The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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One of the big “wins” for my dad was beating out a better candidate for a job because of his work ethic and personal skills. It was very important to him during the interview that he stress how much he worked his way up in many businesses and how nothing was given to him. I found the idea of moving boxes to be metaphorical for adversity in life, problems that need solving.

A large thud shook the small rectangle, the place Warner Brothers Pictures called the mailroom. Matt let out a deep breath, and glanced at the clock. Only thirty more minutes until he could be sitting in a comfortable chair, analyzing documents instead of addresses. “So...you nervous, kid?” Eddie had apparently noticed his stealthy glance at the clock. Matt trying to recover, grabbed a couple of envelopes and looked towards their assigned lockers. “Little”, Matt replied as he ducked below an open locker, careful not to ruin the button down shirt he had worn for this important interview. Eddie followed and propped himself up against the opposite wall, grabbing a cigarette. “Heard the other guys’ from Yale. First job out.” Leaving the cigarette in his mouth as if he had forgotten about it, Eddie beckoned Matt over to the back door. “C’mon. Let’s grab a few more.” Matt seemed too deep in thought to even answer as he followed Eddie, wiping his hands on his pants from all of the sweat.

The smell of gasoline filled Matt’s lungs as they entered the loading dock. Clings and clangs merged with beeps and engine starts. Eddie, shouting now, handed a large UPS box to Matt. “Listen. You only been here for a month and you’ve learned how to work the dock and the room.” Matt replied, still worried, “The dock and the room don’t involve pages of numbers.” Eddie pressed on, “It don’t matter if it’s being an accountant or a lawyer, everyone likes you. You show up and you get it done. You worked your ass to get this job, now you’ll work it again for the next one.”

Eddie picked up his box.

“Remember what we say?”

“We move the boxes, they don’t move us.” Whatever that meant, it was like a marching order for Matt. The confidence was back.

“That’s right. Now you still owe me twenty minutes of blue collar.”

A job well done

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Context:

One of the big “wins” for my dad was beating out a better candidate for a job because of his work ethic and personal skills. It was very important to him during the interview that he stress how much he worked his way up in many businesses and how nothing was given to him. I found the idea of moving boxes to be metaphorical for adversity in life, problems that need solving.

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Recorded by Ben Karp on June 5, 2019
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