Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Gettin' (Relatively) Busy

"Hey, do you want to go walking today?" I emailed a former coworker, still trapped in the Pointless Job of Eternal Uselessness; "I finally get a lunch break again, and it's been so crazy, and I hardly know what day of the week it is anymore."

"I know the feeling!" he wrote back a few hours later, which of course he doesn't. Has he been pulling a lot of night shifts? Did he work 13 hours on Sunday?? I don't think so.

And for me, these are rare, remarkable, impressive occurences. I can describe three or four long days, and my friends will ooh and aah sympathetically at me. My life is staggeringly easy.

One my favorite things about my Boss (I think I need to distinguish between her and my lower-case boss, who works for her, but who also assigns me work, and with whom I traveled to all the fun places I've been lately) is her sense of humor. I showed her my friend's email. I was quite outraged. She thought it was funny. "They think they're busy, over there, where you came from," she chuckled.

Once back in April, I said that I wasn't sure I'd have anything to do after our big annual conference was over. It turns out that no, we are busy all the time, with lots of things. But how was I to know? From the time I started this job, at the end of February, until our conference, I worked on nothing else. It was natural for me to believe this was all I had to do. How would I have known; but will she let me forget it?

She brings it up all the time. I have such a cool job!

Meanwhile, of course, the entirety of southeast Texas has gone to hell in a handbasket, and delivered the rest of us an extremely uncomfortable reminder of how very, very thin the line is that divides us complacent middle-class working taxpayers from a squalid Third-World existence. It's frightening. How often do we question what we consider the basic necessities of life: hygiene and mobility, courtesy of pumps for gasoline and sewage; resources for current information via internet, TV, radio, newspapers, and phone; water you can drink straight from the tap without a second thought; hospitals and medical clinics - however unneeded - always within a moment's reach; a place to grab a burger; police on call if you feel threatened; the U.S. mail, the mall, for heaven's sake. Don't even get me started about your family, your love, your friends, your pets... all there every day, unquestioned, forgotten, and wholly indispensable.

You can subscribe to National Geographic till the cows come home, but you don't understand what life is really about till you have to eat bugs and poop in the dirt, is all I'm saying here.

Whatever it is, you should be glad for what you have. You shouldn't fritter it away out of petty vanity or ego trips or any other stupid reason. You have something wonderful, you're so lucky; cherish it, nurture it, and be happy. What do I have to tell you?



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