Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sharing Nugget #27

#27: The story of J.

Chapter IV: A sunset.

This story is inspired by real-life characters

A month before her term as president ends, typing away on her notebook while seated in a cubicle tall enough to hide her, she overheard a conversation.

“…She just has no charisma. Leaders need that X-factor that draws people to them. When they talk, people listen. People will feel warm around such leaders. They can rouse a desire to serve, a want to belong. J just doesn’t have it!”

“Yeah, I think so too.”

“When the office directors see her, they will be like, who’s this girl? They will think that she is not matured, and thus will not trust her. And I think it’s true, their support for us are gone. How to do work like that?”

“Yeah, you know, Ku was able to settle, or even initiate things by just a phone-call to the other presidents. When Ku talks, the rest of them listens.”

“Yah, and remember that coup meeting? J was totally out of control of her feelings. How to lead people like that when you cannot be composed?”

“Yeah! I think it boils down to that J inherited a position, a title, but not the influence. That influence disappeared along with Ku. Haiz. How I wish it had been Lin who is president. I would have voted for her. Although she is not as task-oriented like J, Lin has the X-factor. Managing tasks can be learned much easier than people skills.”

“You know, now I don’t care how many projects we churn out, I want to work with a leader who I trust, who I can relate to, who I respect as a leader and a friend, who I can ask to go chill out anytime.”

Upon hearing the last sentence, nothing else can register in J’s head. Her fingers lay paralyzed on the keyboard. She stares blankly at the screen. Her surrounding collapses into darkness. The conversation that invaded her life so cruelly is drowned out by a piercing tone in her ears.

J melts into the armchair.

A month later, Lin is appointed to the presidency in a vote by the members, consisting of existing members who decides to stay on, and new recruits. J loses as a candidate. After the voting, one of the old members, who remained a neutral all along, approached J.

“Don’t be too upset about it”, she consoles, “all they want is a fresh change of leadership”.

J tucks her lips in, tilts her head down, and replied.

“I am not power hungry. All I wanted was to be able to serve the club and the community better.”

“You feel like you have been misunderstood.”

“You will know that I have put in my heart and soul for the club”, J confides.

“You feel your efforts are not justified by appreciation from the rest.”

“Yah! I did so much, what else can they ask from me?” J asks. “I really don’t know why they don’t like me.”

“You feel they don’t like you because they overlook your dedication to the club?”

“I don’t know… I really don’t know…”, mumbled J. Then she slowly looks up, and said, “All I wanted, was to be liked.”

“Well, you want to talk about it?” The old member asks.

With a smile, she extends the offer to J, “You can join me and we’ll talk over lunch.”

The end.


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