There was a meeting invite at work yesterday. It was for a “town hall” meeting called by the CEO. Earlier in the day, an announcement had gone out to the stock exchange, in relation to some federal police investigations into the conduct of past company executives.
I came into this job with eyes wide open. My employer has a very messy history. It’s US operations had a horrible reputation of corruption of public officials to win supply contracts. Its CEO was charged and found guilty and has been awaiting sentencing proceedings. Sure, that was all in the past and since a couple of years ago, there has been almost wholesale changes to the board and senior management.
The more recent repercussions of the US history on its Aussie parent are being felt afresh, even from the time when I accepted the offer of a role. The announcement yesterday made all of this very present and while I have had my share of being in organisations having all sorts of engagement with authorities, those past experiences never really arm one to simply brush off fresh encounters with nonchalant disregard. It stayed on my mind, as it did when the prospect of this role first came up through my recruiting agent.
Andrew had told me about the role back in September/October last year. I had then looked at the position description document and when I did my research of the company, my interest waned and I said to Tress then that I would not be actively pursuing this role. The company’s recent history was an issue. I kept it in prayer nonetheless, as I had continued to miss Tress and Melbourne very badly.
At the interview with the person who is now my manager, I got the sense that everyone at the company recognises its problematic past and wants to do everything possible to deal with that as well as look forward to growing the company again. The new people want to start afresh. That theme of a second go, a fresh start, another opportunity to get it right and build something all over again – it appealed to me. As a half centurion who has had a very forgettable track record of a very ordinary sinner, the idea of being given another go appealed to me.
It still feels a bit counter-intuitive. Being in a hip industrial part of Melbourne, working on the first floor with production facilities downstairs, sitting across engineers and developers and all housed in a building across the road from what I recently discovered is a brothel – this all feels surreal. Yet, there is the attraction of being in such a down to earth, fair dinkum, and almost raw environment which also provides such a juxtapose of circumstances it almost creates a conundrum that is addictive. Strangely, I want to come in each day to see where this will be heading, how it will pan out. There is certainly work to be done. Tenders to process, contracts to review, policies to be written, insurances to manage – operational as well as strategic stuff that fill in the hours and turn then over fairly quickly.
Maybe I’m still basking in the contentment of being home with Tress again. I sense however, that being in my present workplace is another phase in that trajectory of waiting on the Lord, wondering what surprises lurk around the corner as I seek to sojourn on a path of knowing God and being part of what He is doing.
This morning on the drive in, the windscreen kept fogging up and Tress and I had to work the air conditioning and windscreen wiper the entire way. Sometimes a journey requires constant working to attain clear vision. The constant working becomes a feature of the journey. It kind of feels that way now. It has been for a while.