I hadn’t planned on quitting that day. When the company’s vice-president found out about my job searching, he immediately escorted me to the boss’s office.
“Tami has something to tell you.” Oh, I do, do I? I would’ve liked to deliver my 2-week notice on my timing, but sometimes God has different plans.
My boss squinted. He shifted and tilted back in his chair like my high school principal had before he suspended me.
“Well, do you have another job lined up?”
“That’s not very smart. Why wouldn’t you want to stay here and earn the kind of money Cassie’s earning?”
“Because I’m not Cassie, and I’m not happy doing this.”
We stared at each other for a few seconds. A corner of his mouth rose as did my temperature.
“What do you want to do with your life? What are your dreams?” he said.
“I’m almost finished with my manuscript. I want to get it published. And I’m starting a non-profit to help other girls who are bullied.”
As soon as the words left my mouth, I knew I had shared more than he deserved to know.
“What makes you think you’re gonna get published? How are you gonna start a non-profit? Where you gonna to get the money?”
All legitimate questions I had already answered for myself. I studied English and Journalism in college, so there was that. No guarantees but it was a start. I had a story and a purpose, and I was determined to find a way to use it for good. Growing up, I watched my dad work to help charities fundraise through bingo. My boss knew of my dad’s work because both businesses were in the same community. I didn’t feel like my strategies were my boss’s business, but I answered respectfully.
“I’m applying for a bingo license, so I can raise money for programming.”
He scowled. Although he knew of the bingo company, he, like many people in our community, misunderstood how it helped schools purchase playground equipment, fire departments replace ambulances, soup kitchens feed homeless, and animal shelters spay and neuter.
“Bingo, huh? That’s not very Christian.”
I didn’t like his judgment, but I needed it. I stood over him and extended my hand. He hesitated. “Thanks for the opportunity. Now I can go do what’s important to me.”
I wrote (and am re-writing) a book that may never be picked up by a mainstream publisher. I’ve made peace with that. My charity was small and local. I raised a few thousand dollars through bingo to conduct programming that maybe, just maybe, saved one girl from wanting to go home after school to lay down and die. Books and bingo didn’t make sense to my boss, but I didn’t need him to understand. His judgment didn’t feel good, but it served as fuel to power my walk.
“Not everyone will understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.”