I was frozen in time. It was day 58. Late afternoon on Friday, April 6, 1980, I was staring blankly out my office window. There were no job offers. My career at Chrysler was over. I couldn’t go back to my bosses and tell them I had changed my mind and would accept the Iacocca position. The offer had been withdrawn.
Cynthia had given me a small crocheted picture of an open window on a colorful spring day with the curtains gently flapping in the wind. The lettering across the top read, “When God closes a door,” and across the bottom it read, “He opens a window.” The Regional Distribution Manger noticed the picture on my desk and commented, “That kind of stuff doesn’t belong here.” I knew he was right about one thing; I didn’t belong here. But where did I belong?
I was confused and uncertain, but not angry. I had learned my lesson in November. I must have been wrong, misunderstood, and hadn’t listened, but how and where had I gone wrong?
On Saturday morning, April 7, 1980 I was sitting at the kitchen table trying to figure out which real estate agent to contact when the phone rang. It was Jim Press from Toyota. He apologized that he hadn’t called me during the week. He had been very busy with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. He offered me the job of Assistant to the National Sales Manger, Hal Bracken. One month later I was working at Toyota.
My second day at Toyota, I attended a national sales meeting. Mr. Makino, the Japanese President, opened the meeting. It was a refreshingly frank and open discussion of all the issues facing the dealers and Toyota. I knew I was where I belonged—home at last.
“Good comes to those…who conduct their business fairly. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them.” Psalm 112:5,7 (NLT)
It wouldn’t be long before Mr. Makino would call me to his office and make me an offer I couldn’t refuse—but did.
(To be continued next Monday in “You Can’t Say No to Mr. Makino”)