Diary of a Drywaller: Chapter 13

Doug Bellamy / February 2019

Beginning again, way back when….

The door opened with some skepticism, disbelief and wonder on both sides. As for my wife, she no doubt wondered who might be knocking at 4 a.m. Me, on the outside looking in, completely stunned by the series of events leading to my arrival. The words spilled out of my mouth. “I’m home, I’m coming home.”
    
I told her the same story that I’ve just old you. Rehearsing each step, the dream, the voice, the trip and now my miraculous arrival. Though it was indeed strangely foreign for both of us, I held her tightly in my arms, like I used to, but to some extent, like never before. That would prove to be a new beginning.
    
That weekend, I learned an important lesson. For the life of me I can’t tell you how I thought it could possibly be right, but I did—at the time. I had told her (my wife) that I wanted to go and tell the girl I’ve mentioned, a final goodbye.
    
Meanwhile, we attended a church service that had very eerie kind of a reminder that God was watching everything and about to rock our world. I know how strange this sounds to some of you but bear with me. This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
    
Pastor Chuck picked my wife and I out of the whole church full of people during the middle of the service and asked us to stand. He then asked if that was my wife standing next to me, and I nodded reluctantly, yes. He told us to join hands, and then he spoke for about two or three minutes.
    
I’m telling you, and I’m not exaggerating, it was as though this guy had been reading my mail. He knew everything about everything but couldn’t possibly have known anything about anything. Call it what you will, but it was clearly another miracle in a series of miracles that would occur in coming days, months, years and decades.
    
I’ll have to insert this right here. I think everyone will agree, it’s about time we got back to management. After all, this is a column with the title of “Management Desk,” right? It is supposed to be about managing, and so it is—or at least it will be, shortly. Yes, we will be getting back to that topic but you’ll have a better understanding of where I’m coming from. Hopefully, knowing the backstory will be a big help going forward.
    
Believe it or not, this guy pronounced an incredible blessing on my wife and me. It was nothing I would’ve expected. A blessing? At the time I was guilt ridden and filled with shame. He told me that “whatever I put my hand to would prosper” and that “all workmanship would be given.”
    
I realized later that both of these comments came from the Bible. The take-away was, going forward I would have special God-given gifts to do the things that needed done. Special help, a distinct advantage, to manage and administrate. In addition, in closing he said I would know by this weekend that the problem is not solved.
    
So then, the stage was set. All this having happened, I thought I should go tell this girl a final goodbye. Yeah, that’s right. I was brain-dead. If you don’t believe me, ask my wife! But then, suddenly a specific probing question was ringing in my mind: “If the situation were reversed, what would you want her to do?” That question was begging for an answer, relentlessly.
    
Don’t ask me how I was so inconsiderate up until that moment, but it took me only an instant to answer the question. Once I considered the matter from her perspective, I knew I shouldn’t go, and I didn’t. That was the first time I recall considering the “Golden Rule,” which is “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” Do you see how neatly that answers most questions as to how we should behave? That weekend, as the pastor said, was a turning point.
    
So what did I do next? For starters, I went to work for Alta Drywall as a new hire, entry level employee. I went to work for a competitor, as a nobody. Worse yet, my reputation was severely damaged, and it wasn’t going to prove easy to rebuild the trust I had destroyed.
    
Meanwhile, things continued to worsen. Slowly but surely, many of the bad seeds sewn during the mid to late 1970s came up all around me. Sticking with the analogy, I had plenty of weeds in my garden. I went bankrupt. We moved in with another family, which soon took its toll on both families, and before long, they loaned us a tent and sent us packing.

Doug Bellamy is former president of Innovative Drywall Systems Inc. dba Alta Drywall, Escondido, Calif. Contact him at doug@altadrywall.com.