When Ned woke each morning, he was confronted by the same issue as had confronted him most of his life.
It was staring him in the face, and as happened each morning, he didn’t know what to do about it.
Could he step over it, crawl under it, run around it or do what he did most of the time, ignore it?
It had been there so long he’d become an expert denying its existence.
He did know he was stuck. Caught in the rut he’d forged for himself dealing with the day to day.
He found himself in a job he enjoyed, but the ambitions he had to progress from the bottom up had long alluded him.
It was all about confidence, you see.
Ned lacked it.
He lacked confidence in himself and his abilities and the enduring internal battle to see himself the equal of others.
He’d been in his current job for some years now. He was competent, did what was asked, got everything done on time though he was painfully aware his reporting was nowhere near as colourful as his co-workers who seemed to have the ability to compose a ‘novel’ when his best efforts resembled more a pamphlet. His Supervisor would often note of his reports that there appeared something “missing” from what he had submitted.
In the tiny world of his work area, he felt content. Within the workplace as a whole, he felt very inadequate.
He was sure most of his colleagues tolerated him, knew he would not be let go or sacked and so acknowledged him as a member of the workforce, but in reality, he knew he would never be one of “them”.
He did have successes. Best sales figures every so often. They placed him in the role of workplace safety, and he took to the role with a degree of enthusiasm. He thought he made the workplace a safer place, but in reality, he guessed the role was given to him, as no one else wanted it.
And so the internal barrier that was his life he had come to accept.
As he aged, Ned, took to evaluating his life and understanding he was where he was because basically, it was what he had chosen. It was then he felt contentment.
He knew he had erected the barriers, he knew he was happy to hide behind them, so it came as no surprise to him when he did finally retire from the workplace, that contact with his colleagues pretty much ceased to exist.
He stepped out of the workplace, his position was filled, life went on, and most likely, he felt the workplace gave a sigh of relief that he was gone.
So each morning, Ned, confronted by the issues that plagued him through life, the barriers that prevented him from ever getting anywhere professionally, would rise from his bed, have breakfast and feel free to do what he pleased. The pressures of work were gone, he had no reports to write, no need to feel that sense of professional inadequacy, which he tucked away in the recesses of his mind, for now, he was master of his own domain with no one to please but himself.