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Community Service Day [Nov. 4th, 2010|10:20 am]
So, our department needed to choose a community service project; our company gives us a lunch and a half a day to go do some good in the world. The catch being, we have to do it together, as a team-building thing.

And I'm grateful to the team volunteers who sat down, perused the options and chose our "task". Because instead of going to some other climate controlled building and stuff lunchbags for the needy, or backpacks for underprivileged school kids -- worthy causes, but again, climate controlled buildings, florescent lights, putty-colored environments -- they signed us up to clear brush and debris from a local living history farm that one day will depict life on a Maryland plantation during the Civil War, specifically addressing the underground railroad.

So we could be outside. In nature. Doing battles with stumps and brambles and pernicious root systems. Wielding rakes and hoes and wheelbarrows and clippers. Doing honest, muscle-challenging work. I loved it. Which was remarked on by several co-workers. Yeah, my inner farm girl was revealed and pinned out in all its glory. As was the bossy. "Aw, no, hon, you don't cut out roots with a bow saw...here, use this." "You don't need to be clipping the red fuzzy ones, darling, just give them a good tug. There ya go." "No, that's not poison ivy. Poison ivy never has thorns."

I had a blast. And several folks surprised me by getting into it and cheerfully hauling and shoveling. Others surprised me by making it clear that they'd never even held a rake, much less DONE anything with it. And others...well, seriously, what part of "you must bring work gloves" did you not get? Clearly traumatized by simply BEING outside, their attention span for doing anything manual was about 15 seconds. Then they had to REST.

So, sadly, now I've got a shortlist of folks for whom I have to struggle to respect. (Note: you don't have to be GOOD at it, but for crying out loud, at least TRY. I don't mind that you have no outdoor skills...I DO mind that you are afflicted with the lazy.) And, as I said to a colleague, who congratulated me on my efforts and called me "serious farm breeding stock", at least now if civilization collapses while we're at work, we'll be able to save time by knowing who should become jerky right away.

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[User Picture]From: sestree
2010-11-04 02:32 pm (UTC)
So you're saying if you were all stranded on a desert island, there'd be a buffet? small but effective?

I think that sounds like a great team-building exercise. Our team stuff is a once a year bar hop around Annapolis after the holiday party. Possibly more fun but far less worthy.
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[User Picture]From: bittibuddha
2010-11-04 02:33 pm (UTC)
I too mentally categorize people as to who will be eaten first in survival situations based on their ability to contribute to the communal good. I feel ya.

I'd eat you last.
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[User Picture]From: pyratelady
2010-11-04 04:16 pm (UTC)
I remember when I "helped" a former roommate move out -- my other roommates and I did the majority of the hauling and picking up because after 10 minutes she was tapped out. We were happy to do it, though because she had been incredibly lazy and sloppy while she lived with us. She was the kind of person who left dirty dishes in the sink or on the floor next to the couch. (because she liked to eat her lunch on the couch while reading a book) Our roach problem became completely unmanageable. I even had one of those "this is starting to effect our friendship" talks with her about it, but it didn't change things one bit.

So my respect for her was already dwindling. But when she had to quit after 10 minutes because that much physical labor made her feel sick? Gone. Absolutely gone. 15 years later, she's gained about 30 pounds (no surprise to me) so she'd make good eating.
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