January 18, 2011 in Features

The Slice: Here’s to his Spokane-do attitude

By The Spokesman-Review

Sometimes we’re reminded of what loyalty to Spokane really looks like.

There’s this guy I know. He has been trying to land a good job here for years, going back to before the economy nosedived.

As I understand it, he has all the college credentials he needs. I think his make-do work history is fine. And I feel certain he does not possess a weird personality or criminal past.

But things have not panned out for him.

Perhaps prospective employers held it against him that, after a series of dead ends, he took a time-out to be a stay-at-home parent raising two young children. I don’t know.

I assumed that he must have some hard feelings about good old Spokane.

Anyway, his wife recently got a promotion. It meant the family had to move to Portland.

I was sorry to hear that they were leaving. For one thing, my mother has grown quite close to them.

But I did find myself thinking that at least now this guy would get a fresh start.

I happened to bump into him downtown just days before they set off for Oregon. And after wishing him well, I invited him to vent about Spokane.

He declined.

So I reminded him about his vocational frustration and disappointments. Wasn’t he going to be glad to see the Lilac City in his rear-view mirror?

Not really, he said. You see, he loves Spokane.

He’s from here. His family had some happy years here. And he’ll be leaving behind a lot of people he cares about.

Sure, things might go better for him in Portland career-wise. But he wasn’t about to bash the city where his daughters were born and where he still has relatives.

I was impressed.

It’s easy to be all rah-rah about Spokane when everything has gone your way. But if your experience in our near-nature city has been way less than perfect, wouldn’t you grumble?

Bitterness would be a self-destructive waste of energy, he said.

OK. I’m rooting for them to enjoy their stay in Portland. Still, I hope they move back here eventually.

Prospective employers may have been slow to recognize it. But Spokane can use a guy like that.

Today’s Slice question: Who has this area’s longest daily commute?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail pault@spokesman.com. Does problem dog-barking have a socioeconomic correlation?

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