Good Sportsmanship

by Joy Monger

As you know, I was recently laid off from my long-time, dream-job, job. But it isn’t effective until January, so every day I put on my work lady pants and I go to the office and I work and I work and I smile and I turn in the spreadsheet and I wrap up all the details and I smile and I work. Occasionally I stay home in my bathrobe and watch internet TV but mostly I work and I smile.

Several of my co-workers have commented on how graceful and productive I have remained despite having been kicked in the emotional groin, and they ask me how I do it.

I wish I could say “my faith” or “my belief that everything happens for a reason”, or even “my excellent upbringing”.

But really it’s that TV show “The Voice”.

Yes, I watch it. And I love it. And every week the show features these beautiful young creatures who have left it all behind to give singing a shot, and they’ve sung their hearts out on stage and told the whole world how their father’s always wanted them to be an accountant but they chose singing instead or how their mothers work three jobs just so that they could have singing lessons or how singing literally saved their lives from some sad fatal disease. And after all that, the beautiful young creatures have to stand up on the stage and bite their lips and twist their hands and cast their eyes downward and wait to hear if America has voted to let them stay.

And then BOOM. They get voted off the show. IN FRONT OF ALL OF AMERICA. AND CHRISTINA AGUILERA.

And then the host asks if they have any last words. Sometimes they cry or worse, get angry.

But a lot of the times they just say how grateful they are for the experience. They say how this isn’t the end of the road for them. They are gonna keep singing! They say “Thank you America!”

That’s how I learned to be grateful in the face of defeat. I’ve been voted off the proverbial work island, but when I leave, I want people to think “That girl is one classy broad. She’s gonna be just fine.”

Also helpful, are all my years playing as a child on really terrible soccer teams. We mostly always lost, but no matter what, win or lose, our coach always made us walk over to the other team, shake hands with each of our competitors and say “Good game, good game.” Even when I got pelted in the face with direct kick I still had to say “good game.”

At work, most days lately I feel like this on the inside:

But I just think of Christina Aguilera and mutter “good game, good game” to myself and I look like a graceful swan on the outside.