Monday, March 18, 2013

My new job

I started my new job today.  It pays nothing, requires me to report in the morning when I am normally asleep, and has no future for me.  In fact, it finishes in a week.

Perhaps I should explain. 

As I've mentioned before, my company, Principled Technologies (PT), offers a sabbatical program.  This program gives each employee a seven-week, full-pay-and-benefits sabbatical in his/her seventh year and each seven years thereafter.  For various reasons I've delayed mine for quite a while, but now, in my eleventh year, I am taking it, as I have discussed before.

One cool thing about PT's sabbatical program is that if the employee will spend one of the seven weeks working with a charity, PT will contribute five grand either to the expenses the employee incurred getting to that charity or to the charity.  So, for example, if an employee were to fly to Africa to do charity work, PT would cover five grand of the expenses.  If, on the other hand, an employee were to work at a local charity, PT would donate the five grand to the charity.  Splits are also fine:  some money can go to cover employee expenses, and some to help the charity.

Long ago, I narrowed my choices to two:  working with a child-soldier-related charity in Africa or working in a soup kitchen locally.  For various reasons, the charities my Children No More program have helped (both directly and indirectly) didn't seem like good choices, so I decided to stay local and work in a soup kitchen. 

I made this choice because I wanted to serve people directly, and because I wanted to be as far from in charge as I could be, so that I was doing something very different from my normal job.  I also wanted to work for a place that would feed anyone, without requiring them to produce an ID or be part of a particular religion. 

In the end, I chose the Shepherd's Table Soup Kitchen, where I worked today. 

More on my experiences tomorrow. 

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