Saturday, August 29, 2009

Perspective, perspective, perspective

Rarely will my boss ever say anything that strums a positive chord with me. Generally if she's speaking to me, I picture myself rolling my eyes (and pray to God I don't actually roll them) and try to stave off tears of frustration. But the other day during a particularly hairy lunch, she said, "Just remember, no matter what, there's always someone out there who's got it worse off than you." I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to sucker-punch her for pulling out the pep-talk but then she came back with, "and when you think about it--there's some poor schmuck out there who's got it worse off than any of us."
At first I was oddly touched by the use of the word "us", which indicated that she was also feeling overwhelmed and understaffed. It's a rare occasion when I feel like she knows what it feels like to be one of us. Measly, peasant employees.

Later, as I was slicing meats and cheeses for the next day's lunch, my mind wandered to that guy. That guy who's got it worse than all of us. I'm sure everyone would choose someone else to be That Guy based on his or her own standard of horribleness but in my world, there's a quadriplegic in Papua New Guinea. He has a gluten allergy and his hut is in danger of foreclosure. This morning, when his girlfriend was making his oatmeal, she turned and tripped and splattered all of the hot cereal all over his face and hands. She, then, started in with "it's not you it's me" and "let's just be friends". Now he's a burn victim without a girlfriend or health insurance.

"My mother always told me that, even when things seem bad, there's someone else who's having a worse day. Like being stung by a bee, or getting a splinter, or being chained to a wall in someone's sex dungeon." --Kenneth Purcell

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