Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Work Here is Not Done

A coworker told me yesterday with glee that his (non electronic) inbox was empty. "I'm all done," he smiled, referring to a few large assignments he had finished. I realized he was talking as if he wouldn't get new large assignments again. It took a lot, but I held myself back from commenting obnoxiously about how he'll always have more to do. He seemed too happy. I didn't want to be the one to say that that to-do list is always longer than what he has written down. It's only he may not know about the rest of the to-do items more than 5 minutes in advance. 

Today he told me slightly grudgingly about a new big assignment. He doesn't do case management work exactly, but it made me think of my own work. It helps me think about my work as project based (and ongoing at that). Many times I work with clients on specific goals: Help with finding housing, applying for social security benefits, legal assistance, etc. But ongoing maintenance (for exampe, in dealing with an unexpected crisis) is always needed. Like remodeling a house -- even once it's done you still need to upkeep it. And that doesn't include setbacks involved while building it. 

It helps not to expect my inbox to be empty. Though it's not easy to accept.

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