I was just lookin’ for a little sympathy. It had been a rough workweek, and I wanted to vent. Sometimes friends just don’t cut it, though. Sure, they may understand, but only too well because usually they’re going through the exact same thing. Complaining to friends about work is like complaining to a Jenny Craig client that you’re dying for some cake. Plus, there was only one person that I wanted to invite to my pity party, and that was my dear old dad. I knew he could make me feel better. Yet the second he picked up the line, I lost it. I could feel the hot tears welling up in my eyes. “Hello? Hello?” Instead of answering him, I could only articulate a high-pitched screech that sounded something like a DJ scratching records while accompanied by the vocal stylings of an injured bird. He recognized the cry for help. “Anna? I can’t understand you. What’s wrong?”

I took a deep breath and willed myself to calm down. I then bombarded my dad with a long and detailed explanation as to why my life was so unfair. By the time I concluded my rant, my father had only one question: “So why are you so upset?” Hello?! Had he not been listening to anything I said? Is it time for the hearing aids, Dad?

“Because… I’m frustrated.”

“Well, I’d rather see you get mad than sad.”

Okay, good point. I suppose the only thing my tears would produce is a trashcan of wadded up tissues and a pair of bloodshot eyes.

“Lemme tell you a story…” That’s when my dad launched into his own work tale, and I was once again reminded of where I get my affinity for talking… So here’s something that will blow your mind: my father worked at the same company for his entire career. That’s over forty years of office meetings and cafeteria lunches at the same place. Moreover, he loved work so much that he would many times come in during the weekends. Just because. Anyway, he proceeded to tell me that at some point over his four plus decades of employeedom, a few work friends informed him that a position in another department had opened up, and they wanted him to apply. Given that he was perfectly happy where he was, my father refused. These friends of his would not let up, though. (My dad made sure to emphasize this part of the story several times. “They kept coming at me and coming at me to apply for that job.” I get it, Dad. You were popular at work.) Finally caving to their repeated appeals, my father threw his hat into the ring. Shortly thereafter, a few of the higher-ups approached him and indicated that they had someone else in mind for the job. Needless to say, my dad wasn’t heartbroken, but apparently these executives were concerned that he just might be and gave him a raise. A raise. Just because.

The end.

Okay. Wasn’t quite sure how this little anecdote was supposed to help me. Was I missing some kind of life lesson here? Though I could appreciate the good fortune my father had experienced, it seemed, well, totally and completely unrelated to my own situation.

“Awesome, Dad. I’m so glad that happened to you.”

“Right? I didn’t even want the job.” That’s when I lost it again… and started laughing. I still had no clue why he thought this story would cheer me up, but maybe my dad was more perceptive than I had realized. Twenty minutes earlier, I was dramatically wallowing in the depths of my own despair. Now I had a sappy smile plastered across my face and couldn’t stop giggling.

My father might be a genius.

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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2 Responses to “Father Knows Best”

Perfect. My smile needed a funny Uncle Ronnie story! 🙂 What a character your dad is!

April 13th, 2012

Agreed! I think I see a second blog in the future: “Ron Keizer Knows Best.” 😉

April 18th, 2012