I didn’t even know who sang the song until I looked it up for this story. The song is called “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul but I have renamed it. You see we listen to the oldies station at work where they play hits from the 70’s and 80’s. This was a big hit in the 80’s and those were the years that I knew Doug. When I hear that song, which I do every day, because the station has a very limited selection of songs it plays, I think of Doug. In fact to me it isn’t “Straight Up” it is Doug’s Song!”
Over the years working in my positions at the University I have become acquainted with numerous students. Usually students are hired either through work-study programs or from out of the departments budget. It’s a nice thing for a student to have a job that is close and convenient and they offer helpful hands to do the busy monotonous work that is hard for us to find time for. By far the most memorable student I ever met was Doug. Doug was hired in our Accounts Receivable office to handle the little things like all students were. Doug was different than any student I have met before or since. He was studying Finance which wasn’t that unusual. His dad was the president of a bank which happens. Doug though had such a dynamic personality that he made us laugh every day we saw him! I always looked forward to Doug coming in because he cracked me up with his crazy fun ideas. For example: he really admired my ability to relate to students and help them understand their accounts. He came up with a name for me “The Doctor of Finance!” Doug talked about a video he wanted to do sometime. It would have had the big hit of the day “Bad Case Of Loving You” sang by Robert Palmer in the background. That song had the lyrics “Doctor doctor give me the news, I got a bad case of loving you.” Doug pictured me dressed in the whole doctors uniform like I was ready to perform surgery. At the appropriate time between the main lyrics he pictured me having my own part as I danced around singing that I was the doctor of finance. I was to emphasize in my little song how the students could come to me and I would perform the operation that would save them financially! It was all fun and I played along with Doug about the possibilities of his dream production becoming a reality.
One of the ladies that had the position of keeping track of students that were moving into the dorms from the financial side of it had to go on maternity leave. Instead of hiring a temporary person for the position Doug was placed in her spot. In all of my years at the University I have never seen a student doing a full time workers job except in Doug’s case! Usually Judy who had the position did her job in silence. She talked to the appropriate people in the housing area and got everything straight. With Doug doing the job it was entertainment at it’s best! I remember he had one person that he couldn’t get placed right. We were billing this person but he couldn’t get it straight which dorm room they were in. He went around and around with it and we could only laugh as the whole episode was so entertaining to him and us too. Finally after going around in circles with everyone it seemed and giving us updates on the details in his excited way he got the person placed right. I can’t even describe the suspense he created through the whole episode, it was priceless! Eventually Judy came back to her job and Doug returned to being a student worker again. The time that he was doing that job was some of the most suspenseful, funny, and entertaining times I have experienced. His whole outlook on life was so upbeat that he uplifted everyone that he came into contact with!
Every day Doug said or did something that just cracked me up! He shared everything that was going on in his life and he was so outgoing! Doug had a magnetic personality and he was a hard worker. His goal was to become a president of a bank like his father. Anyone could see that with his charisma he would eventually reach his goal. He was always trying to look on the funny side of life. To make me laugh one day he told me that he wanted to be a singer for just one song. They were playing that “Straight Up” song on the radio and he told me his part was coming up. They sang the part “Straight up now tell me do you really want to love me forever OH OH OH.” Doug wanted to do that “OH OH OH” part!
OK, so as I would do with Doug sometimes let’s play along with his “dream job.” If Doug somehow miraculously got the job of singing the Oh, Oh, Oh’s his name would appear right on the album along with everyone else who had big parts in the song. He would get royalties from me hearing the song every day! After all he would have been part of the group right? So Doug would have been paid each time the song played all of these years for basically doing nothing. I didn’t mention that Doug had kind of a gravelly voice and I don’t think he sang well. Of course that wouldn’t matter because it would be hardly noticed with his limited part.
Maybe it is a dream to have a job that you don’t do anything but get paid handsomely. After all most of these high paying jobs require long hours where you can’t enjoy your success. Wouldn’t it be nice to get paid for very little time spent? I joke sometimes to people when they ask me if I like my job? I love my job I’ll tell them, but I’m still looking for that job where they just send the checks to my home without me having to come in! That joke always gets a laugh as they invariably reply “Well if you find that job let me know!”
I guess that is the lure of the lottery. By only investing a dollar you could become an instant millionaire! I’m afraid that this kind of thinking has gotten into our Christian walk. So many times we want to do things the easy way. Maybe by name we want to be a Christian but when it comes to walking the walk we would rather take the easy path. Doug became a vice president for a bank just like we all knew he would. He got there with determination and hard work. He was only joking about his dream job of singing. Many times as Christians we are not joking. We want to be sent the benefits without doing anything. We want to win the war without going to battle. We want to be the hero of the game from the bench. When you can’t tell the Christians from the Non-Christians something is wrong. We no longer are the salt of the earth that Jesus talked about that separates us. That fact alone should cause us to really say OH OH OH, not as a quick way to riches, but to recognize our bad attitude and have God change us!