The Sweat of the Brow (xL)

We spend hours going over it all – my tactics, my behavior, my character, my report. She asks me after every choice I made. She has me explain my choice – what I would have called defending when I was young and unsure and unshriven. She hears my reasoning. She proposes alternatives. I learn how her mind works. It’s much like mine.

“You only used half the pages.”

“I didn’t need to use any more.”

“You brought back the unused pages.”

“I wanted you to know what happened to them.”

“You wanted to pass the buck.”

“Yes,” I say, “I did.”

“That was the right decision.”

“How so?”

“It always is.”


“When in doubt, take no more initiative than is necessary. When in doubt, do no more than you have been told to do. When in doubt, leave things as they are. When in certainty, take the time to doubt.”

“That was my thinking.”

“I know. I know because you didn’t report on your interactions with the guests.”

“I wasn’t told to report on them. I wasn’t told to have them. I didn’t.”

“You acknowledged your limited perspective.”

“As best I could.”

“You didn’t ask questions.”

“No,” I say, “I didn’t.”

“You did well.”

I thank her.

“You’re ready for more.”

I wait.

“Are you ready for your next assignment?” she asks.

“Yes,” I say. And wait.


~ by davekov on 1 May 2012.

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