Friday, April 23, 2010

Fingers and the story they tell

**WRITTEN ON APRIL 19, 2010**

Today will be a more interesting day then anticipated.

I head to work at my “fascinating” temporary position working for the Census Bureau as an office clerk in recruiting and administration. Killing time and trying to pay off some credit card debt before I begin Pepperdine in the fall, this job is beginning to grow on me. I have been working here for a month now and today is the second day in our big processing of 800 enumerators. Wow, I am so jazzed for this week. Bring it on.

I can tell you why I am jazzed. I have found a skill I am pretty fantastic at, a real natural. I am so good at said skill that I have already begun training the other clerks in my methods. I am called upon when things get tough and I am the go-to gal. Fingerprinting. This is my new hidden talent. It amazes me that I could have this skill hidden in my repertoire and not even know it. Last week, after only a half-day of training and one set of practice prints, I was flung into the chaos. These have to be FBI classifiable prints and as I have discovered, working for the government is no joke.

For at least 4 hours today, I will be handling many people, twisting their arms in bizarre ways and showing them things they also did not realize about themselves. Just as this skill materialized in a unique way, scars and memories and little stories reveal themselves within our fingertips. Today I learned about a man who had lost his right index finger in a construction accident. A woman hadn’t realized that years of accounting had created tons of micro-scars from all the paper cuts. Another woman revealed herself to be a female boxer in her twenties whose finger hadn’t set right. Throughout my day, these minor self-revelations and introspective memories came flooding back. You could see people smirking to themselves or getting remarkably pensive, surprised or quieted by the revealing prints.

Despite the everyday repetition of this task, I found that the people kept me thoroughly engaged. As a filmmaker, these little stories remind me to dig deeper, not only within you, but also in the story and in the characters. You never know what you may be capable of. Just last week, I was begging not to be fingerprinting people, uncomfortable with the ink and invading people’s personal space. And now, I’m the “expert,” the “resident troubleshooter,” and adorable other nicknames that my colleagues have bestowed upon me. Not only does it make me smile, but also there is some pride in doing anything well, even something you will never have to do again in your life.

At least now I know I have options as a back-up career. Maybe tomorrow I will look at FBI applications. Today, I will finish off my day with some friends and some “research”: going to see KICK-ASS! No matter what my day job is, there will always be time for my real passion. I can’t wait to see Hit Girl do wildly inappropriate things for a 12 year old. People really can manage to surprise you, characters or otherwise.

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