He was excited when he resumed in his new office. It was his dream job and he felt fulfilled. He even had an office to himself. He went to work early and was courteous to everybody. Lucky was the most jovial staff in the organisation.
One day, some of his colleagues discussed him.
‘That Lucky is a bundle of joy.’ one of them remarked,
‘Oh! Sure he is. He is still new.’
‘Yes, he is new. He is yet to face reality.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Wait till he joins Club 99, then we will see if he will remain this excited.’
‘Oh! You are right. He is yet to face the test.’
And the ‘seasoned’ staff looked knowingly at each other and smiled.
A few months later, Lucky came to the office, smiling happily in his usual happy manner and whistled as he walked to his office. He opened the door and stopped short as he saw the parcel.
Cautiously, he opened it and read the contents. His excitement grew as he brought out the contents. Then a dark cloud crossed his face. He repeated the exercise and his frown grew deeper, his face darker. For almost an hour, he could not do any work as he kept repeating the exercise over and over again.
He finally gave up and walked to the adjacent office. It belonged to Marvin who was his closest friend in the office. Marvin had resumed a few months before him and helped to show him the ropes. He narrated the story to Marvin who laughed and stretched out his hand. Lucky took his hand calmly and Marvin said solemnly.
‘Welcome to Club 99.’
‘I don’t understand.’ Lucky looked as baffled as he felt.
‘From now on, I can assure you that your smiles will disappear and you will look as stressed as the others in this office.’
‘What exactly is this all about? I don’t……..
‘Did you read the content of the letter?’
‘Yes I did.’
‘I suggest you do so again, then we can talk.’
Lucky dragged his feet to the office and looked at the letter again.
In appreciation for your services to this organisation, you have been given the sum of 100 dollars. This amount is free of tax and not refundable. Kindly enjoy it and we wish you success on the job.’
Dr Kenneth Campbell
Lucky checked through the parcel to see if there was any other letter but there was none. He counted the crisp notes and saw that they were 99 dollars; still one dollar short of 100 dollars, still driving his crazy as he searched for the missing note.
Lucky walked to meet Mavin who laughed as he entered.
‘That is what we all face here. This organisation employs the smartest minds and pays them well. Then they get this parcel and it is always one dollar short. The staff are stressed out, looking for that one dollar. They never find it and they never stop searching.’
The explanation did not make sense to Lucky. But the smiles disappeared and he joined others in Club 99, looking for the missing dollar and feeling dissatisfied with life.
I don’t know how true this story is. But I learnt some lessons from it the day I heard it. It is like a metaphor for the life we live. We start out, excited, jovial, willing to dare any opposition, then we join club 99 and everything changes. We are dissatisfied with everything. We do not appreciate what we have, we always crave for that one dollar while we forget the 99 that we have. Our search for the 99 is not like the good shepherd that goes after the one sheep that strays from the fold (Matthew 18:12). It is not like the one who aspires for greatness because that is not a bad thing either.
We are just dissatisfied no matter what success we achieve and we show it in all we say and do.
I don’t want to be a member of Club 99. I want to be content with what I have and praise God while at it.
What about you?