The title is of course misleading… work is almost always worthwhile – in one way or another. However this incident reminded me that some of us work for much more than a paycheck.
I have spent the week overseeing the deployment of a secure IT environment for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Canada. As with many organizations one of the aspects of security hardening that I have been taking care to include is with the people, and I have to say that the people I have met have been mostly outstanding.
On Monday I met a young woman who was bright and chipper and outgoing who seemed to have all sorts of things going for her. We have crossed paths in the hallway several times, and occasionally exchanged some witty repartee.
Yesterday morning I was working on her system as she patiently waited, and I said something about ‘Life is too short…’ to which she replied ‘True… of course, because of my diabetes mine will probably be shorter than most.’ This is a paraphrase of course… I wish I remembered her exact words. I do remember her expression – it was perfectly calm, friendly, and accepting of her lot in life. It was not at all downbeat or depressed. She might have easily been saying ‘Sure, I’d love to get a coffee with you!’ but she wasn’t… she was talking about her mortality as if she was resigned to her fate…
…except she is not resigned to anything. Every day she comes into work with the organization dedicated to changing that fate. She raises money and does what needs to be done in order to find a cure for her disease. She could probably make more money working in any other job, but she realizes that some things are more important than money. She is also unlikely doing it for herself – although she may be young she is no juvenile – but for the kids who may one day not have to be so brave as to accept their fates when talking to the IT Consultant.
It makes me wonder why we are not all working for a greater good? She made my day, and hopefully you will take this as the feel-good story that I intend for it to be.
Happy Friday everyone!