Tuesday, March 8, 2016

#SOL16 9/31 What I'm Glad I Missed

SOLC #9/31 - 
      I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community for Day Nine of Thirty-One of the Slice of Life Challenge in March.  Thank you Stacey, Tara, Anna, Betsy, Dana, Kathleen, Beth, and Deb.  

             I sat with my tax accountant for over two hours yesterday. (My taxes are complicated.) But this is not about taxes; it’s about the office. I sat high in an office building with a lonely reception area larger than my house, lovely black leather sofas and chairs, and an online screen that told where one would find the business needed. No one was in the space. The water fountains have a paper cup dispenser by them. I’m guessing so one doesn’t need to bend over? My accountant is "borrowing" an office to meet with clients because he's retired, but kept a few clients. This is a place new to me.

            In the suite of offices, I’m greeted by the receptionist, low friendly voice, who asks if I want water or a soft drink, a Keurig cup of ?, candy or a snack. She says, “He’ll be ready in a moment. 


            It’s so, so quiet. Soon I was trailing my accountant past about five other offices. each occupant leaning over a monitor, doing whatever it is they’re supposed to be doing. Then I sat, while Bob (my accountant of many years) started on his computer with the figures, me handing over each paper needed, then him scanning, and entering, scanning and entering. 

            I had lots of time on my hands. And it was quiet.

          I spent some of that time enjoying the view out the window, took the pictures, watched a few cars going by. There was little traffic, not drive time nor lunch time. I walked back to the receptionist to get a bottle of water. I grabbed the local business newspaper, took it back to browse through. Again, the outer pass through was noise-free, and those inner offices still kept the same people occupied, leaning over their monitors. 
The view. Look at the horizon and you'll see the Rockies.

A slightly different angle. I took it because the small trees below the right
hand building are showing some green!
          And I wondered. How did those people make it through the day, sitting, no clattering feet, no child voices laughing in the hall? Also missing were questions, those "who took my glue, where are the colored pencils, can I have a conference. isn't it time for lunch" voices. Plus the murmur, always the murmur and movement of children learning, playing, moving, smiling at me sometimes, smiling at friends.

          I wondered and I couldn't imagine being in this place all the work day. And I realize that people gain personal satisfaction from many kinds of work. Perhaps a bit of noise sneaks in from time to time, and perhaps these colleagues? converse, perhaps I'm judging too quickly from a few hours' look. But I am positive that none of the things mentioned above ever happen.
  
          I'm very glad I was a teacher.



42 comments:

  1. I worked in that kind of space once. I didn't stay long. While I value silence from time to time, a quiet cold office was too quiet. Not enough movement or variety! I agree a teaching life is a good life!

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    1. And I'm glad you like your teacher life, too.

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  2. Perhaps the numbers whisper in the accountants' ears.
    I love your story. With my friends we call that a "real world" job. As in, "Do you think this ever happens in the real world?"

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    1. Good term, Jackie. I never thought about that before.

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  3. Wow! I never looked at it like that. Love this new perspective!! Thank you!

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    1. You're welcome, Michelle. And as I said, this particular place may be different from others, too.

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  4. I love this quiet slice, this realization of "other" and appreciation for your norm. You captured the scene and your feelings well!

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    1. Thanks, Chris. I was rather surprised as you see by the quiet.

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  5. Such a perfect slice, Linda. You captured your experience so well. Before teaching, I worked in that environment for many years. I wouldn't change the sound of kids playing and talking about their reading or math problem for anything. That is the music to my ears.

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    1. I'm glad to hear from others who are now teaching, Jennifer. It is music to me, too.

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  6. Loved the title - it grabbed me right away. Love the perspective on this - not judgmental, just you.

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    1. Thank you, I know that others have different POVs, my own grown children for example, and they each love their very different jobs, but this was startling to me.

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  7. A new and strange world to those of us who live in a world of children. I'm glad it wasn't my world too.

