I watched as the stream of people left the office in the evening’s soft light. Some carried a computer bag filled with stuff, a weight on their shoulders. Others walked out without a backward look. In between there were those with some stuff and a smile and others with something heavy that they could not shed. I wondered what made the difference. My curiosity got the better of me in days that followed. As I began talking; casually with strangers over a coffee, in the quiet moments in the elevator, and even while we waited for the cash machine, natural groups began to emerge.
Some did not care. The office was the office. What happened there stayed there. If there was a need, it was recognized, filled and met within the confines of the working day. While there was some flexibility in the day, the boundaries were fixed. When one left, one took only what they wanted.
Some cared passionately and intensely. It was as if the company was resting on their abilities. There was no beginning and no end. Life was defined, at least during the week, but the demands, opportunities, and crisis du jour. It was hard to see how these individuals survived.
In the middle were many that cared. They cared about family and friends. They cared about making the world a better place. They even cared about work. For some it was a burden, almost too hard to bear. For others, it was something they wore lightly. They would do what they could and then do some more when the opportunity was back. They seemed to know that there was always more. More that could drain the life force within and more within to give.
It was within this last group that I could see the echo of the company’s values. Each is here to stay – in the right way for the right reason. “Blessed is the country with God for God; blessed are the people he’s put in his will.” (Psalm 33.12) I believe they will be the last ones standing.