On October 26, Michelotti park (Parco Michelotti) in Turin, Italy, was reopened to the public (partially open) after 32 years of closure.
I No Longer Hate My Colleague
Fang Xia works in a law firm, which has three storefronts. Judging by the amount of foot traffic, the middle storefront has the greatest advantage. Fang Xia was lucky enough to be assigned to this room. In the office, everybody was on duty in turn. The lawyers received a commission based on the number of transactions they made during the day. The sales commissions—the total amount of their daily sales minus the management fees of the law firm, would go to the lawyers who are on duty that day, and formed their day’s income. So, everyone cherishes their time on duty very much. Fang Xia was no exception.
One day it was Fang Xia’s turn to be on duty. She left home early and arrived at the office five minutes later. As she came down the stairs, she glanced into the room and saw that her colleague Dou Chuman was clicking the keyboard at the reception desk, seeming to be sorting materials. Fang Xia opened the door and greeted Dou Chuman with smiles. Dou Chuman, with her usual exaggerated enthusiasm, said to her, “Oh, honey, just a moment. I’m sorting some materials. I’ll make room for you a moment later!” Fang Xia smiled agreeably, saying, “Alright. Go ahead!”
But Fang Xia felt such enthusiasm as Dou Chuman expressed was somewhat exaggerated and even sickening. She disfavored this way of handling things, because she was a Christian who only wanted to work hard and steadfastly, and to be honest.
Later, Fang Xia found that Dou Chuman always took up her duty time, in the name of using the computer, and sometimes, she would use it for all morning. During this time, what was worse, she gave Fang Xia the cold shoulder. Such an attitude greatly disturbed Fang Xia at work. When Fang Xia couldn’t stand her and so reminded her, “Sister Dou, am I on duty today?” Sometimes, Dou Chuman would reply, “Really? Dear me, I’m always muddle-headed!” Only then did she drag her feet in leaving the desk. Other times, she would say, “Okay, I’ll be quick to make room for you. Just a little while.” Fang Xia could see that Dou Chuman was on purpose. But Fang Xia knew that what happened every day has been permitted by God, and that she should learn to obey God’s sovereignty, so she practiced tolerance and didn’t fuss with her.
But gradually, Fang Xia found: If Dou Chuman wanted to use a computer when the director Gao Lin was on duty, she would voluntarily use one on any other desk; even if the director hadn’t arrived, she wouldn’t occupy the reception desk. In short, she never occupied the director’s duty time. Besides, she usually said that she was too careless to remember who was on duty and on which day…. But judging from her daily performance, she couldn’t, in fact, be clearer than anyone else about that. The more Fang Xia pondered over this matter, the angrier she was. She thought Dou Chuman was taking advantage of her. Unable to stand her any longer, she told the matter to the director Gao Lin, hoping that the director could remind her. Nevertheless, the director discriminated in favor of Dou Chuman, saying that Dou Chuman must have forgotten about it. When Fang Xia saw that the director had no intention to help her, she was very uncomfortable.
One day, it was Fang Xia on duty again. Dou Chuman wanted Fang Xia to help copy the photos in her phone to the computer. Because the computer on the reception desk wasn’t quick, Fang Xia offered to use the computer in the back room to help her and asked Dou Chuman to sit at the reception desk in her place. Just when Fang Xia was busy copying the photos, her head lowered, a customer came in. Fang Xia thought Dou Chuman would definitely introduce the customer to her, so she continued what she was doing. But unexpectedly, Dou Chuman herself began to receive the customer. When she appeared unable to answer what the customer asked, she said, “Let me introduce to you a professional lawyer in this aspect.” Upon hearing that, Fang Xia expected Dou Chuman to introduce the customer to her—after all, she was the one on duty that day. But, it never struck her that Dou Chuman should rise to push the door open and lead the customer to the room on the right.
It was said that the lawyer in the right room hadn’t had cases for two months odd. Dou Chuman should please others at the cost of Fang Xia’s interest. Fang Xia was about to explode with anger. She thought: How come you curry favor with her and embarrass me in front of other people? Are you not bullying me? Fang Xia felt so much hatred for Dou Chuman that she wished to go out at once, to reason, and even fight with Dou Chuman to vent her anger. At this moment, Fang Xia realized that she was bursting with her satanic dispositions, and that her condition was abnormal. In order to keep herself from doing something that grieved God’s heart, she seized her bag and left the office. She wandered in the street, feeling pained and frustrated. Everything around her seemed to have stopped moving. Her heart was burning with hatred, her mind was set on how to take revenge on Dou Chuman.
At this moment, Fang Xia had involuntarily been dominated by her corrupt nature. She didn’t want to practice the truth. She only wanted to deal with Dou Chuman with her own way. She thought: Humph! As the Chinese saying goes, “If the tiger doesn’t show its might, people may treat it as a cat.” Next time, I’ll teach you a lesson!
Several days later, the day for Fang Xia to be on duty came, and Dou Chuman once again occupied the computer on the reception desk. Fang Xia said nothing, just letting her be. As expected, Dou Chuman kept sitting there for a whole day. The next day, it was the director Gao Lin’s duty day. But Fang Xia still arrived at the unit early. Pushing the door open, she saw that Dou Chuman was unknowingly seated at her own desk. After they mutually greeted each other, Fang Xia quickly put down her bag, took a book, and sat at the reception desk. She was a little nervous in the heart, but she assumed an air of earnestness, as if she were really on duty that day. A while later, the director slowly came in. Seeing Fang Xia sit there, he went straight to the back room without saying anything. Dou Chuman noticed that Fang Xia kept sitting there, so she asked deliberately, “Well, who is on duty today?” Fang Xia pretended to be not knowing it, saying, “Am not I?” Dou Chuman was stunned and then said, “Yesterday was your duty day. Today should be the director’s.” Fang Xia thought to herself: You said you couldn’t remember who was on duty. See, how clearly you have remembered! You just pretended to be muddleheaded. Fang Xia patted her own head and pretended to have wrongly remembered the day, saying, “Oh, yesterday was my duty day? I thought it was yours. Because you sat there for a whole day, I then thought you were on duty yesterday!” At this moment, Sister He, who had long disfavored the way Dou Chuman treated Fang Xia, came out from another room and said, “Sister Dou, since you were not on duty yesterday, why did you sit there for a whole day? Why are you always taking up Fang Xia’s duty time? Don’t say that you are used to it, or you have forgotten about it. If you are in your element, then why do you never occupy the director’s duty time?” Dou Chuman knew she herself was in the wrong, so, in order to save her face, she had to go to apologize to Fang Xia. Only then did Fang Xia heaved a sigh of relief.
Although Fang Xia had her anger vented, she wasn’t as happy as she had imagined, but was condemned somewhat. She realized that she was “giving someone a taste of his own medicine,” which was not the likeness a believer in God should have. She felt much remorseful about this matter.
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