I hired a 20 year old yesterday for our shipping department. He was recently laid off from a job he had since dropping out of high school to care for his Mom. When he left with the good news that the job was his, he walked to his car, looked into the mirrored windows and did a little happy dance.
What he didn’t know (and couldn’t see) is that on the other side of the window is the office of a lady who is thrilled to come to work every day. The witnessing of his happy dance made her smile. That happy dance is how happy she is, because she just put her last and fourth child into school and is now free to get a job OUT of the house. She is happy for every single day she can come to work and be something other than Mom.
She is past the stage of longing to be home with her little girl who says funny things and grows in the blink of an eye. This is the stage that the girl is in who she gives her lottery money to. This girl plays the lottery in hopes of being able to stay home to enjoy every second of her little girl’s life.
This girl works next to the man who is quietly planning his great escape. The escape to somewhere warmer, sunnier and brighter than his window-less office. Despite the lack of windows, an entire office wall is dedicated to pictures of his family, his home and the vacations they have been on. He rides his bike every warm day at lunch time.
He tells the lady in the back room that uses a magnifying glass to do her intricate work that he loves the fresh air. This lady has worked her whole life. Raised her children, has grandchildren and cares for her elderly siblings. She carries the weight of the world on her small shoulders and worries about her loved ones all day long.
She is a quiet worker, listening to the more boisterous voices of her co-workers. One of those voices belongs to a woman who is nervously and excitedly planning her second wedding to a man she has known since grade school.
The other voice belongs to a woman who loves her pets more than any other possession she has. She didn’t care about the things that were taken when her house was broken into not too long ago; she cared more about whether the kitties or bird were traumatized.
This woman always makes a point to visit the lady with the husky voice every day at break time. The lady with the husky voice comes to work with a positive attitude no matter what her life is dealing her. Her life now, is near perfect, but when she awoke to her very young husband passed away in their bed, life took a turn for the worst. Her positive attitude and incredible demeanor got her through.
Her sometimes crude but hilarious sense of humor cracks the guy up that has known her the longest. He comes to her to solve all of his problems. He is often anxious and runs home at lunch time to wash the dishes, vacuum the floors and straighten up the house. He decorates his work space according to the closest holiday and loves when the girl from the front office compliments how nice it looks.
This girl keeps to herself and dreams of when she will get the good news that she is pregnant. It’s been a year since she was married and she can’t wait to surprise her new husband. She loves that she is the newlywed now and no longer is the guy who works in the office across the hall.
He may not be a newlywed, but he still acts like one and can’t wait to take his wife on his next business trip to Italy. He is planning it all out and although he says he isn’t excited yet, you can feel the energy coming off of him.
He “excitedly” shows pictures of a mountainside villa to the girl who watches all of these people come to work in their various modes of transportation, who carry their lunches in their own special way, who wear the clothes that define them. She longs to write about each of their lives because their eyes tell stories their mouths haven’t shared.
This is where I work.