Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 275- Camaraderie

Dear Mr. President,

No matter how trivial or tedious the work, my job has always been important to me. When I was 16, I started working at a Jack-in-the-box. While this job was hard and often unpleasant (especially for a vegetarian) it exposed me to the challenges of employment at a young age, and brought people into my life who I otherwise would never have encountered. I met people who had been to jail, people who regularly used drugs, single moms, illegal immigrants, and more than one person working two or three minimum wage jobs to support their family. Some weekends, the crew would go out to play paintball on a Christmas tree farm outside of town. I've worked at a family-owned pizza parlor, corporate coffee giants, campus security, sandwich shops, an Indian restaurant and five different bookstores. In every job, my coworkers have been immensely important to me. Knowing and trusting and enjoying one another goes a long way toward making work bearable. Learning from my coworkers and learning about them as we get to know each other makes going to work every day something I look forward to.

This is why I found your farewell to Rahm Emanuel so saddening. I know that losing a coworker you rely upon can be difficult, but I'm sure Rahm will be able to do a lot of good in Chicago. Even if I didn't always agree with him, I've always respected the very difficult job that Mr. Emanuel had and his considerable political skill. I hope that when you find a permanent replacement, you chose an individual from outside your existing circle. I think the White House has lost sight of a really coherent message over the last few month, and that some have tried to solve this by lashing out at those supporters who have tried to hold you to your campaign promises. I think that strategy is a poor one for turning out voters and for changing any skeptical centrists. I don't pretend to know enough about the internal politics of the White House to know where this strategy came from, but Rahm Emanuel's disdain for the far left has always caused me to associate it with him.

One aspect of your senior staff I have always admired is the way they all seem to enjoy doing their very difficult jobs. I'm sure the camaraderie they share has a lot to do with this. I hope that, whoever ends up as COS, this continues. I know it makes my own day easier (andI'm sorry to admit that at least some of the bonding I do with my current coworkers involves lamenting the disappointing performance of many Democratic politicians, but, rest assured, we're still much tougher on the Republicans.) I hope that Rahm has good luck in the mayoral race, (and I think he should probably give serious thought to appearing on SNL.) This is a tremendous opportunity for you to change the way the rest of the world views the White House, and I hope that you make the most of it.

Respectfully yours,


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