Jesus loves you and I don’t feel so good myself

jesus-loves-you

I was sitting at a stop light eating my Bojangles steak biscuit (must be experienced can’t be explained), sipping sweet tea through a straw and checking my email. It was a long light. I looked up and a piece of shit pick-up truck that looked a lot like my piece of shit truck only with more rust and less bumper stickers was in front of me to the right. Stuck to his back glass, dead center was the sticker above. There it is I thought, the summation in nine simple words of how I feel about some of the so-called Christians I meet.

Many, many years ago I was working in sales for a company that was really struggling. The economy wasn’t good and we were basically giving our services away. Prior to us beginning any work for someone we required them to sign a contract which detailed our obligations and theirs, namely that they would pay us within 30 days after the work was completed.

I received a call from a local car dealer who wanted us to do some work for him, actually a lot of work. Given that I was young, poor and starving I was beyond excited. If it all worked out it would be the biggest commission I had ever gotten. I wrote the contract up and took it to him to sign.

A little context here, this was my second job out of college. My wardrobe consisted of a blue suit, a brown suit and five white shirts (thanks mom and dad). The car dealer was very successful, big office, really big desk, with awards and pictures of him with celebrates seemingly filling every square inch of space on his walls and in his massive bookcase behind him. I was pretty intimidated.

He looked over the contract and gave it back to me. “I am not going to sign it.” Dejected, I put the paperwork back in my cheap briefcase and prepared to leave. In my head I had already spent the commission I was expecting for this sale. “I am not going to sign the contract but I still want you to do the work” he continued, “I am a Christian, and my word is my bond, you don’t need a contract for that”. I explained that I was not in a position to make that kind of decision but that I would get an answer for him. He added curtly, “I want a decision today”. 

My sales manager was not happy but he was desperate to have something, any kind of work to put on his report. He agreed but told me to follow it closely. We performed the services for the car dealer, and he confirmed he was pleased with the work we had done. I gave him our invoice and I headed to our controller to pick-up my BIG commission check. The way our company was set-up is that salespeople were paid after the work was done not after it was paid for. Seems like stupid system but I wasn’t going to argue. But here is the catch, if the work is not paid for after 120 days, the salesperson has to pay all of the commission back.

The “I am a Christian” car dealer wouldn’t pay. For 110 days he wouldn’t return my phone calls, respond to my letters, my faxes (there was a time before email), and wouldn’t see me at his office. So on day 118, two days before I had to write a check back to the company for money I didn’t have, I camped out at his office and waited for him to pull in to his reserved parking spot.

When he opened his car door I was standing there. I asked him why wouldn’t he pay? Had we not delivered what we had promised? I didn’t understand what the problem was and would he please explain? And then this “I am a Christian” man uttered these words “You want your money, sue me. If you will check your files, you don’t have a contract. Get off my property.”

My sales manager, who is still a good friend thirty years later, took pity on me and set up a payment plan allowing me to pay the company back over a year. After about six months he just forgave the balance. I never forgot how the car dealer treated me and followed his business career with interest. About five years after our encounter he lost all three of his dealerships. The banks took them over and sold them to a big national auto chain. I would guess when he told them “You want your money, sue me” that they were more than happy to oblige.

I didn’t view this as redemption. I don’t wish misery or failure on anyone but it certainly jaded me early on in my business career. I have met many others just like him over the course of thirty years but now I just grab my wallet and run like hell in the other direction. Yes, Jesus loved him, but everybody else, including me, thinks he is an asshole.

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About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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23 Responses to Jesus loves you and I don’t feel so good myself

  1. ericstone51 says:

    That’s a great story. I mean..not great, but I get it. I used to have a printing business and some people would order printing and not pay. Quite a hassle. Your tip off was right at the start when he said, “I’m a Christian.” Boom..big tip-off. I’ve found ‘the tip-off’ in any relationship comes right at the start if you listen. Maybe they’ll share a confidential story of someone they screwed and then laugh. They’re basically telling you what they’re going to do to you down the road. Hmm.. good story.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. cindy knoke says:

    Oh what a bitter experience, but the title really makes me laugh, so besides the important lesson you learned about holding on to your money, you also gave your readers a howling good laugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. manqindi says:

    Somebody cited Jeremiah 17: 9 after one of my blogs regarding the frailty of human nature – it would seem apposite

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Patricia says:

    What goes around comes around. I would have had to rub it in somehow, u are a better man.😜

    Liked by 1 person

  5. JJS says:

    Ugh. So sorry you had to deal with that. It makes me sad and angry that, as a believer, I cringe whenever anyone starts with their “faith.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gina Marie says:

    This sad story is way too true, unfortunately. A good portion of my 30 years of working involved being in Christian non-profit companies……and this attitude came up more than I care to elaborate on. And, full disclosure, having lost a job at one because they found out I was a lesbian and “morally bankrupt” does make me a bit biased. Thank you for sharing this as I don’t feel as alone in my gut reactions to many Christians, as I still am one myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent, if people spent more time being “Christ” like, instead of “Christians” the religion would disolve and everyone would be teaching, helping, healing, kind and forgiving.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Belinda O says:

    Really screwed up, using God to break a commandment. He stole from you, plain and simple.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. parangano says:

    Why the Crusaders were Christians too and murdered people. I feel for you man, I used to love my religion and even dreamed to become a priest when I was a kid but I feel I am kind of jaded now.

    Liked by 1 person

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