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Work It: Pain

Work It Pain.jpg
How does pain play a role in your work and, by proxy, your life? In this episode of the "Work It" podcast, we're taking a deeper look at pain through the eyes of a piercer, a doula and a lawyer.

On the premiere of our new podcast, Work It, hosts Stephanie Hale and Jill Bjers explore the idea of pain with the help of a doula, piercer and lawyer.

Everyone has a "Work It" story (whether it involves pain or not). Who should we interview next? Submit your guest idea in the box below or leave us a comment on Facebook.com/WorkItPodcast.

Receive the Work It podcast as soon as it's available: subscribe for free (and leave a rating/review) on Apple Podcasts, NPR One or on your favorite podcast app.


Episode 1: Pain

Cindy: Our bodies are full of scars. At least the scar that you got from piercing is from something you actually wanted at some point, instead of the scar on my ankle when I busted my (behind) on some scooter. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of — my lack of balance!

Jill Bjers: That’s me and Cindy chatting the other day. Cindy's my piercer, and I'm super interested in her work, especially its relationship with pain.

Stephanie Hale: In this episode of the Work It podcast, we're taking a deeper look at pain through the eyes of a piercer, a doula and a lawyer. How does pain play a role in their work and, by proxy, your life? That's coming up on the Work It podcast.

Theme Music

Stephanie: Hi, I'm Stephanie Hale.

Jill: And I'm Jill Bjers. And this is the Work It podcast, where we have conversations with people about their relationship with their jobs and how it shapes their view of the world.

Stephanie: Each episode, we follow our curiosities underneath the job and into the complex identities of the people we encounter in our everyday lives. Because on the Work It podcast, our core belief is that it's the people — not the jobs — that are truly interesting. Now it's time to get to 'work.'

Act 1: Cindy + Sarah

Stephanie: A few months ago, Jill and I were ordering curry at this dumpy little strip mall Thai restaurant in Daytona Beach, Florida, and while we're sitting there, I was able to get a good look at the new piece of jewelry in Jill's face. A small blue and purple dangly thing hanging just below her nose.

Jill: That's my septum.

Stephanie: That's what it's called?

Jill: Yep.

Stephanie: Well, since we were going to be together pretty much every minute for a week I felt like I could finally ask you the question I've wondered million times about you: Jill, what else do you have pierced?

Jill: Ha. More than you can see.

Jill: Some of them, yeah.

Stephanie: And that got us talking about piercers. Most of us try to reduce the amount of pain in our lives. But what if pain is central to your job? We wanted to know what it's like to work with pain, day in and day out.

Jill: We're going to introduce you to three women who work with pain. One sometimes causes pain, one coaches women through it, and one seeks justice for people in pain.

Stephanie: We're going to hear from a doula and a lawyer later in this episode. Right now, though, we want to start with the person who transforms pain into a work of art. And that's Cindy, the piercer.

Episode 1 - Cindy Goode.jpg
Cindy Goode
Cindy Goode is a piercer based in Charlotte.

Jill: If you met Cindy on the street, you wouldn't be surprised that she's a piercer. She has multiple piercings, beautiful jewelry, fabulous blue dreadlocks and a warm smile, all of which give her an air of quiet confidence, like she's comfortable in her own skin.

Cindy: My goal is to give you what you want and enhance whatever body part we're piercing and, you know, make you feel good about yourself. Pain is an unfortunate side effect of that, but I try to minimize the pain and the discomfort as much as possible so that, you know, you're getting what you want and it's not just, like, killing you.

Jill: I just love her. I know that most people think piercings are just a way to stand out or look rebellious. But really, it's more about self-expression.

Stephanie: So, I'm curious, is there a school for piercing?

Jill: Not exactly.

Stephanie: So how does somebody get into this line of work?

Jill: Well, there are a couple of different paths, but in Cindy's case she completed college with multiple degrees and still felt unanchored.

