The People's Office

Mid-morning sunlight poured into Joseph's living room. After a long winter, Joseph and Garret, sitting around sipping hot coffee, welcomed the mild spring weather – a cloudless, breezy Philadelphia day. They sat back and stared out the windows at blue sky.

"I figured out my next career move," said Garret.

"Just now?"

"Yeah. Just now. Sitting here drinking coffee on this fine morning."

"I suppose I'm supposed to ask what you're going to do."

"Up to you."

Joseph sighed, feeling obliged to humor his friend. "Okay, what is it?"

"I'm going to open an office."

Joseph waited for details. Minutes passed before he asked "What kind of office?"

"A small one – basic. Reception area and a separate room for me. Modestly sized desk—"

"Gotcha, yeah, but I meant what kind of services will you provide? You're not a doctor or a lawyer or a professional of any kind, last I checked."

Garret shot Joseph a disapproving look. "Who says only doctors and lawyers and professionals can have their own offices? I wanna help people, Joe. I'll be there for our community. I think I'll be happier than I would've been if Fishtown Mews had come together as it should've."

"Okay man, that's noble and all, but how are you qualified to help people? What will you do for them?"

"It's simple. People will find me when they have no place else to go. They'll come to me with their situations, whatever those situations may be, and I'll advise them, do field work, help them solve their problems."

"Field work?"

"Yeah. You know, research. Like in those p.i. books when people bring their cases to the dick and he goes out there and sees what's up. It starts with one person, the client, and then once I get out there to do the seeing of what's up, I put myself in the right place at the right time and other people start coming out of the woodwork to reveal whatever pertinent information they can offer. I connect some dots, drink whiskey, and everyone wins."

"So you'll be a p.i., that's what you're saying."

"No. I won't actually be a p.i. – that was just an analogy to help you understand. I'll be more of a floater looking for the right set of circumstances. I'm sure it'll be slow going in the beginning but once I help those first few clients, word will get out."

Joseph shrugged, tiring of the conversation.

"You see, Joe," Garret continued, "it's not about a product or service – that's small minded thinking. It's not about a fancy title. It's about people helping people, and hopefully more people doing good things for the world than bad…."

Garret rambled on, but Joseph tuned him out, closed his eyes. He thought of how he might spend the rest of his day off from work, perhaps a walk to Palmer Park to sit around there for a while in the beautiful weather, rather than just sitting around his apartment.


  1. Easy-going and oblivious. Odd but endearing combination!

  2. I enjoyed the energy of this piece, Richard. Good one! Helps that I'm on my way to pick up my brother for company on a beautiful day. We kind of wrote opposing pieces this week...

  3. I think I just figured out my next career move too! ;-)

  4. Garret sounds very idealistic, if only it was that simple.