So while I’m working at one of our standing desks at our new office in the East Village section of San Diego, a homeless guy comes in peeking in our office (in SD we’re in a first floor retail space, that is all windows w/ no tint yet) in an “up and coming area”. Having this much homelessness around us and being on the first floor where the only thing separating us from “these people” is a piece of glass is a major distraction at times, and a potential safety issue.
Watching someone take a pee on your window while you are on a conference call with a client sucks, but its a reminder that that person has to pee in front of people every day, being in this space creates instant connections with people who are “out there” it is a reminder that we have a responsibility to do something about this, at some point its hard to ignore when you see 3,5,10 homeless people a day peeking in…we’re not up on the 3rd or 4th floor with security in the lobby. We’re on the front lines.
We have to be aware of our surroundings here.
We’re not off in an office park somewhere. Its bumpy and I want to do everything I can to make sure my team is safe, a part of me is thankful that we can’t ignore the tough life that so many people are struggling with, if you have a tough conference call, that suddenly doesn’t compare to not having a place to pee in private, right?
I’ve seen people having sex (I’m 99% sure they are homeless, but can’t be 100%), regularly at their favorite spot behind the parking garage, from our office in Philly to the ground to see all the “details” of what goes on. Our Philly neighborhhod has finally “flipped” since we located there 15 years ago, but it was similar there in our early days.
When I think “why grow” that’s a big part of it, we can do more good when we grow. So full speed ahead, if not us, who?
I’m reminded of this quote:
I’m so thankful that I don’t have to work only to maximize “shareholder value” or “please the investors”, I get to maximize our impact by building a team of people who believe we need to be a part of building up our neighborhoods, which is more than just financial.
I’m not saying Seer or Seer’s people know squat about how to help, but we can not ignore what we see, because every day throughout the day and when we leave we’re confronted with what we see, and we can choose as a company, but also as individuals to ignore it or be a part of learning, listening, and acting. We just don’t want to be the people who some in and help “flip” a neighborhood while the people get displaced.
Here is a great organization in our neighborhood doing great work to educate us on how as we grow, we can have a respectful & meaningful impact on our neighborhood, check their instagram.
Note: Literally while writing this a girl went by let her beautiful pit bull drop a BIG fucking shit right in front of me, I grabbed a bag and ran out and gave it to her. That’s an example of the kind of thing that happens when you are on the front lines. (Shout out to adam melson, for giving me the courage to approach people when shit like that happens and saying hey, here’s a way to clean up).