Cindy: I originally thought that I wanted to go into teaching, went to school, wanted to be a career student, honestly more so than a teacher. I just wanted to stay in college because I'm a big nerd.

So at that point I'd figured out I didn't want to do anything I was qualified to do because it all involved sitting behind a desk or, you know, working in a classroom. And I just kind of discovered throughout my educational journey at that point that it wasn't really something I wanted to do.

So, I started working little odd jobs here and there trying to figure out life and feeling completely lost like a lot of us do in our early 20s, and started hanging out a lot at a local, small tattoo shop in the mountains in my hometown, where a really good friend of mine was a body piercer. And I'd always been really interested in that, and I had a few piercings. But because I didn't know where my career path was headed, I just started hanging out there and doing little odd work, like taking out the trash and cleaning up at the end of the night and, you know, finally worked my way into an apprenticeship there.

Took a while, figured out that that's really where my passion was. You know, it was kind of accidental that I stumbled on that.

Stephanie: Finally finding your passion feels so good!

Jill: Right? But it's not always that easy. Not everyone in Cindy's life was on board with her career path.

Cindy: I always had this thing from my parents, even after I'd been piercing for several years. It was always kind of like, “When are you going to get a real job, you know? You've got student loans to pay back, you need a real career, you need to do something different.”

Stephanie: Ouch.

Jill: Yeah, from the outside, it's hard to see the work that goes into making body piercing a career — even for parents.

Cindy: And, you know, there's a lot more that goes into it than just poking a hole in people. There's, you know, knowledge of anatomy and bloodborne pathogens and even further than that, management and dealing with the public and customer service and photography — cause we have to advertise our jewelry and stuff. And there's just a lot of things that go into it that aren't just poking a hole in somebody.

Stephanie: I don't think the 16-year-old that pierced my ears at Crossroads Mall in Salt Lake was thinking about any of that. Ugh. I remember that day. I tried so hard not to cry when the earring went in but then bawled my eyes out the entire way to the car. My ears were swollen and infected for like 2 weeks. A big price to pay for those little gold star studs. That’s my only piercing.

Jill: Same. However, I quickly got the bug and when I asked my mom for a second piercing, she gave me a very stern, "No." Of course, my response was to steal a carrot from the cafeteria and use one of my other earrings to pierce that second hole. All in the bathroom of my elementary school.

Stephanie: Seriously, Jill, in elementary school? In elementary school I'd cry if I got a hangnail, and you're over here literally trying to impale yourself. I'm shocked that people endure this pain voluntarily. Am I overthinking the pain?

Jill: You know, Cindy would say, “Yeah … but you're not alone.”

Cindy: Occasionally, a tough, tough dude comes in and gets pierced, you know, kinda has a reaction that shows me that maybe they weren't quite prepared for what got. They kinda had like a macho idea of how they were going to react. And maybe they reacted a little less macho than they thought. But a lot of times, so many people put off getting something done that they really want it, whether it's just getting their ears pierced or getting their nostril pierced to getting their navel pierced, nipples, whatever. Because they're terrified of the pain.

Stephanie: I know I should get this, but I just don't. If this is something you anticipate being painful, why do people want to do it in the first place? What's the big draw to piercing?

Jill: Steph, I can't explain all piercings to you because it's just not a simple answer. For me, some of them are aesthetic and some more symbolic. But Cindy might be able to explain it to you.

Cindy: I can just help you to kind of decorate, like pick out new jewelry for existing piercings and show you different placements for new piercings that would work really good and kind of create this overall look.

Sometimes piercings really do have an impact on people deeper than just surface level. You know, we have people who come in who have always wanted a specific piercing and whether it was their parents or their significant other or whoever would not allow them to have that or express themselves in that way, or really discouraged it and they're kind of breaking free from that situation. And that's their little act of rebellion and reclaiming "this is my life and I'm gonna do what I want to do." We help with that.

