I’m going to be a little boastful for a minute.
I’m really good at my job, which isn’t always the best feeling in the world. I’m really good at working in food service. Food service in which I don’t really do anything. It’s not a really great thing to brag about. When we have a “pajama party” on Friday night I wear stupid pajamas, and the girls who work with me do the same. We’ve become close that way. I can clean machines in a hurry if I have to. I can pretend to be cheery if I haven’t slept in days. It’s not really a thing of pride.
But I have this friend. She’s a children’s librarian in town. And last week I got to actually watch her do her job, and do it well. Now I want to be able to go to the workplaces of everyone I know, just to be able to support them and watch them be good at what they do, even if they don’t really enjoy it. We get these opportunities to support friends who do art, and that’s all well and good. But some times people do a really good job at their workplace and do it thanklessly. Granted, we get paid to do those things, but it’s one thing to be supported in what you love doing (poetry, music, writing, etc.). It’s something else entirely to have someone support you while you do something you kind of hate, but have to do.
Last week Erica and a coworker did a puppet show 12 times for pre-schoolers. Let me tell you something about puppets. I love them. You know who else does? Kids. One of the stories they did was the little red hen, you know the one? The one where the little red hen is doing all of that hard work to make that bread, and no one will help her until it’s time to eat the bread? The one that’s a lot like life? There was this cat in it who was asleep pretty much the whole show. At one point kids started yelling “Wake up, Cat!” Which in a puppet show for kids? That’s sort of what you want.
Let’s imagine that the puppet shows themselves weren’t fantastic. Afterward Erica and her coworker sat in the lobby with puppets, Erica with Dog and her coworker with Bear, and they greeted each kid. Erica in particular greeted each child that came up to her. She thanked them for coming, like you would to an adult who was being polite after a play. Not in a rude way, but in the respectful way that some adults treat kids. The way we all should. Not as if they’re children, but like they’re tiny adults. Which they are. She asked each kid what her favorite part was. She answered questions about rescue bots, which she ain’t never heard of. But she was interested anyway. Some times jobs have good parts. Some times thankless jobs have their perks.
This is from the paper. This little girl was there again on Thursday when I went. And she wouldn’t let Dog go.