It had been a difficult morning, we were on the road by 6:30 headed to Milton where I was to give a morning lecture. That should have left us time to have a liesurely breakfast when we got there. Just as we were to get on the 407 the radio announces that there is a massive accident and the highway is shut down. We decide to go down the 400 to the 401 but there is an accident there too. It takes us over two hours to go 80 kilometers.
Instead of being early, we're late. Rushing in with an audience waiting isn't the best way to relax into a presentation, but sometimes we have no choices. Luckily I was really in the mood for the talk and once I began, all the tension of the rush, being late, sitting in traffic, began to wash away as my attention began to focus on things that I believe in, passions that I had. The audience, helped, they not only reacted appropriately to the material, they asked questions that allowed me to take little verbal excursions from the planned route. I always enjoy that.
As I was finishing I could see several people with disabilities working at setting up lunch through the window at the back of the room. I rolled out to see a wonderful spread laid out and several very proud people with disabilities standing in the background waiting to remove empty plates, replenish things that disappeared to quickly. They were alert to the demands of their jobs. I never understood why companies don't want to hire people who really do want to work.
But I recognized one of the guys there, Tom, I hadn't seen him for years. I don't remember how we met, I think he attended one of the abuse prevention training classes I did for people with disabilities in that area. But, no matter, I recognized him and he obviously remembered me because he said, "Hi, Dave."
We fell in to chatting and he told me that he had made the sandwiches. He sat where he could see people taking the food and pride was all over his face at his accomplishments that day. So he told me about the job, pointed out who had made the desserts, who had helped with the sandwiches, he was sharing my praise with the team. Nice guy. As that conversation was running down, I asked him if he was working a long day.
"Yeah, it's a long one today," he said.
"What time do you finish?"
"Three o'clock," he sighed.
"I'm working a long day today too," I said.
"What time are you finishing?" he asked.
I told him that I was working late and wouldn't be finished until 7 or 8 that evening.
He looked at me with shock mingled with concern and asked, "But when are you going to live?"
I laughed at how he phrased it and told him that I would have to work a little harder at living. You could see that he thought I should.
So I think I'm not alone in this ...
Putting the word "live" on my to do list.