And sexual assault survivors kind of reclaim their bodies a lot of times with genital piercings and things like that to say, “This is mine, and I can do what I want with it.” And you know, people who are really insecure about certain body parts, sometimes it just needs a little sparkle, a little decoration, to really like help them to embrace that part of their body and not feel badly about it anymore.

Jill: Cindy is really empathetic. So, helping clients express and embrace themselves is important to her. Like most of us, she hasn't always been the confident woman that she is now.

Cindy: I've struggled with body issues my entire life, into adulthood now. I've often used body piercing … I've found myself in my life a lot of times when I'm going through something really hard, I need to get out of this place in my head where I'm at. I need to release something that's been weighing me down or make a major life change. Sometimes piercings can be ritualistic. Sometimes, I’ll decide to have a piercing to commemorate that.

Stephanie: Ok, so I think I get it now. Check me here: When she pierces her clients, she's not inflicting pain, but really she's helping them release the pain of some other experience?

Jill: Oh, I think you're getting it.

Stephanie: That’s beautiful. I never quite understood what it meant when people said they did piercings or tattoos to express their individuality, but after hearing Cindy describe it, I can see how getting a piercing could be a really powerful, self-affirming experience.

Cindy: Sometimes we'll have clients who just literally will look at their new piercing in the mirror and just burst into tears. And, you know, a lot of that is an emotional catharsis sometimes because they’re letting go of grief and experiencing joy and reclaiming their body. And that's really important to me because that's helping somebody on more than just a surface level.

It can definitely be life-changing helping someone to express who they are and to take ownership of their body. It’s one of the most important things to me. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like gold. I like sparkly things. I like, you know, decorating people. But also on a deeper level, just, you know, helping people be the truest version of themselves and to like what they see when they look in the mirror and what they display for the rest of the world to see. And to have ownership over that. That's important to me.

Jill: I tried to get her to tell me an example of a client who was transformed by their piercing, but as a fierce guard of her clients’ privacy, it was a no-go. While I wasn't able to get a story about Cindy helping somebody through their transition, she did tell me about a client that transformed her.

Cindy: My mom actually let me do her second earlobe piercings a couple of years ago. And that was really cool because I never expected that to be a thing. Seeing all of that has helped them (my parents) to kind of understand that it's a real thing and that they can actually be proud of me for doing this.

Jill: By piercing her mom, Cindy was able to show her parents how much more her career is than just poking a hole in someone.

Stephanie: Yay, Mom came around! You know, Cindy's take on her job is surprisingly similar to the woman I spoke to for today's episode — Sarah, who also works with people who are enduring pain for something intimately meaningful. Sarah is a doula. Don't feel bad if you don't know what that is. It's not a word you would hear if you weren't in the market for one. I'll let Sarah explain it.

Sarah: The word comes from Greek language and it means "a woman's servant" or "a woman who serves." So, my sort of elevator speech about being a doula is that I am essentially the same thing as a tour guide for a grand journey, the vacation of your lifetime, or wedding planner for the biggest day of your life. It's very comparable to those two roles that I'm just a guide for the process.

People spend a lot of time planning for a wedding or a vacation and very little time in our culture preparing for the biggest day of their lives. So a doula is there to be a tour guide for the journey of giving birth and becoming parents.

Stephanie: She's there to answer questions all along the pregnancy but most notably, she's there through the entire delivery, coaching the mother through labor, helping her to cope with the pain and express her needs and wants to the doctors and nurses.

Jill: Oh, my God, that whole process — pregnancy, childbirth, new parenthood — is a lot. For me, even with the support of my parents and family, it all still felt so overwhelming. I had no idea what I didn't know or how to ask for what I needed.

Episode 1 - Sarah headshot.jpg
Sarah Cowherd
Sarah Cowherd is a doula based in the Charlotte-area.

Stephanie: Yes, so true! When I sat with Sarah at my kitchen table it was obvious that she is an expert at making making a woman feel at ease. Sarah is petite, with a fairy-like quality about her. Dainty, pointed features and a presence that feels a little like she's gracefully hovering in the space. By the time the interview is over, I'm noticing that I'm talking slower, feeling totally relaxed. When she says ...

