too long.”
“I sure hope so,” Jenny says. “I didn’t put in all that hard work as an account rep to work as an assistant.” It’s obvious that Jenny is not happy with her current assignment.
As they leave, Fran thinks: She acts like she’s too good to have that job. I think she’s going to be trouble. But as soon as she starts that kind of thinking, the Spirit of God convicts her. “I’m sorry, Lord,” she prays quietly, “forgive me for thinking of her in negative ways. Help me to have the right attitude toward her.”
Fran is learning a very important principle about dealing with people. When you are working with someone that you don’t particularly like, don’t allow yourself to indulge in derogatory thoughts about that person. Instead, pray for him or her. Every time you are tempted to think unkind thoughts about that person, just stop right in the middle and change those thoughts to a prayer. Pray for your attitude toward the person and pray for that person.
Tuesday, January 26th, 2021
Solomon wrote: “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4). Who indeed? Fran is discovering just how dangerous it is to work with a jealous coworker. A woman named Jenny transferred to Fran’s office and accepted a lower position. She has become more and more vocal about how over-qualified she is for her job.
Today Fran and her good friend, Louise, are walking to the cafeteria when Jenny walks in behind them. Fran and Louise have tried unsuccessfully to be friendly to Jenny, but they try once again. “Want to join us for lunch?” Louise asks.
“Yeah, why not,” Jenny responds. As they sit down to eat, Jenny says to Fran, “You had a presentation today, didn’t you, Fran?”
“Yeah, we’re trying to get the Edwards Construction account,” Fran replies.
Jenny says. “I landed the largest construction company in the Northeast when I worked in Boston, you know.” Fran can feel the anger start to creep up within her. She sends up a wordless prayer before she responds. “I wish I had known, Jenny. I could have used your help.”
“Well, they should have let me have that account,” Jenny says. “I’ve got the experience that would have guaranteed we would get it. How did the presentation go?”
It’s all Fran can do to answer Jenny with a civil tone of voice. “I really couldn’t tell. They said it would be a week before they make a decision.”
Louise is angry, too, and she just can’t sit there without defending her friend. She says, “Well, I can assure you, if anyone can get that account, Fran can. I’m sure you did a great job, Fran.”
Jenny laughs and says, “Well, Louise, I’d expect you to say that about your good friend, but I’m looking at it from a business perspective. With my experience I would have done a better job.”
“Excuse me,” Louise retorts, “but that’s your opinion and you ought to keep it to yourself.”
“Oh, Louise, don’t take everything so personal. I’m just saying it like it is,” Jenny replies.
“Well, I call that rude,” Louise says.
“Hey,” Fran interjects, “this conversation is getting out of hand. Thanks for your loyalty, Louise, but Jenny has a right to her opinion. Maybe we better get back to work.” As they start to leave, Jenny says, “You know, it’s stupid for women to be so emotional about these things. I’m just talking business and you two keep taking it personally.
Fran and Louise walk away without another word to Jenny, but steam is coming out of Louise’s ears. “Can you believe that woman? She’s just jealous of you, Fran.”
And jealousy can be dangerous.