Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sweet Home Alabama

About 2 months ago, I took a new position within my company. One of the perks of this new position is that I get to travel around and visit all of the branch offices on a fairly regular basis.

I like traveling and visiting.

This week, I was in Alabama visiting with the folks in two of our offices there. It was wonderful! The area surrounding our offices are beautiful. The people are really nice and fun. The meetings I had there were very productive. And did I mention the people are really nice and fun?

Well, they are.

But even with all of that good stuff, the thing that I come away with most each time I go there is just how Christian...the climate and culture of those offices are. There, the watercooler talk is often about church activities, bible studies, theological books the men are reading and so on. Of course, there is also talk of hunting and fishing and kids and movies and thing like that...but the Christian topics get equal coverage. This is something that just does not happen at my home office. When a group goes out to lunch, one of the guys says a blessing over the meal. This just does not happen at my home office. And, when someone gets a bad report from the doctor or an upsetting bit of family news their friends and co-workers gather around them to pray. This just does not happen at my home office. I love the people I work with...I do!... but visiting our Alabama offices felt more like "home" to me than being home at this office does.

In Alabama, we speak the same language, we (mostly) think the same way and care about the same things and have similar priorities. Here, I often feel like I have to turn down the volume of who I am OR (when I don't) like I'm running my nails down the chalkboard of another's life.

I don't always feel that way, thankfully. And the people here are also fun and nice...just a different kind of fun and nice. That's not a complaint, just a statement of fact. I also realize I work for a business not a church and that New Orleans is in the buckle of the Bible Belt and the demographic of our office is just different and more mixed culturally and religiously and that is a good thing, too. All I'm saying is, for me...the difference in Alabama was good and even now, before my work day has begun, I miss it.

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