Sarah: You're doing this. Just one more breath. And then this one will be over.

Stephanie: ... I can imagine how different my own childbirth experience would have been with her there. I actually kind of want a do-over now.

Jill: Ugh, have fun with that. My delivery room had such drama. Sarah would have been a godsend. Not to mention that I was young and thought being prepared for childbirth was getting a new tattoo to "test" my pain tolerance. Oh, and of course buying baby bottles.

Stephanie: Ha, at least you were practical. I thought that being ready for the baby meant you had a scrapbook and stickers ready to go. Sarah always knew she was a nurturer, she loved playing with her little cousins and babysitting. But she didn't know she wanted to be a doula until she met one.

Sarah: When I was in high school, I worked in a coffee shop and this really wonderful woman used to come in as a regular every day. She was such a hippie and I was fascinated by her and who she was and very curious about her. And she had a warmth about her that was just magnetic. And I found out that she was a doula.

Actually, I saw her business card and I went home to my mom and I was like, “Mom, I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to be a ‘do-walla!’” So I had no idea how to pronounce this crazy word, but I knew that I wanted to be whatever this woman was. She just embodied a spirit of nurturing care that I admired.

Stephanie: So while attending college, Sarah also trained to be a doula — certified and ready to begin coaching birthing moms at the tender age of 20. Barely a woman herself. She hadn't had a baby yet, so people questioned what she had to offer, and she had hard time getting clients.

Jill: Ouch. Double-standard. Like not having the life experience makes you unqualified? So what do male obstetricians do to become credible?

Stephanie: Exactly. Maybe we'll have to tackle that in another episode. Sarah solved that problem in a pretty cool way, though, by volunteering her services to teen and single moms as she built experience. Jill, you and I were both really young moms, and I don't know about you, but I really never even considered the possibility that I could have a voice or make any decisions about what happened after labor started.

Jill: Yeah, me too. I don't even remember having a conversation about what kind of birth experience I even wanted. But eventually, it was Sarah's turn to switch roles. She was about to go through the birthing experience as a mom, not a doula.

Sarah: I had a lot of fear that I would disappoint myself. Or that some of the things that I had seen that had been really difficult for others would be things that would happen to me.

Jill: That’s what makes Sarah so interesting. Our jobs and identities are so intertwined. It's what makes our relationship with work so interesting to me.

Stephanie: Exactly! I can just imagine young Sarah, so passionate about her work that she feels like her own birthing experience is almost like a performance review. Will this experience be like a promotion to a different level of doula if she gets it right? Or will she fall short somehow? That's a lot to struggle with as a young soon-to-be mom.

Sarah's first birth took place in a hospital with a midwife and a doula. Baby No. 2 she delivered in a birthing center rather than a hospital. The third time was at home with an amusingly large community of midwives and doulas surrounding her. She says it was like a party. And her fourth child was delivered by her husband, just the two of them alone at home.

Sarah: Even the same woman giving birth at a different time might need something really different as far as her team and her support or her plan. So every birth is so incredibly different.

Jill: It sounds like she definitely became more confident with each birth. But what I want to know — how did motherhood change her as a doula?

Stephanie: She says her personal experience with birth has given her a deeper wisdom about the process.

Sarah: There's a level of empathy that comes from women who have given birth. And I think it's part of something that feels very ancient for women to care for other women in that process. And it doesn't have to exclude the partner or the dads or any men. But there's something that's really sacred about being surrounded by people who have gone through it before.

Stephanie: But she adds ...

Sarah: Although I always say that season when I was a doula without having ever had children was really wonderful because I brought no bias or judgment or preconceived notions to the table.

Jill: Every birth experience is unique, but there's one thing they all have in common: pain.

