David was a manager at the local Piggly Wiggly. He had worked in the grocery business for fifteen years give or take a few months. In fifteen years David had crossed paths with many employees and even more customers. He knew many of his customers by name and even helped load many groceries for the elderly or handicapped. He was a staple at the local store that had been in this community for decades.
People say that these smaller grocery stores will not withstand the big chained franchises who are pushing to buy out all the smaller “fish” in the pond to alleviate any competition. People like David are why grandma will pay a few cents more for a gallon of milk for the personal relationships that are formed and the friendly service that is guaranteed.
David has seen some of his customers face some difficult situations. Kerry lost her second husband to a house fire several years ago and has no children to help take care of her. Justin lost his job at the local recycling center when a larger company bought them out and moved the business to the main headquarters up state. Leslie has worked two and three jobs to help support her four kids by herself. The sperm donor jumped ship after they found out she was pregnant with the fourth child.
Through all of these hardships, David tries to be a ray of hope. Even when facing trials of his own, he makes a conservative effort to give everyone a big smile and take a few minutes to talk with each customer about what is going on in their world.
When David received his first promotion to manage his own store he was still a young adult barely old enough to buy a hand gun and boy he had a lot to learn. The pressure of running his own store and having people older than him answering to his requests wasn’t easy. Some of the employees didn’t think that he was old enough to be the head man. Some felt that they should have been next in line to receive the promotion. But owners saw enthusiasm, a great work ethic, and a young man that cared about the store and community.
David had one loyal employee and friend that he knew he could trust. Jeremy was only a few months younger than David but they hit it off from the first day they started working together. They became close friends and would hang out after work occasionally. When David got the promotion, Jeremy was genuinely happy for him and would “go to bat” for him when other employees had negative comments about the hire or the new policies and procedures that were being implemented.
The pressure slowly started to build and the happy go lucky, enthusiastic young man that owners trusted would make their store a better place started to feel the pressure. David questioned whether he was the right man for the job and his rapport with customers took a hit. Eventually Jeremy felt the brunt of David’s frustrations. What started off as a small disagreement turned into a full blown “Jerry Springer” argument.
Both Jeremy and David felt like the other party was at fault and neither budged an inch. This took a toll on their personal and working relationship.
Eventually Jeremy accepted another job in a neighboring town as both had agreed it may be in the best interest of the progress of the store.
Things slowly worked themselves out as David began to get the hang of the managerial role. As things at the store started to improve so did David’s attitude. Numbers climbed and the employees grew to love working for such a positive boss. Those procedures weren’t that bad when they realized that he genuinely cared for their well-being. Though business was great, David always felt bad about the falling out that he and Jeremy had.
Recently Jeremy walked into the store with his sister to do a little shopping. David seemed surprised at first when Jeremy approached him after all these years, surely he still hated him. Jeremy talked about after he left the store how he had worked his way up to the manager role at a new grocery store with the help of some of the experiences while working under David. But David nearly hit the floor in amazement when Jeremy apologized for the harsh comments that were made many years ago and hoped that things were well. David immediately responded by apologizing and they discussed how silly the disagreement was to begin with. They talked and caught up for nearly an hour or so before David reluctantly had to get back to work.
Genesis 50:20 states “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Joseph forgave his brothers for sins committed against him in this story. Is there someone out there that your relationship needs to be rectified? Make the first step in mending a friendship today