As Jack pulled into his company’s parking lot at 7:00am he noticed a number of co-workers were already at work. The previous night’s experience at Lodge was still on his mind as he reached his desk and began to unload his backpack. It was not uncommon for him to take home reports so he could read and absorb the content in the quiet of his apartment. He pulled out several he had taken home yesterday and put them on his desk.
Jack works for a company that develops and markets software for financial services firms; financial planners, investment advisors and accounting firms make up the majority of their customer base. Jack had been lucky. He immediately began work after his college graduation last year. A great number of his friends are still interviewing hoping to find jobs. If they are working, they are doing whatever they can find until the right opportunity comes along.
Jack’s degree is in marketing and when hired he began work in the sales department as was assigned to making calls to potential customers. The company has a management training program in which Jack is enrolled and this job is where everyone starts. Jack really didn’t think of himself as a salesman so he looks at this job as just a stepping stone to what he really would like to do; owning a marketing design firm that produces promotional campaigns.
Jack really hadn’t thought of this dream when John had asked him if he a plan for his life. Jack pulled out his phone and added an entry in his Masonry folder. It was a reminder to add this as a goal in his personal development plan.
Jack had turned away from his desk and hadn’t noticed his immediate boss, Jeff Sevren, had walked up to his desk. When Jack turned around Jeff was flipping through something he had picked up from Jack’s desk. Jack’s surprise turned to horror when he realized Jeff had his EA ritual book. It must have been on top of the reports Jack had pulled out of his backpack.
“Good Morning Jack, what’s this?” he said waving the ritual book at Jack.
Jack was immediately at a loss for words. His mind flashed back to the degree and he remembered the oath about not disclosing any of Masonry’s secrets and now here was his boss asking about his ritual book. Jack wasn’t sure what Jeff’s reaction would be when he told him that he had joined the Masons. After a year, Jack had not quite decided how to react to Jeff. He was a nice enough guy but always seemed to be looking out for himself, loved to cut corners and was always joking about ways to fool his boss, except of course when his boss showed up and then he pretended to be the ultimate, super-hero employee.
“It’s nothing, “Jack finally said, I meant to leave it at home.”
“Nothing, it looks like some super- secret code. Come on Jack, level with me, you’re not a spy working for the CIA are you?”
“Ok, it’s my Masonic ritual book and I wasn’t supposed to let anyone see it unless they are a Mason.”
“So you are a member of a secret organization. I’ve heard about those guys, don’t they do weird crap in the meetings with skulls and bones and they’ll kill you if tell the secrets? At least that’s what I’ve seen on TV.”
“It’s not like that at all. Look, I’m just learning about the Masons and I really don’t think I should be talking to you about it. My father was a Mason and my Uncle Ted helped me become a member. My father was a great man and so is my Uncle Ted, so I don’t think they would have been involved if it hadn’t of been worthwhile.”
Jeff was not about to let up. “Well they may not have known what truly is happening. The TV show I saw said that there is a higher level of degrees that only a very few have received. The average guy like your Dad and Uncle don’t even know it’s going on. These elite guys want to take over the world and their using the other Masons to help them and the Masons don’t even know it. I’d watch myself if I were you.”
Jack was really starting to get irritated at his boss. When he had asked his Uncle Ted about joining Jack had brought up to his Uncle some of the things he had seen and read on the internet. Some of them were even worse than what Jeff was chiding him about. His Uncle explained that Masonry has some very vocal critics but most of them, even when provided the truth, continued their incessant rants. Ted told him that a Mason, even though they may want to defend Masonry, shouldn’t waste their time arguing with such people. Jack then remembered that at the end of the EA degree there was a statement made which said pretty much that.
Jack wanted desperately to change the subject and his head was spinning trying to think of something, anything to get Jeff off his Masonic conspiracy lecture. Finally he said, “Jeff, do you have a plan for your life?” Immediately after the words came out of his mouth, Jack almost gasped in horror that he had just asked his boss that question. It must have still been on his mind from when John asked him.
“Plan for my life? Buddy-boy you’re looking at the plan. Jeffrey David Seffren, that’s all I need, don’t I have success written all over me? Pretty soon I’ll make regional sales manager, then division manager and if I keep my nose clean and my numbers up, I’ll be a shoo-in for VP of sales. And then someday I’ll be running this place and on easy street.”
“Wow, that’s impressive,” said Jack, “you must really like this place and what you do.”
“Hey, it’s a job. You don’t have to really like what you do. Haven’t you figured that out? The corporate world is a game and if you play the game right, kiss some butts, and smile all the time, you get noticed. So you have to cut some corners and run over a few smucks along the way, that’s life. By the way, are you now some kind of guidance counselor along with being involved in this secret Masonic stuff?”
Luckily Jacks phone rang. “Jeff I have to take this, it could mean a sale for me.”
Jeff walked away and Jeff answered his phone, “Hello this is Jack Stephen.”
“Jack, this is John Grogan, sorry to bother you at work but I just wanted to thank you for coming last night and wondered if you had any further questions.”
“John, it’s great to hear your voice so soon. Matter of fact I was going to call you because I just had a conversation with my boss about Masonry. He saw my ritual on my desk had picked it up and was leafing through it. Then he started this whole thing about how some elite Masons are trying to take over the world and how you and I don’t even know about it. I was really starting to get mad and was about to lay into him about it but didn’t.”
“What stopped you Jack?”
“Uncle Ted told me that I might run into people who thought some strange things about Masonry and it really wasn’t worth my time to argue with them. I think I also remembered at the end of the degree last night that advice was in the EA Charge, wasn’t it?”
“You’re exactly right, it was. I’m proud of you. You remember we talked that Masonry’s ritual is not just words. The ritual presents lessons that each Mason is to think about and then apply to his life. You have taken an important step in becoming Masonry. You applied Masonry and it worked for you.”
“It sure did and this will give me a great story to put in my journal this evening. I started one last night. I’m also going to write about the question I asked my boss.”
“What did you ask him Jack?”
“If he had a plan for his life.”
“What did he say?”
“He told me how he had it all figured out and someday he was going to run the place. The sad part was he said that it was just a job and you just have to play the game to get ahead. It doesn’t sound like the plan you and I talked about. Jeff’s an OK guy, maybe he just needs some guidance, like Masonry.”
“Maybe someday that will happen Jack. Well, I’ll let you go; talk to you soon.”
Jack wrote in his journal that evening about the encounter with Jeff. He wanted to make sure he understood the two Masonic lessons he learned today. The first he had talked with John about on the phone; don’t let your love of Masonry get you in arguments with people you don’t know anything about it. The second John remembered was that Masons were reminded by the compasses that they were to be careful about their passions.
Jack was sure there were other lessons to be learned from the EA degree but would have to wait until his session with John who will teach him to read the ritual. It was something to look forward to.
Next: More Masonic lessons are revealed to Jack