These are politically correct times in which we live, so Bernie Andrew’s coworkers at the architectural firm of Walpole and Teal are always mindful of his Jehovah Witness faith.
Whenever a colleague is celebrating a birthday, they will present the cake and card in the boardroom, two floors below his office. They were relieved when Bernie gave them his blessing years ago to hang Christmas decorations (so long as none came near his office, of course), but they’re careful to keep the displays modest and tasteful; more ‘winter wonderland’ than Christmas. And no one ever discusses the crazy times they have at the annual Christmas party. That would just be rude and disrespectful. The blood donors of the firm also keep that part of their lives a secret from Bernie.
Some feel sorry for him. It must be kind of sad if not awkward, they think, watching everyone around you have fun. Others admire his firm commitment to his faith. However, there is a certain contingent that think he’s foolish for getting wrapped up in what they consider to be just another religious cult, but they keep that sentiment to themselves in accordance with these politically correct times.
One of the secretaries at the firm, Gina, sometimes wants to ask Bernie about his faith, in hopes of gaining a greater understanding of why he and his fellow believers are not permitted to celebrate so many of the things that others do. She’s afraid, though, that if she does he’ll take it to mean that she’s interested in becoming a Jehovah Witness herself. Gina prefers to sleep in on Saturdays, not go around knocking on the doors of other people, so the chances of converting her are pretty slim.
Truth be told, Bernie’s glad that no one at the office ever quizzes him about his Jehovah Witness faith because he doesn’t know any more about the religion than his coworkers. Bernie is a Baptist; a lapsed one mind you. He’s also incredibly anti-social, lazy, cheap, and a huge clock watcher. By convincing everyone that he’s a Jehovah Witness he doesn’t have to do annoying things such as sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to his work mates, help put up decorations, or make small talk with them at some lame holiday party. All he has to do is show up for work, do what he’s paid to do, and then come five o’clock, go home to peace and quiet.
One day, a real Jehovah Witness is bound to join the firm. Until then, Bernie will keep on doing what he’s been getting away with for years.