For nine years, one of my favorite shows has aired on weeknights. Leaving me filled with joyous laughter,tears, and suspense. It has captivated audiences world-wide and imprints “The Office” swag on our hearts and minds. What’s so dumbfoundingly amazing, yea I just made that word up, is how relate-able those characters and experiences are from my own life of different jobs held. Offices hold many walks of life. With quirks,skills,knowledge, and true work-grit. The office can bring out many long-term friends and relationships that become invaluable. If you haven’t figured it out by now–the longing run show The Office is close to my heart, especially in the area where Jim and Pam are concerned.
For my own story of love and commitment began three years ago in an office…
Like Pam, I was formerly engaged years prior and since then that relationship had popped and fizzled into oblivion. I wouldn’t know it yet, but I would be so grateful and thankful for the true love and commitment that would come into my life in my second year of Rhema. I began working at Micahtek in the fall of 2009. I had never worked in a Call Center before but was eager to work in the environment of Micahtek due to the fact that most of our clients were ministries that I was very familiar with. Being a few thousand miles away from home snapped me into reality of adulthood. I quickly became friends with some incredible co-workers; who are still close friends of mine to this day. We spent down times playing UNO and Trouble while calls were slow. We talked about God and life and books we were reading. We prayed for each other and encouraged each other. There were definitely times of sheer joy and laughter in that office. I decided to internally apply for a job position available in our Quality Control department. I had a feeling I would enjoy the work load and just different pace then my normal phone agent position. I prayed and believed for the position and was blessed to be brought on to the Quality Control team soon after. I worked with the most incredible Supervisor. To this day, I have not met anyone like her. A true leader, with patience and understanding, and the ability to train and coach when needed. To me, she will always be the gem of that company. She sowed into my life so many times and for that I will always be grateful.
I had been with the company for almost a year when Gary started working there. I didn’t notice a lot of the new hires until they were filtered into our coaching logs. But I apparently caught Gary’s eye from the moment he saw me. He told me that when he was in his last week of training he noticed “the girl” laughing and carrying on with the QC agents. A few weeks after would be when Gary caught my attention and made my heart soar. It was just any old day in the office. The night shift was a lively bunch and all kinds of shenanigans would abound. Being that some of the night supervisor’s were also close friends of the Quality Control team, there was always a good joke or hilarious call to talk about. By this time I had seen Gary in the office. His schedule was a lot different from mine and I think we only worked one or two days a week together. I don’t remember the exact conversation I had with Tyler, my fellow co-worker, but I remember that Gary was on his coaching list and we started listening to some of his calls. One of the most attractive things I noticed about Gary is that he always brought his Bible to read at work. During our slow periods of the night he would sit there and just read.
Then he started sitting with another co-worker.
(Que scary music now.)
Duh-dum dum dum.
He started sitting with a mutual friend at work and for a split second I thought Gary was interested in her. I later on found out they were only friends, which was such a relief. But you know that feeling! The sinking of your heart to the pit of your stomach?! That’s when he started to move and sit closer to the QC row in the front. Tyler, of course teased me about liking him and convinced me to go up to him and “confirm” who he was.
Me: You’re new here… You’re Gary, right?
Gary: Yea, I am.
(Rolls eyes–smooth Lauren, real smooth.)
Gary, being the perceptive man that he is…saw right through me. And I’m happy he did. From there on we chatted every now and then as work would allow. We even had an in-depth interview of his type of dream girl, favorite foods, pet peeves, etc. With his famous response from my question of: blonde or brunette?
Gary: Red heads.
Needless to say, there was a little something spectacular about going into work now. One day in the break room I had teased him about his sack lunch and always eating apples and banana’s every time I saw him. I remember my disappointment when I found out one day he was leaving early and I wouldn’t get to talk with him for the rest of my shift until next week. I was an employee of many hats. I had my hands in special projects, assisting the front desk when needed, and of course Quality Control. When it became apparent that we both mutually liked each other, our relationship blossomed. Gary would brag all about his amazing “rap skills”, and of course I challenged him with that at every turn. He surprised me though. With handwriting me original “raps” or really…poems every week. I have saved every single one he ever wrote me. The playful banter continued of nicknames given and hopes of the future would bring.
I was happy.
The rest is pretty much history. Gary asked me to become his wife in the fall of 2010. We were engaged to be married in the Spring of 2011. We have been together 3 years and married for 2. I look forward to decades more with this incredible man by my side.
***UPDATE: I did forget to mention a very important element in this story. The night before our wedding Gary came over and I was able to give him the letters I had been writing to my future husband since my highschool years.