The Importance of Stretching

I was crammed between an elderly Chinese man and a young corporate woman riding home through San Francisco’s Russian Hill. I could tell by the sing songy enthusiasm that the two women a few seats to my left were catching up.

“You started your new job today right? How was it?”

“Yeah. It was like any first day. ‘Read this, meet him.’ You can never really tell on the first day.” She mentioned her new employer in passing.

Before this moment I had only seen people who beat me out for jobs on LinkedIn or updated corporate bio pages. I craned my neck slowly to see the young woman who snagged one of the dozens of jobs I had applied to since early 2012. I wasn’t jealous, more curious.

“It’s a bit scary,” she said. “I’ve never done it before…”

So she had no experience?

“…but that’s a good thing.”

The weight that I had felt since starting my new job nearly a month ago melted away.

I turned back towards the elderly Chinese man who calmly hugged the metal bar, steadying himself as he did every day having mastered this one simple movement that allowed him to grin inwardly when children teetered as the bus jerked away from each stop.


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