Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Throw Off Those Lanyards

Last night, I had the opportunity to see Measure for Measure at the Shakespeare Theater in DC.  It was brilliantly directed by Jonathan Munby and the acting and lighting and sound were terrific.  A really enjoyable take on one of Shakespeare's not often produced plays.  The cabaret that began the show for about 20 minutes even had boobs for the kids.

But I was there to witness the performance of my friend, Miriam Silverman who was excellent as Isabella, as she is in really everything she does.  She married my good friend from high school who is also an actor, and they come down to do shows at the Shakespeare Theater in DC with some regularity and my girlfriend and I are the lucky recipients of free tickets to see great shows.

And it struck me that it's rare to see your friends at work.  Sure you may see them on conference calls or mashing a reply to their boss on a Friday at happy hour on their phone, but actually watching them do their craft is rare.  I don't like the word craft, but I use it here to make a point.  I work in L'Enfant Plaza, and like Crystal City, where I've also worked, it is populated by office drones.  You can spot them by their lanyards and FIPS 201 standard badges.  And when asked "What's going on?" you will oft hear said "Same shit, different day." Many of these people have jobs, but they don't seem to have crafts.  Granted middle management federal bureaucrat is not very craft-ish, even if they vastly outnumber actors, starving or otherwise.

Perhaps arguing with IT about printer drivers really is someone's perfect day, but its not mine.  I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with my life and at 36 and three-quarters am still wondering what I'll be when I grow up.  But I hope it doesn't involve a lanyard with an ID, because the idea that we can be truly happy outside of work while hating our job is a fallacy.  We spend so much time at work, whether physically there or mentally due to smartphones.  I don't mind work being a heavy part of a work-life balance.  I just want the work part to count for something besides a 401 contribution and 10 paid holidays a year.

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