I’ve heard that a few times in my adult life. I heard it occasionally when I worked as a desk clerk and someone’s room was not up to what they thought. I’ve heard that when one of my former bosses made a last minute change on several pieces that I’d already started making copies of… for all 68 members of our board. I’ve heard it when, after the 8th day in a row of rain in Savannah, all but one of the rooms on the top floor the bed and breakfast I managed had leaks. I heard it that day from several customers, some sincere, others not. I also heard it from my boss, who I’d just asked about getting work done on the roof the week before. He was the most sincere, since he’d had to tell me “no” to the work previously. I admit that on many of those days, it was pretty bad. Currently, I don’t know of how I let most of that stuff bother me in the first place.
In my current line of work in the world of urban revitalization, the idea of the bad day is quite different. There are days where you’re seen as the savior of the universe by your merchants, the one person that can bring an area back from what they perceive as extinction. There are other days where you go home and regardless of what you do, nothing is going right and it just seems to get crazier and more insane as the day goes on. I actually just had one of those “days” all week long last week. You go home and are beating yourself up anyway about why you can’t solve the problems in the community in the blink of an eye even when you know that it did not get to where it is now overnight nor will it reoccupy its place of prominence that quickly either (though those guys at 14th and U have made it look easier than it normally is – good work BTW). But you never truly think of it as a bad day; at least I don’t.
It could be because of the other experiences prior to making this career change of sorts. I operate on the principle that there’s never enough time in the day to do all that you want to do but you do your best and be thankful for what you’ve learned good and bad at the end of the day. Those that are in the career of economic revitalization are part of a unique secret society that realizes that you will go home every night thinking of how you could have done better. It’s a fault of the job. Thing is, I’d be hard pressed if many of you out there that we serve would consider that a fault. The one way that you can hurt any of us is to tell us that we don’t care and that we weren’t listening. Even if you do that, we’ll end up getting enough other good things happening over the course of the day, we’ll remember what you said, but we’ll be thinking of how we’ve been able to help others; they’ll more than cancel themselves out.
I’m alive, I’m helping people the best that I can, I live in a wonderful city that is finally being discovered and I have great friends and family that support me; it’s a GREAT day! Bad days are now reserved for things that can truly hurt, like the damage done recently to my car as I was returning to Birmingham from vacation due to what was a somewhat defective tire. But at least you know no one got hurt. Knowing that you’re living with a few cents in the bank (not pocket, bank) while some believe that because you wear ties and suit jackets to work you’re loaded, or at least well off, is also grounds for a bad day. But you get to enjoy the company of family and friends and not worry about it as much.
So yeah, it’s still pretty tough. There’s very little to make be have a really bad day when it’s all said and done. I know that I’ve done all I can everyday yet yearn to do more and leave it out there at the end of the day. It’s really hard to fake a smile or not be sincere when you know that. Plus, I get to enjoy writing about much of the positive going in town on here.
Let me know what you think.