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downsizing, reorganizing

I’ve never been a big talk-on-the-phone kind of guy. But that is changing. As with many other companies, we have laid-off a number of people on the Internet side of Blue Haven Pools and Spas. This means that those who are left are wearing many hats, myself included. One of those hats includes answering the phones.

Just Friday I talked with a nice lady from Bronx, NY, who ordered a couple of our inflatable snow tubes. And I had to tell a customer she wouldn’t be getting the cover she ordered for her pool. You never know what you’re going to get when you pick up the phone.

In between phone calls, I try to write a little code, design a few pages, manage our pay-per-click campaigns, and listen to Marvin the homeless guy carry on a conversation three floors below on the side of 7th Avenue. One of the unfortunate perks of downsizing has been getting a new office with a real window, unlike the fake window in my last office. Marvin sits below my real window.

Downsizing is difficult because it’s people, not numbers, that get downsized. It’s one thing to let people go for incompetence. Incompetent people tend to fire themselves. But when a good person is let go for economic reasons, that’s a tough thing to do.

Many of you may find yourselve in similar situations. Economic news, housing trends, employment reports — it seems like the bad news just keeps coming. Maybe you’ve delayed going on vacation or buying a house, or perhaps you’re just scaling back in general. You might even be a bit nervous about what the future holds.

I once heard (and probably said this myself) that character is formed during difficult times. Then I heard John Maxwell put a different spin on it. He said that character isn’t so much formed during difficult times as it is revealed during difficult times.

We certainly grow as a result of facing challenges. But our true character, the real you, is brought to the surface when the going gets rough. As Christ-followers, we can face difficult times with an assurance that God is bigger than our troubles. We can march into the headwind with the attitude of Paul: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

Rather than worry, try praying. And let God take care of the rest.