Today was a very work day. I went in to receive a delivery around noon. Cambridge Lumber sent over the materials—forty sheets of homasote, a fiberous, sound-deadening in panel-form—and only the driver to move it. Luckily I was able to prop open some emergency exits to make the work easier. Since the panels measure 8’x4’x1/2″, it takes two to move them without breaking them. I had to help out, dressed in business attire. Had I worn a tie, I would’ve taken it off.
As soon as I finished and had started on my way to the office, I saw my boss walking up the street toward me. I hadn’t expected him to help, and I hadn’t asked, so it was pleasant and surprising to see him. He apologized for missing the delivery and presented me with a new phone. That’s right: I’m important enough to need a company phone. It’s charging on the sill of a window in the kitchen. The phone says that my SIM card hasn’t been installed—it has—but the prospect of a phone, workable or not, is very exciting.
My boss and I got to spend some time together chatting while we waited for our next meeting with another vendor and contractor. He talked about the bike he bought yesterday, his sister’s immanent marriage, and management change as applied to education. He responded with Jordan’s recent wedding—we agreed that neither of us will be ready to say “I do” anytime soon—math as applied to physics, and teacher education. This provided us some time to bond a little bit. It’s important to build loyalty and informal trust, even in a professional relationship, at least that’s what Richard Sennett says in the book I’m reading: The Culture of the New Capitalism. [My friend Dan knows Sennett; but of course he does: he knows everyone. Nothing I tell him seems to be new.]
After that, I headed to another part of the University for a job interview. [My present job is only a temporary position and terminates promptly on August 9.] Whether I get the job, even to be considered is a big deal for me. My friend, presently a federal law clerk who holds advanced degrees both in the Classics and law, and I realized not too long ago that what we might want to work as Harvard adminstrators. There are, of course, worse fates. It might even land me a new phone.