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    1. I know, Elsie, it was very interesting to observe.

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  8. It is interesting to see how the "others" work. Kids give us so much and each day is so different! I loved that about teaching!

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    1. Yes, the changes make the daily life very good. Thanks, Lynn.

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  9. So glad I am a teacher too! I refuse to put that word in the past tense. I was still a teacher during the years when I stayed home, and I'm still a teacher now that I'm retired. It is a grand life. Headed in to sub tomorrow.

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    1. You are still very much in the "mix", Ramona. I guess I could change that tense, and really will always be one. Enjoy the day tomorrow!

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  10. I agree, Linda. Where's the life and liveliness?

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    1. Not there, at least in the hours I observed. Thanks!

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  11. My husband is a lawyer. His office is painfully quiet. Sometimes I wish for it but I know every day would not work for me. The sounds of children are part of my soul.

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    1. Agreed, Margaret. And now I have the pleasure of the grand-girls thank goodness.

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  12. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to work in a quiet office. My husband is convinced I wouldn't last a week. But wouldn't it be great if in the middle of a busy school week teachers could have one quiet office day to plan, reflect, read and write?

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    1. I agree, Terje. And at my school we did have two mornings a week as planning periods. They were never like this office, and sometimes the time filled with meetings, or a few students were there, but it was mostly a time for planning for whatever was needed.

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  13. Loved your post today. I have been retired for two years and oh how I miss that noise and the children. Thanks for sharing. Happy Writing!

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    1. Thanks, Karen, it is my first year out, and I do miss the hubbub, but not always!

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  14. Perfect...such a quiet slice about a quiet space. Hard to imagine working in a place like that :) Although, sometimes after a long day, quiet sounds pretty good!

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    1. Yes, but that evening time is different, don't you think?

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  15. I'm always astonished at the luxuries in business places, when people whine about teachers being spoiled while we run around all day unable to go to the bathroom! But you're right -- I could never sit in a quiet office all day, without buzzing brains and little lightbulbs going off all around me!

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    1. I didn't want to go on and on, but that lobby was astounding, and so unused! Thanks, Jennifer.

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  16. I escaped just such an office when I became a teacher after working for years as an insurance claims adjuster! After 25 years in education, I still get chills when I think about my past life. You've described that kind of environment perfectly! So glad I'm a teacher too.

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    1. Thanks, so nice to hear that, Lisa.

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  17. Sometimes we forget all the joys of teaching and only focus on the hassles. Thanks for the redirect.

    And your tone is so lovely. Very observational, with a slight twinge of sadness, but no judgement.

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    1. Thanks, Mark, I'm happy that it gave you something to ponder.

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  18. I loved reading this post. When the boys were little, we would go downtown to meet my husband for lunch. This is such a different world to enter. I too, am in the right spot as a teacher. I need the noise and the conversations each day. I do love carving out the quiet time, but wouldn't want that everyday.

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    1. Thanks, Kendra, it was enlightening to me. I haven't been in that environment for a while.

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  19. I love this! I am so thankful for all the noisy bustle that is a school day. I am glad I have reflexes like a cat to dodge wayward students who aren't watching where they are going. I am happy to field four questions at once. I would not want to have any other workplace.

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    1. Love the action you shared, Andrea. Indeed I didn't search for any other work either.

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  20. Oh, as soon as you mentioned the quiet, I thought about our jobs as teachers and how different our day looks from so many other people's days at work! It's good to know that WE know that we picked the right jobs for US. I'm sure some would be overwhelmed by the bustle of a classroom/school. But some crave it...don't we?

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    1. Yes, it was always lovely to hear the sounds of kids!

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  21. Noticing things like this make you appreciate your side of the fence eh? I'm glad you were a teacher too! I'm sure there are many children who are impacted forever by your talents!

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    1. Thanks, Amy, it is a pure contrast in values, isn't it?

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Having a conversation is a good thing!