Thursday, September 27, 2018
Out of Work/Out of Order
I love watching people work. If’s fascinating.
When I go to pick up dinner, the choreography of the kitchen, stirs me and I envy the grace of servers hustling with trays of drinks or multiple plates on their arms.
I watch the receptionist at the therapist's office. She remembers names so well and manages to make all those phone calls and insurance claims while ordering lunch for the counselors and chatting with me about our kids. Does she need any certifications for the job, or just good mom organizational skills?
There are some very impressive crossing guards in my town, doing mostly volunteer work for $11.00 an hour, but taking charge of four lanes of impatient traffic and getting even middle schoolers to hustle across.
The people at the grocery store move seamlessly between checking, bagging, and the service desk and seem to be able to find safe, neutral topics of conversation. They can be friendly without seeming nosy and are always standing without showing exhaustion.
People mock McDonald’s workers, but the people who work at our local store are fast, efficient, polite, and almost never make mistakes with the orders. I don’t understand how anyone can take orders and payments from two rows of cars and get everything to the right person.
I see the work of people I never see. The landscapers at the aquarium, Zoo, and aviary are brilliant. Something is always blooming. There are cool places to rest and habitats for native animals as well as the ones we pay to see.
I could go on because I’m always watching other people work. That’s because I can’t work any more, at least not right now. Pain is denying my right to be useful.
Until two years ago, I worked more than full time at a demanding job that promised never to be boring. I both loved and hated teaching because it was so difficult. For years I blamed my aches and pains on work.
But work is gone and I’m still hurting. Next week I’ll have my disability hearing. After the ruling, I can work with Social Security to gently get into some part-time work.
If the ruling comes against me, I may need to find some part-time work to help feed myself.
Unfortunately, my body disagrees.
I can get in a few fun hours a week. If I rest first, take all the drugs, and rest afterwards, I can enjoy two hours or so out and about, but not everyday, and not predictably.
So I keep watching other people work, hoping to spot something I can do, maybe after the perfect biologic comes along, maybe sooner, if I can find a way to be useful.