It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living…
Partway through my tenure at my old job, my company moved into a large, empty building. We only ever occupied about half the building; they had grand plans for the other half that never came to fruition. But for me, one perk of all the empty space was that I got an entire room for my bike. Previously I’d parked and locked my bike in a stairwell, but came down several times to find that people had played with my lights, leaving them on (a potential safety hazard, if the batteries then died on my commute home), or stolen something out of my bag, and so eventually I got the Bike Room. Only Security and I had the key. This is what it looked like.
I assume it was some manager’s office for the previous tenants, but it had been empty so long a thick layer of dust covered the carpet where I didn’t walk. Eventually I borrowed a vacuum and cleaned it up myself. I swiped a couple of folding chairs to hang my clothes on, and voila: instant secure bike parking. It was nice.
Not so nice was the rest of the wing, which quite frankly creeped me out. It was barely lit to save money, and almost entirely deserted, with odd remnants from the previous tenants still hanging around: A file cabinet with a few random files; a huge pile of office furniture jumbled up; office detritus. And this white board, also left behind when the previous tenants vacated the building:
If you can’t read the words, it says “YOUR’E ALL FIRED” in capital letters across the board, with the apostrophe misplaced and “fired” underlined twice. At the time I took the picture, I found it amusing in a macabre way. Now I find it deeply ironic, because three months after I was laid off from that job (in the third round of layoffs that year, which took place just before the end of each quarter), the entire facility was shut down. Nearly everybody there lost their jobs.
Sometimes I miss the relative simplicity of that job. Every day I got up knowing what I needed to do; I did it, to the best of my ability; I came home and didn’t worry about it at all. I worked from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and got to see the sunrise on my commute (see below). I got paid regularly. It was sometimes stressful, especially at the end, but I didn’t bring it home.
Yet, even so, I don’t know that I could return to that paradigm again. I was working in an industry and for clients that many people consider deeply evil, morally repugnant. The satisfaction I got from my job was small: Completing a single task on time. Accurately writing a report. Working well with coworkers. All worthy things, yes, but who wouldn’t want to do something more than that, to escape that small existence? I escaped to AmeriCorps, where we pledged, “I will get things done for America.” Now, after escaping to AmeriCorps for a year, I’m essentially unemployed and starting to think maybe that small existence doesn’t look so bad.