Mind Probing Bob & Marge – Work


Lyrics -Anna Louisa Walker Coghill

“Work through the morning hours;
Work while the dew is sparkling,
Work ’mid springing flowers;
Work when the day grows brighter,
Work in the glowing sun;

Work, for the night is coming,
When man’s work is done.
Work, for the night is coming,
Under the sunset skies;

While their bright tints are glowing,

Work, for daylight flies.
Work till the last beam fadeth,
Fadeth to shine no more;
Work, while the night is darkening,
When man’s work is o’er.”

According to Judeo-Christian mythology, Genesis 3:17 & 19

“…cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.”

 “…you will return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return”

Gods curse, or cure for useless idleness? Pretty heavy; loosening up, author unknown… “Work is the curse of the drinking class”

My dictionary defines work as: “activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.” Sound right to me.

 Mind Prober results— ATTITUDES TOWARDS WORK


Mr. R. F. seeks an organized, efficient work environment

“Mr. R. F. will work hard to master the difficult tasks which confront him in life.  While he can feel burdened by these things, expect him to expend the energy necessary to reach his goals.  For Mr. R. F. a job without challenges would be boring. “



“Ms. M.F. will be drawn to exciting tasks or to jobs that offer a great deal of variety and challenge.  Once she takes on an assignment, she will usually throw herself into work and forget about everything else. She will work persistently until she obtains first-rate results.

Trouble can arise if she “bites off more than she can chew.”  While this should not happen often, she may have a hard time estimating just how much she can handle.  When this occurs, you will likely notice her arguing with co-workers or even her boss.”

Analysis and Commentary

Organized….efficient?  That’s me no doubt. Since when?  Probably since grade school.  Even then, largely encouraged by Mom and Dad to study, and complete my homework. “Teacher’s Pet” maybe so, but I really liked school.

Studious, academic, thorough, meticulous, maybe intellectual.  My purpose?  Doing well, determined for college.   Syracuse University, degrees in Liberal Arts and Engineering in 5 years.  Freshman year, 19 credit hours a semester, plus labs.  Difficult and damnably strenuous, complex, and time-consuming.  On Dean’s list a few times, always maintaining at least a B- average .  Dead-on determined.  Many classmates fell behind, not me, meeting the challenges of University life….. stimulating and within reach.

Then, the real world of work.  For me, an entry-level position as an engineer in a steel mill.  The company – Crucible Steel.  The mill manager…….” Reinhold Schemp.”  A real German from the old country, “Rheiny” to his underlings.  Isn’t that great? Sounds like rhinitis, the master mucous of our mill,  The fourth Reich, as the other mills referred to ours, for good Reichish  reasons. My goal; working  long enough until time for Marge graduating, my work  a means to an end. Postponing  my pointless work, then leaving.

So what next, fate stepping in with a National Guard recall, also bringing the birth of our first child.  Active duty in the Air Force was similar to Crucible, something to passively put up with.  My job was clerical in the Comptroller’s office (base financial services).  The work was easy, our Captain, a good guy, as well as the Colonel in charge of the department.  Work was not challenging, also not boring; I lived off base with 4 other guys from our office. I possessed a personal life separate from my work life. Discharged in 1962, Marge graduated in fall 1963, I quit Crucible and we goto Binghamton in April 1964.

What’s in Binghamton?  GAF Chemical, formerly Ansco.  I began  the beguiling work of computer programing in 1965, intellectually interesting, stimulating, and challenging.  Best job ever, as for the work, but the company was going down the tubes so I quit and we move to Coopersburg, PA to work for PP&L.  A great company, I soon became a manager with new responsibilities and challenges.

All this I covered before, concluding with me now relating Mind Prober about work and me.

 Now for the hard part, Marge & work.

At S.U. Marge wanted to learn playing the organ.  Biting off a lot, definitely.  She could read music and sing but did not play piano.  This, a prerequisite to organ study. She took piano for a semester, then beginning organ after that.  She quickly learned and memorized 3 songs. She wanted to play some intermediate level Bach music, a significant challenge.  Were she still a single student, she might meet that level of play. No, being a new Mom, our moves, etc. were too much.  Even when our life stabilized, and we owned a piano, she never played again.  This, at least a partial validation of Mind Prober.

Marge did not have to work for  money as I made enough to live a good lifestyle.  In PA Marge had friends, volunteered, socialized, etc. This changed when we moved to Las Vegas in 1980.  Ingrid started college at UNLV, Louise was in middle school. Ingrid married in 1982 and so began the emptying of our nest.

Ingrid gone, Louise in High School, Marge with no social network.  She was alone, that dreadful disquieting  state  of mind.  One day, she surprised Louise and me by telling us she had gone to a nearby mall and began working at a department store.  Her hours allowed her to come home before Louise arrived.  She felt quite positive about herself and this lasted until a reorganization  eliminated her job.  The store  offered her a sales job, which she hated, at different hours.  She was indirectly fired, maneuvered out of her first real job, and devastated.

