Yesterday at the office, a colleague across the hall rushed to our doorway with a frantic look on her face. "Have you been to the ladies room lately?" She gestured in the direction of the closest one. No, neither my officemate nor I had. But we knew to be alarmed, from the look on her face. Questions rushed through my head. Was something wrong with someone in there? Did they need our help? I discarded this thought immediately; there wouldn't be any reason for her to ask us for help. You'd call 911. But what, then? She responded to our concern, then. "I've lost my rings." Frantic. She'd taken them off while washing her hands and left them on the sink.
My officemate (friend, coworker,) spoke up. "You'll get them back." We both were certain and spoke reassuringly of this belief. Even if the students weren't out already...even then I have hope that people would find a way to return fine jewelry to its owner. But with the room only being used by colleagues? Yes, we both had faith. We work with the kind of people who would do the right thing. She would find her jewelry. She left, hopeful but with anxiety still on her face.
Shortly afterward, everyone on our floor received an email from the president's administrative assistant down the hall, letting us know who to call if we'd found rings. It wasn't two minutes later that I heard squeals from across the hall. Of course I wandered over. Had to know. These were happy sounds so I was nearly certain, but had she found her rings? What route had they taken on their way back to her?
Turns out her director had them. Her Director Who Works In The Office Beside Her. She'd found them and was just sitting down to send her own email meant to help locate the owner when she read the urgent notice just sent out.
Working from home has its advantages. I could - and probably will soon - list tons of them here for you.All those reasons I knew it was time to return to the path I'd nearly abandoned these last months. But that little sliver of regular human interaction with people I've come to care for over the years - that's what I won't get when I'm working on my own projects. When you work in community, you have the opportunity to encourage others through their struggles. And you get to celebrate their joys, too. I'm going to miss these people. A lot.
Of course I know I can stay in touch - I've done so again and again, and surely will now, too. But we all know it's not quite the same... Good I have stories like this to remember, eh?