Stephanie: Sarah has coached hundreds of women through what many women consider the most painful experience of their lives and what she has to say about pain has completely changed my view of my own childbirth experience.

Sarah: I don't know why, but I often have men who say, “Oh, well I know how to support her because I've had kidney stones and kidney stones are the worst pain imaginable.” And I don't know why they say that!

So the pain that is experienced in childbirth is intermittent. It comes and goes. You have a contraction, you work through it, breathe through it, cope with it, and then you get a break. And there's really no other experience that's like that. That design of childbirth is really gracious because you have to sort of get yourself ready, mentally prepare to breathe, to cope with the pain. I don't like to sugarcoat it for my clients. Labor is really hard work. I like the word "labor" a little bit more than I like the word "pain." I like labor because it means to work to work really hard, you have to work really hard to endure labor.

Jill: It is hard work and she's redefining this kind of pain.

Sarah: It really is power. It's the strength of that woman's body and that's pretty incredible. That's a very empowering mindset.

Stephanie: I love that. Kind of get chills hearing that.

Jill: That's just how I feel when Cindy articulates the power in reclaiming your body through a piercing.

Stephanie: Yeah, Sarah sees the birth process not just as creating new life but also as a fundamental transformation in the lives of the parents.

Sarah: I love the babies. I love to see tiny, new life, but for me, I'm really in it for the parents. It's their journey that's really fascinating to me. And to go from maiden to mother is such an incredible transformation in someone's life. To go from young man to father is so incredible. It's so rich to see that transformation occur in people's lives. So for me, that's really the miracle.

Jill: Cindy and Sarah work with people who have chosen to be in pain, either through getting a piercing or having a baby.

Stephanie: But what if the pain you experience isn't your choice? What if it isn't even physical pain? When we come back, we're sitting down with the lawyer who has a different perspective on pain. That's coming up on the Work It podcast.

Act 2: Kris

Stephanie: Before the break, we heard from Cindy and Sarah talking about enduring pain for something beautiful. But now, we're switching gears a bit and sitting down with someone you might not expect.

Kris: If you're working eight hours a day, and you're sleeping eight hours a day, ideally that means that half the time that you're awake, you're at work. And so these may be people that you see more often than your spouse and kids. So then what happens when things go badly at work?

Jill: That's a really good question. What does happens when your work is the cause of your pain?

Stephanie: That's when Kris is just the right person to call.

Jill: Kris is an employment law attorney, but she describes herself a little differently. She kind of describes herself in the same way Sarah does.

Kris: I sort of view my role as a field guide. I have been through the process with enough people and have guided people through the process enough times that I can kind of explain to people, here's what's going to happen.

Stephanie: But you don't need her for the best day of your life. You need her for some of the worst days. She helps people navigate the emotional pain of losing a job or working in hostile or discriminatory conditions.

Kris: I've seen people whose jobs drove them to anxiety medications, high blood pressure medications, people whose jobs gave them physical and emotional symptoms that required severe medication and changes in their lives and cost them their health.

Episode 1 - Kris Finlon.jpg
Kris Finlon
Kris Finlon is an attorney based in Charlotte.

Stephanie: I sat down with Kris in her swanky law office just outside of uptown Charlotte early one evening. I was escorted into this conference room that had the same vibe as a cigar lounge. Lots of dark wood with gold and forest-green accessories. We sat at this huge conference table surrounded by 12 thick, padded, leather chairs.

Kris is a natural fit in this room. She is a little stiff and has a slow, dry, thorough way about her. She's takes her time to make sure she's accurate. Just listen to the way she describes her feelings about her job.

Kris: I actually help people sometimes, once in a while. I mean, you know, not all the time. I can't go home every day and say, “Yes, I did something fantastic for somebody today.” But I feel like I'm doing a cumulative, net good.

Jill: She sounds like a stereotypical lawyer, always qualifying every statement.

Stephanie: This quality about her may make you think that she was born to practice law, but she actually started out with a very different career path in mind.

