Don’t Count The Lions

Hello, Benjamin from Brother’s Campfire here!

The week began with a stumble out of bed, let down kind of feel. For a man that says don’t count the lions, I counted 34.

In 34 job interviews, I have been successful 3 times, and I put an exceptional amount of work into my presentations. I will say it has been an exhausting process.

It is frustrating as I try to do my best to improve myself each and every day, pressing the limits. In fact, one of my goals for the year is to walk 50 miles in a 24 hour period. I guess my drive doesn’t count for much in some areas.

Nonetheless, I picked myself up by the bootstraps and started on my way. I got a haircut and put my game face on as I and the Twelve-Year Veteran of life attended welding class. We would pursue some new skills together if the job had nothing for me.

It was a lackluster class composed of the “privilege” of wearing a welding helmet and protective gear. We made the best of it, but we are innovative and desired more. I did get some cool photos, but we did not learn much. I think these classes are geared for those who do not work with their hands.

We paid a pretty price and struggled to get our monies worth. It may sound ungrateful, and that might be accurate.

We were directed to draw lines in a piece of metal with a mig welder for nearly 2 hours and we had no idea what we were doing.

Because we are new to the industry and in need of guidance, we chased down our instructor, but to no avail. We would have been better off purchasing a cheap flux core mig welder and protective gear, watching a tutorial.

It was a drain on the pocketbook just like my resumes. We went home and worked a real project.

The weekend was deep-set with anxiety and near depression. I had another interview and I grow weary of them. They are a financial and mental drain.

I will say, I am a fighter and I don’t play, but it is hard to rebound from 30 plus failures. I put on my Sunday best and printed out a presentation I had worked on. If my staff had not encouraged me to go, I would not have. They like to see me in the ring and I did not wish to let them down.

On my way, I listened to church music an resolved not to let them see me sweat. I sat in my car until the last minute and arrived only 3 or 4 minutes early.

The interview was longer than normal and I became impatient. I had researched the job description extensively and I felt like I was being toyed with. I changed into my work clothing, sporting an attitude problem.

I was asked how I felt about the interview and I was pretty blunt with anyone who asked, including my prospective employer. I knew I did a good job, just like the many before it.

As you all know, I work in a prison and I was called to the warden’s office. I was about to defend my additude problem.

Long and short of it, I got the job this time, complete with business cards, an office, and an outside line.

If I have any parting words today, It would be, If you are walking in lion country, take on the lions one at a time, and don’t count them.

Author: The Storyteller

Benjamin Thiel is a husband, father, correctional professional and author of The Ongoing Tale at Brothers Campfire. His favorite quote is "Don't count the lions. It will make you afraid and slow you down."

80 thoughts on “Don’t Count The Lions”

      1. Yes, many years ago I went to learn how to bind books, old and new, the craftsman wanted to leave me his shop with the old paper cutting machines and all the rest, but I had other projects. But now I know exactly how to * seduce * an old bookbinder to make me leave his business 😝🤓

  1. Good job. About time someone recognized your abilities and capabilities. Bummer about the class, though. I think you may be onto something about the target audience.

  2. Excellent display of perseverance! 👏👏. Yes, I am also happy your talents and abilities were finally recognized in your current work setting. They were blind to what we have always known. Congratulations on the new job!! I also appreciate you being transparent in this post. This helps to encourage us to keep pushing despite what may seem to be unsurmountable challenges. Amen on the lions! I bet Daniel did not look at any of those lions when he was thrown in the lions’ den…he just looked up, I believe, and look at what happened at the end of that story!

    I also am sorry about that class. I know you were both excited before you went, but you made the best of it when you returned home…bravo! 👏👏

  3. If at first you don’t succeed. Try try again…. I don’t know who that is by but remember that many great people failed thier way to the top. I believe in this situation that it was simply the Lord’s timing and his way if putting you in the right place. So many times we must get to the point where it seems all hope is lost and then we must simply keep stepping out with our feeble faith until a miracle occurs and suddenly we are in a new place one where we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we didn’t get there on our own.

    Congrats Ben, I couldn’t be more happy for you and your family.

  4. Wow! I’m so proud that you got the job, Ben! And after 30 failures, I know that it must’ve been discouraging but you kept at it and finally won the prize! Wishing you the best of luck in your new position!

  5. They like to say how “untrained” for available jobs we all are…yet these are their idea of us paying for “training”… I say employers pay to train if they want trained people. I personally have paid for my last job “education”…

    1. I think there is merit to an employer teaching the appropriate level of skill and incurring the expense for fiture profit.

      You know, I was qualified for many of not all of those interviews. In a correctional environment, and probably many others, ot is not always about what you know……

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