Working in the city is so much better when we are kind to one another.
Sometimes I feel like Spiderwoman when I walk in the city.
Leaving work one afternoon, I saw a woman catch a heel on a curb and sprawl down the sidewalk. Spiderwoman ran to her, helped her up, brushed her off, picked up her cracked phone. We shared a shaky laugh.
Spiderwoman didn’t want her to be alone with the shock and embarrassment of that sudden fall.
A British couple had just gotten off the light rail at Pioneer Square and were huddled over their tourist map. I walked past, thought about it and turned around. They were looking for the Klondike Museum. Spiderwoman gave them directions and they set off in the right direction, all smiles.
Spiderwoman wanted them to love our city.
Early one morning on my walk to work, I saw an elderly man pulling a suitcase, headed east up the Yesler hill. He asked me where the passport office was. He had plane tickets to Italy, but had misplaced his passport. Spiderwoman walked back down the hill with him to the Fifth and Yesler Building, carrying his suitcase.
He promised to send prosciutto when he arrived in Italy.
The other day, an older man approached me near the grocery store. He told me he was living in his car and it was the end of the month. Spiderwoman gave him $5 and friendly words.
He looked at Spiderwoman like she had done something wonderful.
A beloved coaching client, a soft-spoken engineer, told me his own Spidey story. He’s on the leadership team of a technology startup in town, reporting to a bully of a CEO. This CEO released stress and fear downwards, by talking negatively about and at his employees (tell me that’s not you). Spidey described how he repeatedly stepped between the CEO and his colleagues, acting as an emotional shield for those with less power at the organization.
Spidey didn’t want them to face the bully alone.
An old friend told me a Spidey story. She was heartbroken to leave her baby at the end of her maternity leave and go back to work. On her first day back, her colleagues filled the nursing room, where she was pumping several times a day, with fresh flowers. The Spiderwomen and Spidermen she worked with wanted her to know they understood her sadness, and were glad she was back at work with them. It’s good to work with Spiderwomen and Spidermen.