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March 16, 2022: When your Days are your Own

The majority of people in the U.S. work for someone else. It’s an inverse pyramid. The CEO or company owner makes the most money, and those below him or her (usually it is a him) make less money. And so forth.

None of these individuals have any autonomy. They have to be someplace and do what’s required, usually forty hours a week. The exception might be the academic world. Pete – his nickname is PJ, meaning Plum Job, pretty much figures out his own schedule each semester. And because of decreased enrollment, primarily due to Covid, he has fewer than the average number of students in his classes.

Me, I am fortunate in that in my job as the executive director of the Bright Lights Book Project, I have near complete autonomy. I figure out what needs to be done, and I do it. I continue to communicate via email and phone with the other volunteers about what they are doing. They also figure out what needs to be done and do it. They are all working as hard as I am.

I do not have a salary, which makes the above seem laughable. My note having a salary means that what I am doing is not a job. I suppose that some would say that it’s a labor of love. As I see it, it’s a labor of necessity. I can’t let the work of other writers, most of which is exemplary, end up being taken to the dump or recycled, particularly when (as we have all proven) there is a need for good reading material.

I took great joy in opening numerous boxes and finding numerous treasurers. There were numerous classics and children’s books. I brought home a children’s book entitled Amish Horses; of course, it is beautifully illustrated. I also brought home a biography of Margaret and H.A. Rey, the writers and illustrators of the books in the Curious George series. During WWII they left France on bicycles when the Germans approached.

I have now sorted through one of seven pallets. The pay is lousy, but the main benefit is well worth the effort. I get to spend considerable time handling and reading some wonderful books.

Next: 74. 3/17/22: Priorities

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