One, they had to like us
. The other, we had to like them.
One, we tempered our sympathies, or we would not have been as successful. The other, we would have only made ourselves unhappy
if we didn't truly care about our charges.
One, we were pressured to find leads and seek out new prospects. The other, there was always so much calling for our attention, we had to triage our own time just to make sure nothing vital slipped through
One, we saw ourselves as predators, and those who came in
as prey. The other, we saw ourselves as guardians, and those who came in as our wards.
One, we wanted everyone to be happy, but measured success in terms of how much we could extract out of our targets. The other, we wanted everyone to be happy, but measured success in terms of how much of ourselves
we could give to their care.
One, we threw big, loud parties, the purpose of which was to energize us, make us ready to charge onto the floor for another bumper fiscal quarter
. The other, we gently encouraged one another to go on in the moments of unavoidable loss we all knew would eventually come.
One, we could not become attached to those who came in because ultimately our own livelihoods depended on how much we could get them to sacrifice, for our sake. The other, we could not become too attached to those who came in because ultimately we knew they couldn't stay, no matter how much they wanted to, and we were merely the guides on the final leg of each of their journeys
One, we celebrated our successes in terms of achievements, accomplishments, and the monetary returns we received for jobs well done. The other, we talked of the quiet, fond memories we managed to gather, and toughened our hides to not think about those terrible moments
at the end of each memory.
One, we left our jobs at work, and went home to lose ourselves in whatever entertainment we could think of to make the days fly by, because we worked to live
. The other, we didn't live to work, but we would consider ourselves fortunate if we didn't bring our work home, let it seep into our souls, and drain us even more in those moments of silent contemplation.
One, we knew our work wasn't all that vital, so we had the comfort, even relief, of knowing what we did, we did for ourselves
, of being fortunate enough to live off a system that didn't truly need us. The other, we also knew our work wasn't all that important in the grand scheme of things, but it mattered to those who came in, that it was for them we worked, though it was the unspoken understanding between us that we were only there to delay the inevitable.
One, our success was mixed with occasional feelings of guilt, but that only made us more grateful for whatever success we were granted. The other, the guilt came in different ways, did we not do enough, did we put our own self-care first too often, did we allow compassion fatigue to rob us of who we once were
One, when one of us retired, it would be to a life of rest and relaxation, away from the high pressure environment that kept us frazzled whenever we thought about meeting our numbers and financial targets
. The other, when one of us retired, it was with a history of memories few others on the outside have ever experienced and few others would probably want to, it was with a relief to be away from a place of so much muted sadness, yet disappointment that such work could never truly end for the colleagues they left behind.
One, we attracted new recruits based on their energy, enthusiasm, and charisma
with promises of all kinds of glory and material compensation. The other, we weren't sure we wanted to attract recruits at all, those with the right temperament would come to us, and if they needed convincing, they probably weren't right for us anyway.
One, we dealt with people, inside and outside, in the prime of their lives, people who still lived as if they were immortal
. The other, we were constantly reminded of how close the end was for everyone, one where we could only make room for new residents if another had opened their final door.