BOSTON (CBS) – At the start of every summer work week, in every workplace in America, these are the seven most terrifying words you can hear: “Let me tell you about my vacation!”

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

I promise not to do that to you.

But I did want to share one striking contrast I observed that will stay with me long after the rest of the week is forgotten.

On a beautiful midsummer day in New England, it seems happy people are everywhere. Or maybe they just stand out more because I live here year round.

This is what I saw all day: young parents doting on their tots at the beach; the older kids having a ball boogie-boarding together; multi-generational crowds wolfing fried clams and ice cream with a contented smile on everyone’s face.

Then, each evening, after all that joyful togetherness, I watched the shocking contrast of the loneliest man in New England suffering an appalling level of isolation and scorn.

I was able to watch this guy at work, where he is apparently held in contempt by one and all. No one will talk to him. I rarely saw anyone even near him.

For someone supposedly in a position of authority, that seems like bad news, and his body language screamed “I hate my job, please help me.” But it seemed like every effort this man made to assert himself was disastrous, breeding obvious resentment and disrespect.

And worst of all, it was apparent from what I saw every night that his is a failed workplace where no progress is being made. You could see the futility in this man’s face, his resignation to a fate of defeat, disgrace, and disparagement.

Watching this tormented soul suffer each night after days filled with happy sights made me reflect on the thin line between joy and suffering, and how grateful each and every one of us should be, no matter what our burdens or disappointments, that we are not, and will never be, Bobby Valentine.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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