I had the most amazing experience today! My son took me to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. I’ve lived in DC for years and I’d never been there.

Collection after collection, it’s a rollicking trip through portraits of American leaders, heroes, cowboys and Native Americans, and two of my favorite Edward Hopper paintings, to the gilded age and a grand piano from the Teddy Roosevelt Whitehouse, and monumental Pac Man games. I saw my first, live and in person, Grandma Moses painting!

With all the wonders of the collection, what I can’t quit thinking about is not the art. It’s the people who work in the museum. I’ve rarely experienced anything like it. From the woman at the front desk, to the guards, to the clerk in the museum store, they all had something special and rare that is a lesson for everybody who has a job anywhere. They loved their jobs!! It showed in their enthusiastic answers. It showed in their curiosity! It showed in their pride.

I asked the woman at the front desk if there was a map. Such a pedestrian question, but she reacted as though this was her opportunity to share the wonders of the museum with me.

Later, we were looking at a display of Tiffany glass. A guard came over, not to tell us we were leaning too close, but to say, “Tell me. What’s with this glass? What’s so special?” He and my son went on to have a conversation about the delicacy, the colors… I moved on – too intellectual for me.

Finally we went to the bookstore. I asked the clerk if there was a book on the folk art collection. “There are two. This is the book on the current collection. I always tell people we have two and this one is my favorite, but come over here. This is an old one but it has the full collection, and it’s on sale — a great deal.” He stopped to tell another couple they could find a better book on artists of the blacklist in another room.

I bought both of the books he recommended and took them to his desk. He asked, “Did you see the Lichtenstein sculpture?” Alex asked if it was the cowboy in front?

“No. It’s out this door and around. Go see it. New York gave it to us! They gave it to us FOR FREE! And it’s a Lichtenstein. Go see it!”

There’s a question here: Do you love your job this much? If you don’t, quit, go find one you do. Not only will it change your life, but all those you encounter.

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