Sound bite: they work for the government – what did you expect?

This Sound Bite is from the introduction to Why This Work Matters: Wisdom from the People who are Making Communities Better.  Interesting?  Pick up a copy for e-reader or print.  You’ll be glad you did.  


“He works for the government – what did you expect?”

I dropped the sweater I was putting on my closet shelf and turned to look at my husband.  Dave, his back to me while he sorted his socks, had turned toward some news story scrolling across the TV during the football game’s halftime.  By the time I got my mouth open, he’d almost forgotten what he had thought out loud.

Dave and I married young.  He is wonderful and loving and an excellent father to our kids, but out political beliefs don’t often line up.  Part of that might be because I have spent most of our adult lives working with governments, and he has been in a large corporation.



“What did you just say?”

“What… the government thing?  You know.”

“No, I don’t.  What do you mean?”

Dave rolled his eyes and sighed, and put on his slightly-frustrated-explain-the-obvious voice:

“They’re either crooked, or they don’t care.  Or they live in fantasyland.”

When I challenged him on his blanket statement, asserting that I work with hundreds of government types, and that most of them are outstanding, dedicated people, he gave me a “yeah, whatever” shrug.  And we both went back to folding.  After 20 plus years of marriage, you learn when to drop an argument.

On my to-do list for the day that he said that: finishing the introduction to this book.

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