jolie laide: I Love Where I Work

jolie laide

I started this when I lived in Brooklyn and struggled for grace in a city that grants moments of beauty and ugliness breathtakingly close to one another. Now I live in a place where things are a different kind of ugly and the beauty is pedestrian. I struggle with that.


I Love Where I Work

Today is the Mother’s Day pot luck lunch at work. I’ll go, bring my dish, even though I neither am a mother nor have a mother--two facts which occasionally, intermittently and alternately gore me--because where I work, one thing we do well is celebrate each other.

We do this with such openness, such humanity it is astounding. Perhaps it is because we have to, we understand how precious, seeing every day what happens when you degrade, when you are caught under the wheels and dragged by illness, poverty, ignorance, cruel public policy.

And this is such a special place, with an esprit de corps like no place I have ever been. Not too long ago I was working on a project and feeling completely overwhelmed by horror, the horror our works are trying to ameliorate, and I was writing the phrase “generational poverty and pervasive despair” when someone came on the intercom system with “there are doughnuts in the dining room!” and the absurd juxtaposition had me grinning. And running to meet my colleagues for a doughnut.


Blogger Dr. S said...

We don't have the same kinds of pressures that you do, where I work, but I echo your title's words. I have totally excellent colleagues, and I love going to work because of them (in part because of them, I should say). Hooray!

9:06 AM  
Blogger ttractor said...

there's pressure, but the fulfillment is huge. I love doing community-based work. I did a brief stint at one of the country's, well, the world's, largest museums (and now that I think of it, the job at "the world's best chamber orchestra" had that exact same groove going on):
Me: Uh, guys, who's our constituency?
Famous Pompous Institution: The entire world!
Me: Um, so how do you measure your impact?
LPI: People come from all over to see us!
Me: Soooooo, what does that do for those totally neglected and socially savaged people standing right over there?
LPI: Lalalalalalala! I can't hear you!

8:22 PM  
Blogger RC said...

mother's day potluck at work...sounds sort of lame.

--RC of

12:35 AM  

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