Wednesday, October 29, 2008
"The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one."
My mother has been out of commission since last April, unable to work due to a chronic shoulder injury. The supermarket she devoted so much time to is soon to commence its busiest season, when Christmas shoppers flock to the shelves to stock up on edible bargains.
For the workers tied to the checkouts during those hectic days, life could be immeasurably slow and painful. Last evening Mater mused about the chaos of a Christmas when there was a shortage of employees, and a deluge of customers in a thick line that never seemed to get shorter.
During a rather hectic hour when being at home was at the top of everyone's Christmas list, one of Mater's colleagues addressed a supervisor in frustration. She expressed dismay at the perpetual crowd of impatient customers- and she wondered aloud if the evening would ever come to a close.
Without missing a beat the supervisor- who knows well how to do the job she was assigned- agreed, but said calmly, "you're lucky to have a job at all."
Those within hearing distance heeded the sentiment, understanding that everything in the world, even keeping hold of one's job, was tenuous and uncertain.
Yesterday Mater rested quietly in her house with too much time to contemplate. She wondered if her friends were rushed off their weary feet, longing to be at home; and the words returned again to haunt her.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 12:14 PM