“I don’t know where my anger is coming from.”
Randy looked down intently at his French Vanilla Whipped Cream Extravaganza supersize coffee supreme as we sat at a Tim Hortons, not too far from his workplace. He had asked to meet me before his shift started, so we had about an hour to chat. He was a newish employee, so I didn’t know him well yet.
“I mean, I’m not an angry person, I just blew up at the kids. They didn’t deserve it.”
“Hmm” I say
“Maybe I haven’t been sleeping well, the late shift is tough on me. Or maybe it's because I’ve had to take this job that doesn’t match up to my education or career goals. Maybe it is even because I’ve been looking for work for so long that I’m having trouble adjusting to a full time job again.”
Randy has a lot of specifically identifiable sources of stress in his life right now. What he doesn’t have is someone he can just talk to man to man. That’s where I, as a Chaplain, come in - with time, genuine care, confidentiality, coaching skills and a small expense account for outrageous caffeinated monstrosities. I mean really, it looked like an ice cream sunday in a coffee mug!
“Actually, the real problem is my wife. I get so angry at her that I think leaving would be better for me, better for the kids. Do you think God would agree that it's better to leave and protect the kids from all the yelling and anger?”
“I don’t speak for God, Randy. What do you believe He wants for your family?”
“Oh, he wants me protect my kids that’s for sure. I just worry that they are being traumatized from our fighting.”
“Do you have any reason to believe they are being traumatized?”
“They are so young. They get scared when we yell at each other.”
“So is yelling when you fight something you’d like to change? Would that be the most important thing to change?”
“Wow, yeah. That would be huge, I just don’t know how to make it happen.”
“Ok Randy, I’m here for you, I’m involved for the long run as your chaplain. I will support you whatever choice you make and I’ll always want to see you and talk to you. Let’s talk about having a fair fight with your wife, one without yelling.”
Randy slurped his drink, leaving a vanilla whipped moustache behind. “Ahh man, I hear what you are saying, I just wish I could, you know, take a vacation from marriage and life sometimes!” He smiles and laughs and wipes the froth from his mouth.
Over the following weeks, Randy has continued to update me and try on some coping strategies for stress and improving his relationship with his wife. It’s not easy and it's not quick, but that’s where I, as a Chaplain, come in: long-term, constant, unwavering support through all of his ups and downs.*
Why Corporate Chaplains?
Nothing ever gets resolved in one conversation, whether it is depression, stress, financial trouble or relationships on the rocks. Many of the employees I meet continue to try me out, testing me to see if I’ll give up on them or become judgmental. But when you stick to them, they start to lean on you for skilled coaching.
Simply put: When people are tired of doing life alone, that’s where Chaplains come in.
Join the Story
Are you interested in partnering with Corporate Chaplains at your company or organization? For more information, or to have a conversation about Corporate Chaplains, check out the Corporate Chaplains website at http://chaplains.ca
*Confidentiality is vital for Chaplains and their relationships. So, this is a fictional story, written to provide a glimpse into what a coaching conversation with a Chaplain actually looks like.