One of my first jobs was as a fill-in for the shipping clerk of a company that makes industrial ladders.  He was the brother-in-law of the owner and was going to be out for 3 months for something medical.  Maybe he had a heart attack and was healing?  I don’t really recall.

My job was to contact the trucking company that would get the shipments to the company that ordered them and to make the shipping labels.

I was surprised to find the copying of the labels to be very soothing.  When, I commented on that to a friend who was also a priest, he wasn’t surprised at all.  He told me that monks have a period of repetitive work included in their day and that it is intended to be a time of meditation.

Since then, I have found satisfaction in awareness of contemplative work.  

I work in a reference lab and the repetition in pipetting batches of samples and reagents into vials is very satisfying.  The fact that it is useful work is too.  Any annoyances I have with my job are not with the work itself, but with the people who interrupt my flow.  I’m fortunate that the people who work during my regular shift seem to have the same appreciation of flow that I do.



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