Community  college suited her, starting in the Legal Assistant program, grandly graduating in 1984.  Marge had a strong want to help, to aid, to serve others. This training matched skills to her goals. This role lasted  almost two decades when she became too old for hiring competing with younger assistants.

 She continued helping people  becoming a volunteer mediator/case manager with  Clark County Nevada Neighborhood Justice Center (NJC).  After proving her ability there, she accepted a paid position. She also took the H&R Block tax course and became a tax preparer.  Again,  assisting people, now coping with the IRS.

Marge learned her cancer had metastasized as stage four in 2010.  She continued to work for the County, also for some Block clients requesting her.  Becoming sicker and weaker, her long time NJC boss created a part-time job  which she could do at her desk.  I drove her everywhere and she worked even when  confined to a wheelchair.  She had a tremendous work ethic, persistently persevering, unrelenting and patient.

Her boss accepted a higher level job in the County. NJC assigned a temporary manager  from the full-time staff mediators,  The guy,   a manipulative jerk giving broad hints to Marge that it might be better for her to leave.  Marge told him she would never quit even when pigs flew and Hell freezes.

 She didn’t. In September 2012, she received a letter from this guy informing her that her services were no longer needed.    By mail yet, he didn’t have the balls to personally face her.  She was very ill, dying, sometimes I think she would have died at her desk had it been possible.

If  that isn’t persistence, I know not what is.  She died on October 28th at home, assisted by home hospice care.  A footnote to this story is this: the acting manager did not get the manager position; he did not meet minimum qualifications.  A pustulous pimple on the protruding posteriors of humanity.

I don’t know how Marge interacted with her fellow workers or boss, but I know that nobody should expect average performance from her.

For me, I am almost 79 years old.  I still take classes, study my manuals, read and study new materials. I do have increasing, but manageable health issues.  My clock of life is ticking louder.  Tennyson, in his poem In Memorium writes:

“And on the low dark verge of life, the twilight of eternal day”

Recalling my Poem:

”Work till the last beam fadeth,
Fadeth to shine no more;
Work, while the night is darkening,
When man’s work is o’er.”

My night is darkening, and I, on that low dark verge of life, await the twilight of eternal day.  My life, my work, is not o,er……..yet.


About R. F.

I am a retired Professional Engineer who spent my working life in the electric utility industry. I am now a volunteer instructor at the University Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).
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6 Responses to Mind Probing Bob & Marge – Work

  1. Allan T says:

    Bob, as you know I also worked alongside Margery at the NJC, I also came under the gun of that same manipulative jerk; he told me he was going to change my hours to a time frame he knew I could not work…. when I told him as much he just shrugged. I did before I quit, speak with his manager, I don’t know, but I do hope what I told her, was a part of the reason he did not get that position. You of course are so right about Marge, she was the type of person that would have been a work up until she was unable to get out of bed.
    As far as the other folks at the NJC, she got along well with almost everybody else.

    • R.J.F. says:

      Thanks again Allan, We both know who we are talking about. I wonder if he is still there, going nowhere. I think the computerized analysis is pretty much on the mark, not completely of course. She was a hard worker and took whatever job she had seriously and tried to do her best. But the legal field is not too stable, especially for the support workers as I understand it. So take care, and if you have not seen Bridge of Spies, I have and think it is well done. In some ways, similar to Captain Phillips also starring Tom Hanks.

      • Allan T says:

        Hi, yes we saw Bridge of Spies….. I loved it, Janice, well, she sat through it with me.
        Just saw the new James Bond movie last night… same as above.
        Yes, I think he is still there, but who cares!

      • R.J.F. says:

        I have a friend who saw the Bond movie with a friend. The friend fell asleep any my friend said the film was way too long. Not a good rating on IMDB either, so I think I will pass on it

  2. Louise says:

    I think this pretty accurately portrays Mom. When she believed in her work she was super dedicated, but with some hobbies or other kinds of work if she wasn’t making enough progress she’d get discouraged and quit. I remember for many years she would every so often sit down at the piano to play a Gershwin song she had memorized — it was the only one she still knew at that time– but she never played anything else on he piano. Then one time she sat down and couldn’t make it all the way through. “Nope, it’s gone,” she said. And to my knowledge she never played the piano again. But boy did she love helping people at the Neighborhood Justice center. I think you are right that she would have worked up u tip she died if she could. Almost did.

    • R. Johann says:

      I think the Mind Prober was amazingly on the money for both of us. You are right about Marge, she could even play the organ a bit, but had a short attention span in many ways. I wish we had been able to share these responses from the Prober program 30+ years ago as I think that would have gone a long way in understanding each other and living a better life together. she would spill her emotional guts out at one of those expensive self-realization seminars, but would be very private at home. I was just the opposite, I tried a half day at one of these seminars which was held here, and to me it was a bunch of weak willed wimps who could not see their own path in life and take it. So I left and took the Mustang for a drive to cool off from my dislike and let that go.

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