The telephone rings in an adjacent office. I hear the girl who works there, a recent graduate in biology, pick up the phone. A moment later I hear her scream: “Oh My God! I got the Job? Oh no! Oh yes! I can’t believe it! thank you thank you…..
Twenty minutes later, she comes out of her her office, flushed with joy and dancing around. She has got The Job. Her dream job- a real government job with pensions benefits get-her-teeth-fixed, have-massages, go-on-vacations buy-a-house job job job. And it is related to her field of study. She has struck oil, metaphorically speaking. The colleagues gather around, congratulating her. I ask:
-So what are you going to be doing then? What do you do in this job?
-I’ll analyse a databank on wild animal poop in that area! Oh god it is so exciting- it is what I have dreamed of since I was a girl! They have a databank tracking wild animal poop and tracks in that area since years ago and I’ll be analysing it! Then we can use it to make forecasts on future animal poop in that area! Isn’t it fabulous?
My mind fell into a deep silence while my mouth continued congratulating her and telling her how happy I was for her. So different. So different. So interesting, we come from similar cultural socio-economic middle-classes, and we care about such different things. People. Governments. The government of Canada cares about the wildlife animal spoor (the proper word for poop, I learned today) and hires a highly trained professional to gather it and analyse it. The government of Iran cares about, cares about, cares about….
I close off my mind and return to staring at my monitor.