Kris: So I graduated from undergrad completely unemployable.

Jill: Oh, I hear you Kris. Cindy and I can totally relate to that. None of our degrees had a straight career path. So Kris started as a volunteer at a rape crisis center and eventually was hired on as staff.

Kris: One reason I was staying there was I was trying to decide: Do I want to be a social worker or do I want to be a lawyer? And at the rape crisis center, I actually got to interact with both groups of people.

Jill: Soon, it was clear that social work wasn't the best fit.

Kris: Social work was very draining for me. I was not good at not internalizing things.

Stephanie: And so law school won. She headed off to the Village to attend NYU. In the window of time between the economic fallout from 9/11 and the Great Recession, she graduated into a job market flooded with lawyers.

Kris: I was desperate for any job that had the word "attorney" attached to it. So I wound up taking a job with a little boutique law firm. And what they did was civil rights and employment law. And I distinctly remember in my interview, they actually asked me why I wanted to do employment law, and I think I may have gotten hired because I said, “I actually don't particularly want to do employment law. I just need a job, and you guys happen to have one.”

Jill: Nice. Bold interviewing choice.

Stephanie: And it worked! She has spent the last 16 years working with people who believe they were fired for the wrong reasons or have suffered some other affront at work.

Kris: There tends to be some anger. There's a lot of sadness. There's a lot of mourning. I've never done family law, but I have friends who've been separated and divorced, and the language that my friends who've been separated and divorced use to talk about the breakdown of that relationship is often pretty similar to the language that my clients use to talk about their separation from their employment.

Stephanie: I've been divorced.

Jill: And we've all seen people we love lose their job.

Stephanie: Yep, and the mourning does seem to be pretty similar. It hits you in all the same places: social network, financial security, identity. It's a beatdown.

Jill: But unlike Cindy and Sarah's clients, this kind of pain can have a lasting effect that takes a toll on her clients — and on Kris.

Kris: Oh, well, the fact that I'm a lawyer explains a lot of my anxiety because I literally for a living spend a lot of time thinking about what's the worst thing that can happen? I developed a fear of heights a few years ago, which I discovered while rock climbing. Yeah, it was definitely one of those things I was not aware was an issue.

Jill: Yeah, carrying that kind of anxiety and vigilance all the time must be draining. I hope she has a way to recharge or decompress. You know, besides rock climbing?

Stephanie: Glad you asked Jill! Yes, she does have a few hobbies that seem to help. Any guesses?

Jill: She's a lawyer, so I'm guessing golf? Maybe yoga?

Stephanie: Good guess, but not even close. She straps on some skates and pads and races — plays? — I'm not sure what the word is, but she does roller derby.

Jill: You're kidding, right?

Kris: It's fantastic. The miraculous thing is even if we're not having a contact practice, even if it's just endurance and speed and skill footwork, as soon as I put on my skates, I tend to forget that I'm a lawyer.

Jill: I guess that's healthier than developing a drinking habit, which was going to be my next guess.

Stephanie: Well, that's not all she does. Let me give you one more.

Kris: I write fiction as a hobby. And so, coming up with plots. just generally try and throw the worst thing that can happen at your characters.

Jill: That is great. I was definitely not expecting Kris, a pragmatic lawyer, to also be a roller derby queen and a writer.

Stephanie: And still, the nagging awareness of the worst-case scenario follows her from work into her hobbies. It's everywhere. Maybe that's why she can relate so well to the pain her clients are in when they find themselves in their own worst-case scenario.

Kris: It's funny, I never thought about it as pain. I think about it as being in crisis, And they're probably very similar definitions, but I am very used to having people come into this conference room and cry. I am very used to having people come into this conference room and just be so wrapped up in their own anxiety and fear that they don't know what to do. The reason that the rape crisis history has helped me so much is because I had the tools when I started practicing to be able to listen to people and to make them feel heard and make them feel understood.

Jill: That's why Kris' most powerful tool isn't a poignant closing statement in a courtroom. It's a well-crafted demand letter.

