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Wrong Turns (standard:drama, 909 words)
Author: CoopAdded: Mar 24 2003Views/Reads: 2874/1Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Misplaced pride almost costs a young man and his company a valuable client.


By Coop 

Jim pulled into a gas station, the last building in site, and stopped
the car in front of the pumps.  Might as well fill up while I'm here, 
he thought, as he got out and looked around him. 

At these moments, yes these, he hated this job.  Oh, the job itself
wasn't too bad; it was getting to the varied locations that drove him 
crazy.  The insurance adjustor position had practically dropped into 
his lap at a time when he was quite ready to try and find a new job.  
He had been working as an underwriter at the insurance company.  
Sitting in an office day in and day out began to make him feel closed 
in after three years.  Friends thought he was crazy to complain about a 
9-5 job that paid well, was in a beautiful air-conditioned office, with 
a good cafeteria in the building along with a mini-mall on the first 
floor.  He could buy anything he needed or do all of his business 
transactions, except grocery shopping, during his lunch hour if he 
wanted.  There was a bus line that ran a block from his apartment and 
had a stop at the corner of his work place building.  He didn't even 
use his car except on weekends.  There was no hassle with rush hour 
traffic on the city bus and he used the time to mentally transition 
from his personal life to his work. 

Things were great for a long time, but about a year ago a yearning for
something different began to brew inside of him.  Just when he thought 
about quitting, the adjustor position was posted on the inside board.  
A friend of his dad's was head of that department, which gave him an 
edge.  He would have to prove himself though, this guy wouldn't put up 
with any foolishness.  . 

There was one problem with the job, a big problem and one that he didn't
want to admit . . . he couldn't find places.  No matter how detailed 
the map or directions, he would miss something and end up making a 
wrong turn.  Being a typical male, asking directions was a difficult 
task, especially when it seemed to be necessary quite often.  At least 
he was very familiar with his own city and area, so the first few 
months had been pretty good.  He had only been late to a few 

Now, he was to meet a very important client in an unfamiliar area.  He
just had to find this location, make a good impression with the client 
and at the same time do well for his company.  A new residential 
complex company was moving into town and was looking for a local 
insurance company to work with when problems came up.   Big bucks were 
at stake for a long term contract for the company, and he was a key 
element.  And he couldn't find the location!  Dad would really come 
down on him if he were here, he thought. 

His dad had told him for years how wrong he was not to get himself
prepared with skills and training before jumping into something by 
reading up on the subject, asking others or taking classes.  His 
reaction had been to scoff at the thought of wasting time like that.  
He would learn as he went and make it just fine.  That idea was not 
helping him now at this time.  The boss had spent half an hour giving 
him information on his potential client, the needs and expectations and 
directions to the location.  Was he listening?  It appeared that he 
was, but his prideful mind was on his new status in the company and 
social group when he wrapped this up.  Right now he sure wished that 
listening had been more on his mind. 

Ten minutes were left before the appointment.  Being late could be the
critical point on whether his company got the contract or not.  Why 
hadn't he gone to one of the many classes offered employees on map 
reading, social savvy, memory exercises, etc?  No, he didn't need help, 
he could do it alone.  How many people had shook their heads and walked 
off when he laughed them off after suggesting company enrichment 
classes.  Maybe they had a point after all.  If he could just get 
through today and do an outstanding job, maybe he would look into them. 
His way didn't seem to be helping and this was important. 

Ah, there it was!  As he looked, he saw that it was right next to a
specialty shop.  The boss had mentioned that, but it had slipped his 
mind because he was in his own thought world.  He walked into the lobby 
and was making a note in his appointment book to see what classes were 
available soon when the client walked in.   His pride and foolishness 
had almost cost not only him a possible promotion, but the company a 
client.  It was time he stopped being a prideful child who could do it 
all alone and start becoming a man who recognized his weaknesses and 
found ways to work on or strengthen them. 

Dad would be happy with this attitude he thought.  He was always telling
him that it took more maturity to admit a need and work on it, than to 
ignore it and blame others or circumstances for the results. Hey, Dad, 
guess what, I'm finally growing up! 



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