Wednesday, September 28, 2011

National Grid Parking Pass (2006)

Five years ago, I wasn’t working at a job that I love like Hope Lodge. I was doing temp work at National Grid, and I was not happy. My job was to send letters to people who were way overdue with their electric bills. But not just anyone – my letters went to the elderly, low-income families with infants, and people with medical conditions. The law in Massachusetts protects these groups from having their power shut off, but only to a certain extent. I sent letters to people who were already struggling with life in one way or another, and remind them that they were way overdue and owed National Grid $1984.52. I could feel little bits of my soul escaping with each one I sent. I understand that someone had to do this job, but I knew it couldn’t be me. I barely lasted 3 weeks.

When I quit, I had no idea what I was going to do. I didn’t want to teach, and I knew I didn’t want to work in an office like National Grid. But, I kept thinking postive thoughts. I kept telling myself there was something out there for me. Then, I found Hope Lodge.

I keep this parking pass right by my apartment door, so I can see it every time I leave. If I’m having a bad Crohn’s day or I have to go shovel 2 feet of snow off the Hope Lodge parking lot, it reminds me how much I love working with cancer patients. National Grid made me feel like I was spreading hurt into the world, and Hope Lodge gives reason to my life. Even though I would never want to work another minute sending overdue electric bills to people, I’m glad I have the experience as a reminder for how lucky I am every day…

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