Kris: And it's everything that they told me that I write down in my chicken scratch. And I always send them the first draft. And every single time I send a first draft of a demand letter to a client, it's a little bit of that anxiety, a little bit of that, you know, have I gotten your story wrong? Does this match what you remember? And it's interesting that I've never had a client just write back and say, “This is terrible! What are you doing?”

Jill: Obviously, the drive to be very thorough coupled with her artistic desire to tell a story is Kris' superpower. And the result is a long letter sharing the narrative of what happened and how those events have impacted her client.

Stephanie: She was really adamant about this point. When people tell their story, it's cathartic. When they share their story with the one who has hurt them, its empowering. But, when they hear their story reflected back to them, in the letter, complete with all the details and the emotion, it's healing.

Kris: The most important thing I do is just make sure they feel heard and understood

Jill: Maybe it's the letter, maybe it's time, or some of both. But somehow the crisis ends.

Kris: But then I would see people later and it's like, “Oh, this is apparently OK. This works out OK. For the most part, people's worlds don't actually end when they get fired.”

Stephanie: For me, the thread that runs through these three women's stories is really surprising. On the surface, it looks like their job is to get people through potentially painful experiences with as little discomfort as possible. But actually, it's more about holding an intimate space for people to be in their pain, to let the pain do its work. Holding the space — that's what these jobs are about.

Jill: So true. I feel like they all gave us great insight about what is on the other side of pain.

Stephanie: I think so, too.

Jill: They're each reframing what it means to be in pain. For example, Kris sees it as a crisis with an ending.

Kris: I've seen how badly people can be hurt by their jobs. Most of them, I can't say all, but I would say the vast majority that I see, a year or two later have realized that being fired was probably the best thing that could have happened to them.

Stephanie: There have been so many times when I would like to have skipped the pain of a missed opportunity, relationship lost or physical hardship, but there is new life after those kinds of experiences.

Jill: I totally agree. I'd happily have skipped gallstones. But as Cindy has learned, it's not the pain that stops us, but the anticipation.

Stephanie: These ladies aren't talking about pain in the abstract. If you have a body or a child or a job, they have worked with people like you, people like all of us.

Jill: But despite the differences in the context of their work, they've all come to the same conclusion.

Stephanie: Pain usually isn't as bad as we imagine it will be, we can get through it, and when we do, there is something new and beautiful on the other side.

Jill: So, should our goal be to reduce the amount of pain in our lives?

Stephanie: Or embrace it?

Jill: You up for a piercing?

Stephanie: Tell you what — I'll get a piercing if you have another baby.

Jill: Um. Ouch! Maybe we shouldn't be looking for more pain.


Jill: The Work It podcast is a production of WFAE. This episode was hosted by Stephanie Hale (whose dad always told her that a little pain never hurt anybody) ...

Stephanie: ...and Jill Bjers (who says childbirth was the fifth-worst pain she's experienced).

Jill: Our producer is Joni Deutsch (who has never broken a bone in her body and is terrified of the karmic pain that awaits if she ever does). Our editor is Greg Collard (who finds pain in watching West Virginia University beat his alma mater of Marshall University). And a special thanks to our guests: Cindy, Sarah and Kris.

Stephanie: Everyone has a Work It story (whether it involves pain or not). Submit your idea on WFAE.org/WorkIt or leave us a comment on Facebook.com/WorkItPodcast. Receive the Work It podcast as soon as it's available: subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, NPR One and on your favorite podcast app.

Jill: Until next time, keep on working it.

Stephanie Hales's fascination with people, their work, and the things that drive them is central to her work as a leadership development consultant in her adopted hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Hale lives in the University City area in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University and obtained her master’s degree from Queens University.
A true Jill-of-all-trades: mother, wife, author/playwright, organizer, and travel junkie. Jill Bjers is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah. She currently lives in Seversville area in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a graduate of the University of Utah.