I feel a bit downcast today. I interviewed about 175 people today over half a day, probably another 300 or so all day tomorrow. It is such a daily grind. The only joy it brings is knowing how many thousands of dollars it brings in…for my employer. I came home tonight and read some junk mail asking me whether I would like to spend some of my hard-earned dollars to buy commemorative postage stamps featuring great statesmen like Robert D. Murphy and Hiram Bingham IV (I’ll let you do an online search if you want to know who these people are). I immediately thought to myself–I’ll bet these guys never interviewed 300 people in a day. I’ll bet they couldn’t, even if they tried. Would they have ended up on a stamp if they did? Probably not. They were too busy saving the world to spend the best hours of their day doing interviews. Rather than being on a stamp, they would have just wielded stamps and stamped, stamped, stamped documents about 200-300 times each and every working day. Times have really changed. Those who play up the significance of the work are people who have never done 30,000-40,000 interviews in about 18 months. I wish they would. Things would change very quickly if the Powers That Be spent just week doing this kind of work at the pace and volume it’s done.
The one joy that brightened my day today came when I sat down to play with my son. He had lined up all of his Thomas the Tank Engine engines and coal tenders and organized them sequentially from one to six (each train has a different number). He pays attention to little details I would never have thought to remember. It’s amazing what goes on in that kid’s head sometimes!