This story is one of three that were written for a service on outreach.
If you want to see how it fits in that context, then click
here for details of the service.
Dear Mr Richards,
You asked me for a confidential character assessment of Mrs. Faith Peterson as part of her annual review. As her line manager I am pleased to give her my full support.
When I first met Faith and learned she was a church-goer, I assumed she would be a self-righteous holier-than-thou hypocrite. As I grew to know her, I realised she was nothing like the stereotype of a Christian that I had imagined. She is pleasant to work with, has a wicked sense of humour, and is in most respects a normal human being.
She is a good team player. She works well with the other staff and seems genuinely to care about them as people. In fact sometimes I have found her listening sympathetically to someone else’s problems rather than getting on with the work she is paid to do. Fortunately this does not happen too often, and in any case a happy workforce is an efficient workforce (as you constantly remind us), so I usually allow such conversations to run their natural course. Faith contributes well in team meetings and is happy for others to take and develop her ideas.
Faith is honest and reliable. She is not the fastest or most skilful of our staff, and sometimes she has to stay late to finish a job, but if I give her a task to do I can rely on her to complete it to the best of her ability. She may be slow, but she always finishes what she starts.
Faith’s biggest fault is her temper. She can grow very passionate at times, and will occasionally say things in the heat of the moment which she later regrets. Such flashes are fortunately rare and short-lived, and she always makes the effort to apologise when she has calmed down. In fact, this is the aspect of Faith’s character which has most impressed me. She is by no means perfect, but she is aware of her imperfections and constantly working to overcome them. If she causes a problem she tries her utmost to put things right again. She doesn’t hold grudges and seems to see the best in everyone. In fact I don’t think I have ever heard Faith make fun of other people behind their backs, though she is more than willing to have a good laugh at her own expense.
I have met some so-called Christians who are very pushy and give the impression that they are somehow better than you. They try to parade their beliefs at every opportunity. Faith is not like that. The best way to describe her is ‘quietly self-confident.’ She carries an air of assurance as if she knows that life is good and she is determined to live it to the full. Even the flashes of temper don’t disturb that sense of underlying confidence for long.
Faith would no doubt attribute this sense of being at peace with the world to her belief in God. I’m not a believer myself, but I can’t argue with the fact that Faith is one of the most well-adjusted individuals I know. She is friendly, down-to-earth and conscientious. I value her as one of my team.
I hope this information is useful to you in your annual staff review.