Edie’s daycare is opposite a school, so if there’s no parking outside the centre, you can often get spots in the school drop-off zone which ends at 9am. This is perfect timing for us as Edie has never made it to daycare before then in her life, but on this particular day it was actually 8.57 when Gregory pulled up. Seeing a parking inspector further down the street and showing a caution for authority that is typically absent in his life choices, Gregory decided to sit in the car until the clock hit 9.
Knock, knock, knock. The inspector was at the window. Gregory rolls it down.
‘Do you know that you can’t park here right now,’ she says to him and he observes that she is not full of sunshine and happy smiles.
‘Yeah I know, but I can after 9, so I’m just going to sit here for another 3 minutes until then,’ Gregory replies pointing at the clock on the dashboard.
‘FUCK!!!!!’ She yells at him at the top of her lungs, ‘THAT MEANS I CAN’T BOOK YOU!!!’ Her face is half sticking inside the car.
‘Ah…I’ve got my daughter in the backseat,’ he replies, (although truth to tell, with Gregory as her father, Edie is no stranger to that particular word).
‘I KNOW YOU DO’ she yells at him again, then heads off down the street cursing and stomping.
Parking Inspector is not a job I’d be going for to be honest. Interactions with the public are never going to be positive, you work in the blazing heat and pouring rain and instead of receiving sympathy like the Post Person probably does, people think you deserve to suffer for the pain you’re inflicting on them, I imagine you have targets to meet (which was perhaps this woman’s problem) and it’s unlikely you derive any significant amount of self-worth from your chosen employment.
Not so with Gregory or me.
We love our jobs. Even when we don’t. Not every single aspect of them of course, (anyone who says otherwise is an outright liar), but the way we earn money to pay our rent and our daughter’s swimming lessons, for the most part, is really quite fulfilling. Which is why last night was so special.
And jeez does it feel good.
It hurt, really it did, to lose that hat – it felt like someone had revoked our membership to an exclusive club of people, all of whom you respect, admire and can instantly bond with over shared experiences and enjoyments. We all have a similar energy, an intensity to our lives, to the choices we make, to the hours we keep, and it’s really, really nice to hang out in a room with like-minded people and drink, share and support.
For my part, I struggled with how to be sure the staff knew we believed in them, their skills and the service they were providing and that we thought we had only continued to improve as we refined our systems and worked with our team. I wanted to be certain they didn’t think the loss of the hat was something we blamed them for directly or indirectly.
With retrospect however, losing the hat last year was probably the best thing for us, because (once his heart had healed a bit) Gregory realised he now felt free from any constraints he’d applied to his creativity, when he’d pondered that certain things could or could not be removed because perhaps they were or were not significant in us getting the hat to begin with.
To be able to create without looking over his shoulder and second-guessing if his instincts were spot on or not was liberating, encouraging and growth-inspiring. As Good Food Guide Editor Myffy Rigby said; ‘there’s a new balance and lightness to the Hartsyard menu that lifts everything up.’
And today, there’s a new balance and lightness to my husband’s step that has lifted everything up.
Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the wonderful team we have at Hartsyard. We’re the only 2 that were invited last night, but they’re the ones who believe in us and work hard enough for us to have gotten us those 2 spots in the first place.
What a beautiful start to Spring.