With grades handed in, the semester floats away from me like an abandoned buoy or side-boat, or decaying dinghy. In office, dark and quiet, safety from outside, from that wind and rain and airborne leaves that somehow find a way to follow you. Co-workers from other department file in, slowly. You can tell they’re in a mode of settlement. I’m in a position and tone of settler, settling into my Sonic role for day. We’ll be walking in this, this weather, the sharp talk of rain and the more elephantine curl of winter Bay Area wind. San Francisco. More than likely will be colder. 7:53…. Need to start on list, soon. Keep lights off for the time, for this time, making now and the entire day mine. Normal proclamation from Mike Madigan’s normality.
Coffee. Will walk across floor to get, from the office area on the east side of this structure. Lights above me still off, lights behind me in meeting room on. Another person walks in. I think of what to do next. Working and not, thinking about where I am in my story and how this fits in. I need to run more, not getting out last night has me regretful and on an evaluative sword’s mercy plate.
Quiet, and then the settling noises. Of any workplace I’ve been at this is by far the more interesting and enveloping in terms of characters and general theme, progression of story. Other offices, like the insurance office in the early 2000s, and the home warrantee operation of ’04 (which as it happens used to be in this very building and I used to sit not far from where I now this type). Then, of course the box of 2011 and into January of ’12. None of them had life, none of them had any promise. How do some employers expect the people working in their walls to be animated and progress to any profitability? I have to ask self this. What do some of these employers think when they design positions then offer people jobs? This is why I’m taken by Sonic as I am, as it’s nothing like them, nothing. It’s a loving and perplexing morass of more volume, more sound and music. You find YOU, here. A definition and intonation of self you don’t in other folds and office buildings, assuredly.
Submitting the semester past’s grades last night, I think of what Sonic’s taught me, what I’ve gathered and learned and upon reflected. Who I am and what I’m doing right now, in from rain and wind, safe and collected at a desk. Desks used to repulse me now I’m renewed, taken to a higher arrangement of character and story adjustment, the Now of it all here in this office. And, me here, what I do here, what I observe and what assembles into my assembly of perception.
This year’s one of study. I’m a student. I’m studying. I’ll receive a grade in the form of opportunity, opportunity I provide self. So I’m grading myself. I’m with the grade book and submitting for sakes of the grade in the book, with a book of my own. Being written here, at Sonic.
8:32. Got a couple cereal cups from market here in office, down this row of desks and then a left, ‘nother left, then a sharp left then sharp right. Back at desk with coffee and cereal, daily tasks I had set for self done, now I collect and ready for day. Ready self for readying and rallying team for a day in the field. Again I don’t know how inclement it is in SF, but I’m sure it could affect mood and morale, if allowed. How some go to jobs they hate, over and over, year after year, astonishes me. Fills me with sadness for them and a virulently loud intent to never let that be me. At none of my other “jobs” was my own pace endorsed, encouraged. Never was I encouraged to this degree to find more of ME.
The jazz of this office reminds me of the thesis to this office and my story here. Sip coffee after bite of cereal, and what precisely the next paragraph holds. This right here, the meta of this magic, magic in the plain, in the so often dismissed and ignored. The singularity of where you work, what you want from it. This building directly addresses and I would say challenges just that. IT tells you that this is more than a simple place to work. IT’s not a job. That’s profanity here. IT’s a missions and edifice of explorative hue. All for you, YOU, whatever you want to do. You heard what the owner said, “Use it as a platform to get where you want to be.” He said that, in a room full of new hires, those impressionable, those possibly still seeking conviction and assurance that this was the right move. You know it is. You have no doubt, question, demand for explanation. You’re hungry. Finally, you think, finally this happens. Finally this is what’s before the day, for me, for what I want and what I’ve always expected a place of employment to be. You know this is more than simple employment, that a simple clocking in and clocking out and getting a check and doing the same thing all over again next pay period.
Even teaching doesn’t do this for you. Teaching, you thought the only career path for you but you found so many caveats and conditions, so many variable and so much chasing. You’d grade that career choice, or more choice as it’s certainly no career, an F. F. F. It failed you in so many manners and immediacies that it’s hard to even entertain inventory. So you move on. You move past it. It’s only an it. One easily replaceable and you have replaced it with life, not a to-do list but LIFE. More invitation for Self and what you were before you even heard of this place. Your normality’s abnormally loving and supportive, enriching and enlivening.