Monday, May 13, 2013

Bring It Home Hard, Corps Members

"Go hard or go home is the motto this year/See the game don't wait, ain't no time for fear..." -Giz, soloing with Roy Jones Jr. 

I know. I get it. I feel it, too.
We're nine months deep in a long, hard program and we can see the end just ahead. Two weeks, maybe less, till we're back on the road and in Vicksburg for a long transition. Two weeks to the Upper End and the Biscuit Company and the Tomato Place, two weeks 'til we get to see our friends for the last time for who knows how long. Less than a month 'til we're quits of FEMA Corps, almost all of us gone for good. (To the Corps Members who are returning as Team Leaders, I salute you.) We see the last days ahead of us, often with our next jobs already lined up, and we slow down. We marinate. Doze. Lollygag. Whatever you want to call it, I don't care. We've lost any semblance of an edge, or a drive, or a desire. And that is probably perfectly normal for a group of kids at this stage of this kind of a program. 

I do not care about any of that. Nor should you. 

There is no excuse, including in all the things I just wrote, for slacking off right at the end. Sorry if that's blunt, but there are people in New York City and Nassau County that are still out of their homes. I'm working on a project, the Disaster Housing Assistance Program, wherein we call people who are still in rental properties and try to get them some longer-term rental assistance. It's not remotely sexy and it involves sitting in front of two computer screens and yakking on the phone all day, but we are getting disaster aid to people who still need it. It seems like that concept has slipped away from us, but what we are doing matters. And when we're not doing it, when we're not working as hard as we could be, that matters too. 

I'll be the first to admit it: I'm nowhere near as productive as I should be. I check my email, read articles, kill time when I should be making calls or running calculations. There's nobody watching me (so far as I know) and I'm in a cubicle by myself, so the temptations are always there and always strong. But none of that is an excuse, and I know that, and I fight it and I get some work done every day. Not as much as I should, but a decent amount. I have a lot of room to get better. And whether you're running DHAP or taking registrations or doing who knows what FEMA-related thing out in Texas or New Mexico or New Hampshire or D.C., you probably do too. 

Yes, the next gig is probably in sight. Yes, we have something like five more workdays and then we're headed home. And as Battlestar Galactica's Colonel Tigh might have put it, "Yes, we're tired. Yes, there's no relief. And yes, we are still expected to do our jobs." (I may be the first blogger ever to quote BSG and a boxer-turned-rapper in the same post...) Come on, guys. We're right at the end. And it's worth pointing out that we're not exactly earning the right to not be treated as kids, if kids are exactly what we're acting like. 

Take the last few days of this term as a chance to put some good work in. Whatever you're doing, do it hard and do it well. If you have no work, surprise your supervisors and ask for something to do. Let's bring this class, and this year, home hard. Let's earn this.

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