Sunday, February 16, 2014

Days of Our Work Lives: An unvarnished look at work today: Part II: Susan's Saga. Episode 15: When is Good Good Enough?

Part II: Susan's Saga  

Episode 15
When is Good Good Enough?

In the previous episode, Ben helped Susan prepare for her presentation at Rotary. Although it was just a two-minute report from the entertainment committee, she was scared. She had an outsized fear of public speaking and, at age 38, this would be her first real talk to an audience. And it would be 100 people, all of whom knew her, all of whom would remember if she was terrible.

Rory, now the chapter's president, introduced Susan more richly than any committee head had ever been introduced:  "Boy, has Susan come a long way from working for me selling fertilizer. She now runs the most important place in Sage River. It's not a cafe. It's the place that makes us all get involved, be better citizens, better human beings: The Town Hall Meeting Cafe."

She looked fondly at Rory although quickly gave Ben a loving look lest either of them get the wrong idea.

After that encomium, the last line of Rory's introduction was comically anti-climatic: "Susan would you give the report from the entertainment committee?"

Susan was much better than she expected. She was natural,  funny, and concise. She was buoyed by her preparation, the paean of an introduction, and her periodic glances to Ben and Rory..

Usually, committee reports are followed, at most, by the speaker's closest friends tepid applause. No, Susan didn't get an ovation but the applause meter would have been impressed. 

Afterwards, Rory asked her, "How are you?"

Not wanting to respond to his flirtation and having left her fertilizer job because she didn't know Excel, she responded, "Well, I've learned Excel and even QuickBooks."

"Okay, so how'd you like to be our club's next treasurer?"

When you need something done, ask a busy person. And although Susan probably needed to learn to say no to yet another time suck, she said, "I'm flattered. Okay."

"Next, I'm betting you'll be president."

Late that night, Susan and Ben, on the way to bed, stopped in to Adam's room. They often enjoyed taking a moment to look at the dear but active boy finally at rest. But this night, Ben could have no idea what she was thinking:

"I have a good life. I have a good son. I own a good cafe. I have a good boyfriend. I gave a good talk at Rotary; they want me to be treasurer. Everything is good but how do I know if and when good is good enough?"

And that ends Part II of Days of Our Work Lives.  

Episode 1 of Part III, Adam's Saga, is HERE.

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