I could write a poetic story about how an Angel in the form of a hard headed Ram came and saved my life… it would be true and you would be amazed… instead, I’d rather tell the story how it is:
Three years ago when I began working in the department I work for now, I discovered what it meant to be treated like an incompetent by people who wore suits and expected you to bow down to their every whim.
Taught to respect your elders even more when they’re your clients, I often got painful knots in my throat when they made me feel completely hopeless… most nights for that first month; I went home to cry myself to sleep.
One day, after being run over by a nasty client with a bad attitude, I was called in to my boss’s office. And in the midst of tears, I was told that no client had the right to disrespect me and if I was going to make it in this business, I was going to have to learn to stand my ground without losing my cool… it’s been one of the most important lessons my boss has taught me to this day…
Chin up, shoulders back… I finally looked at all my tough clients as challenges! The challenge was no longer to survive the battles… the challenge became turning every frown that walked through the door into a smile before it walked out…
And the tougher of the toughest of challenges would be a stubborn Ram that had no patience for “nice” people on the phone, especially when they asked him for the kinds of paperwork that he hated and considered a waste of time.
At first I did my best to talk around his arguments but it just succeeded in a more defiant lecture from him on how I could make things easier on my client if I skip the bureaucritical part of the job. After the first couple of conversations, I could see why no one in the office wanted to be the person talking to him, and it became clear to me that he had just become “my problem client”.
Stubborn and impatient are perhaps the best two adjectives to describe an Aries and one day, I discovered that I had as much of it as my client! So on a particular day when tolerance was at an all time low, I told him that the only person making things difficult was him and if he wanted to make life easier on both of us he could just send me what I asked him so that I could provide him with what he needs…
I was direct, firm and even nice about it… and from then on something new developed… Suit and uniform found mutual respect…
I found after some time, that I enjoyed working with him… mostly because he brought out the better professional in me. This Ram had become more than a favourite client, but a teacher and in an odd way, a friend as well.
I got it!!!
For those of you who I didn’t hear me screaming and shouting hysterically on Wednesday morning: I got the job I applied for two months ago!
After the initial shock wears off, in comes the stress… and we’re talking major stress! I have an apartment to sell, an apartment to find on another continent and I still don’t know whether my stuff goes with me or not… Oh did I mention that I have about a month to sort all of the above out?... STRESS baby!
And so begins the search for a real state agency…
And that’s when I remembered the Mr. Aries… I looked for his contact in my address book and cleared by throat before letting him know that I was going to need his help.
Three hours… that’s how long a fifteen minute deal took. Not because the details were complicated but because we decided to get to know each other better. I was amazed to hear his partner say to him “So this is the girl her boss spoke to us about?”
What had my boss possibly have had to say about me to these two men?
They smiled and assured me that he had spoken very well about me with pride… I didn’t know whether believe them or ask them if they’d had their ears cleansed recently…
I wish my boss would say such things TO me, rather than ABOUT me…
But this story isn’t about my boss… it’s about the Ram that knows my boss, that knows my story and sat writing an e-mail in front of me to his contacts in Lisbon asking them to find an apartment for a friend of his. It had been a long time since I felt choked up without knowing what to say, but that’s how I was left after reading the words “Find the apartment as if it were for me”.
I wasn’t dressed in my uniform, he wasn’t dressed in his suit and I realised that all this time I developed more than the perfect business relationship… I made a friend as well.
A friend who not only was doing his best to help me, but who spent another three hours with me talking, giving advice and offering a helping hand.
Remembering back to our first lock of horns, I was reminded of that old saying “the toes you step on today may be attached to the ass you may have to kiss tomorrow” and although the saying itself has never motivated me, it rang a bell.
I discovered how much we have in common… besides being two hard headed Arians!!!
He told me his story of how he was successfully working in Lisbon when he fell in love with a Madeiran. While most guys his age saved their money to go partying, he bought airline tickets to see her, until one day he just decided that he couldn’t go on. He left his very successful position, to follow his heart and marry it!
Paulo Coelho wrote in his best book, the Alchemist, that when we truly want something and it is written in our destiny, the whole universe conspires to help us conquer our dreams.
Two days later, he found a job teaching and eventually he climbed the ladder onto the high position that he holds today!
This man is all about projects, he starts one and then won’t let go until it no longer needs him… then he moves on to the next – This is a Ram remember? The First sign of the zodiac! Innovation and Initiative are our motto’s!
His eyes shone as he told me his story… I know knew why he understood me so well, he could see my fears, my motives and my drive.
Confiding me in that he too was planning on moving to Lisbon, his reasons in doing so only made me want to get to know him even more. Married with a beautiful six year old daughter, he knew that one day she’d move away to study and so he was anticipating the move so he won’t have to suffer the distance when that time comes.
Shame kept the tears from falling, although I knew he could see them. I understood completely the reasons that made him my angel…
Friends are the angels that God sends us to help us fly when our wings fail us. In the last three days I’ve been overwhelmed by the love and support that my friends have shown me. Be it the kind words or the incredible actions, the support my friends have given me have already made this change worthwhile a million times over.
I nonetheless had to ask him: “Why are you doing all this for me?”
He smiled as if the answer was the most logical one in the world:
“Because I know you’d do it for me.”
I’ve stopped to consider his answer… but in my heart I know that it’s true.