RANGER AGAINST WAR: On the OP - LP: Working <

Sunday, March 10, 2013

On the OP - LP: Working

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What's been on your mind this weekend?  We have enjoyed our first sunny days -- harbingers of our soon-to-come, brief spring.  The riot of pollen has begun, and the birds are in transit.  We saw what appeared to be an owl sitting in a low tree a few mornings ago, a rare sighting. Native American wisdom might say we are in for a dose of vision and insight, something I would welcome.

This week I heard many stories of people in transit, too, or whose jobs were transitioning -- not in positive ways. The woman who cut my hair had been an elementary school teacher for seven years, but applied for and accepted a scholarship at the Aveda Institute.  She spoke avidly about the highlights of teaching her student population: watching them learn to read and then make meaning, and mature as a result of their newfound abilities, but the downsides to the job over-matched her enthusiasm.  Her spirit and smile were infectious, and I'm sure she will be a success in her new field.

Next, while checking out at Ross one of the employees told my cashier that she (the cashier) needed to take out the trash.  I asked if this was a new policy, and she could not restrain her disdain, "I did not hire on for that.  I will pick up the hangars and clothes, but I'm not taking out the garbage."  It seems this was a newly-enacted policy, and said she was ready to be fired if need be.

I have checked out with her over the years, and she has always been most pleasant, so this was disappointing to hear; not only a new duty for her, but the loss of jobs for the janitors. (As the dumpster is behind the building in a somewhat dangerous and concealed area, I do not blame her.)

Ditto was the disappointment expressed by a well-spoken employee at Home Depot, who apologized for the wait due to recent downsizing.  Since she was a young woman, I was surprised at her awareness and sorry for her predicament.  She was a good spokesman for the company, said she enjoyed working there, but that it wasn't right for there to be only one sales associate at checkout at 6 p.m.  She said she didn't want to blame Obamacare but speculated it might have something to do with the employment situation.

The man who did my massage left his lucrative job as a software designer because it was killing him.  He was told at the age of 30 that he needed a hip replacement, and he felt like he could do better. He was obese and static all day, and compressing a spinal nerve; he said most of his fellows looked just like him.  He has spent the last several years educating himself about how to return to wellness.  

His said he is happy because his old job and his new one share the challenge of connecting the dots to make things work; his new life will look more like this man's.  He said he has decided to prioritize health and human connection over the ingathering of stuff.

Finally, the manager at Walgreens (about whom I've written of before) shared that her daughter, who is doing a legal internship at a Florida legislator's office, is in her final stages of burnout from the overwhelming need of the constituents and the diminishing resources to address them.  I complimented her on her daughter's strong social service ethic and asked what she had done to help inculcate that. 

The stern mother in her pulled herself fully erect and set her jaw: "Every morning I had my children read a news story from the paper, not just for the details but for understanding, too." Impressed, I praised her protocol but said that a well-informed citizenry might not be what our government is after. She agreed, and left me with the most plaintive question: "What can we do?"

It was not a toss-off -- she wanted to know. 

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had our first sunny spring-like day yesterday. A buddy and I went about 40 miles south to pick up a load of hay and we weren't even half way through loading it, when I had to take off my jacket because I was sweating too much - which means that the weather was surprisingly warm, not that I'm out of shape ;-) It was a simple real pleasure to work in a T-shirt and feel the sun on my skin again.

On the topic of birds, the two of the three little falcons (kestrels sp?) that my wife rescued last summer have returned and are busy chasing starlings out of the big oak tree out front. We're thinking that they will be making nests up there. Apparently this kind of falcon retruns to where they were born to raise their own young if they can. They soar past our bedroom window in the morning making their falcon whistle as they head out to hunt. Around noon they return to the tree and make their distinctive Kee kee kee kee cry as they deal with seed eating squatters. They've grown quite a bit since they disapeared last fall. Must have been a lot of mice wherever they went. Any how, it makes my heart glad to see that two of them are alive, well, and back home carrying-on the cycle of life.

On the jobs front, I am still working away at my desk job. I gripe about it, but then I think I am lucky to have a work from home arrangement that allows me to enjoy my horses, falcons and wife (not necessarily in that order) and that pays a good salary. Actually, a friend - someone with whom I built a lot of political capital by doing him right several years ago and, generally, by doing things well - contacted me. He made me a tentative offer that represents a substantial slary increase. I almost feel guilty as it's more money than I've ever made before, ut he thinks I'm worth it. Also, I feel a sense of loyalty to my current boss. He relies on me and he's treated me well. But, business is business, right. Gotta look out for myself and my family.

At any rate it's a good place to be sitting, especially in this economy.

Life is good. Son is back from the war in one piece, I dodged prison,job security, wife is calm and happy again, falcons flying around.......

avedis

Monday, March 11, 2013 at 11:53:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

I love hearing the good news, avedis. It IS such a simple, lovely pleasure to just feel the sun on one's skin and be able to do honest work. A warm bath followed by crisp sheets in bed is another ...

I'm glad your falcons returned, and can share their happiness with you. Doing well by other beings pays off, and I am glad you have the fine job offer, too.

Monday, March 11, 2013 at 10:50:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Avedis,
If your son ever wants to talk i'm available.
My hawks are actively nesting , and for at least 20 years they do so near my workshop.
IMO they are generational as you mention.
Sadly my whippoorwills have disappeared from my land. A sad lot.
We feed a fox every night and he always eats from 7-8 pm.
All the dogs are gone and will not be replaced.
As for hay and horses those days are gone. You need a strong basck to throw 40 pd bales.
Incidentally i give pecan wood to a WW2 Marine pacific vet and he and his wife used to cut it as a team. She recently died and this year he did it by his lonesome. When i asked about her he said-She's under the ground.
My land nurtures a lotta wild critters.
jim

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 9:02:00 AM GMT-5  

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