Washing Windows

While I was on sabbatical my job for two months was to wash all the windows and glass in the cafeteria. It was perhaps my favorite job during the twenty months I was away. Why?

My predecessor, a man fondly called “Breeze,” told me how I should look at my new duties. He said I could get upset when someone put their hands on my freshly cleaned windows and smudged them. I could be bored doing the same thing every day mumbling the entire seven hour shift about the job’s futility. I could become frustrated that a man of my education was relegated to washing windows. He said all were legitimate. But none of them would bring me peace or solace.

Then he said, “Big Easy these windows are a view to the outside for each of us. We see grass, we see trees and shrubs, we see the sky, and we see open space from a very confined and depressing space. Every smudge, every fingerprint, and every speck of dust or pollen clouds the view of the only freedom we have. Take your time, but know that your work helps each and every one of us.”

After two months I was taken off window washing duty. The reason – I was enjoying myself too much.

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of The United States, is an author and speaker. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

1 Comment +

  1. Webster, you take me to a quote I first heard when I was in about the fourth grade. My brother Frank began a speech with it. He was early in high school, in a speech contest recorded on local radio. A quote that stays. Bless.

    “Two men looked out from prison bars.
    One saw mud, the other saw stars.”

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