An Usher Shares His Story

In case you missed our earlier facebook post, please check out this interesting story from a National Geographic writer. He was diagnosed with cancer and the story shares his recovery and his relationship with the Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit.

The spiritual value of work

By Mark Judge
author, usher

The recession has been bad for the economy, and a disaster for us journalists. But it’s been good for my soul.

After a 20-year career as a writer and journalist, I’m now an usher. Actually, I’m a Visitor Services Representative for the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit at the National Geographic Society. My job is to check coats, tear tickets, politely herd people to proper locations and general do whatever needs to be done for the 2,000-3,000 people who come through the museum every day to see the Terra Cotta Warriors — life-sized, 2,000 year-old Chinese clay figures who have been the winter buzz of Washington. The figures, some 8,000 total (the Geographic has 15 on display) were built by artisans around 200 BC. They were done at the order of China’s first dictator, Qin Shi Huang, and no two are alike. Their purpose was to both usher the emperor into the afterlife and protect him.

So I’m kind of a gopher, making people happy and protecting the protectors of the emperor. It’s a temporary job, and one that I didn’t necessarily have to take. What made me do so was the cancer that I was diagnosed with last year. After six months of chemotherapy, I felt unwilling to do anything that seemed petty, micromanaged, or aesthetically dead. I simply could not be the guy in the movie Office Space, losing a small piece of his mind day by day while the boss passive-aggressively asked him to cancel his weekend plans – again – so he can come in and push papers.

To read more, click through here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: