Sue's Views: Thanks to all who do thankless jobs
I don't know about you, but I had a tremendously difficult time getting out of bed this past week. Perhaps it was the challenge of getting back to a routine not interrupted by holidays. Perhaps it was because I stayed up late taking down the Christmas decorations and packing away the holiday clutter. Perhaps it's a sign that I am, despite all of the magical potions in my medicine cabinet, getting old and moving slower as a result.
Or, it could be that it's too dang cold and I don't want to go outside at all, even if it is just from my car to the office door.
But I am a Minnesotan so I got up and went to work, if only to talk about the weather.
But outside my window, the traffic is steady, as pickups loaded with snowblowers, skidloaders and tractors fitted with snow removal equipment and even the occasional coverall-clad individual with a shovel went by.
And today I thought that my job wasn't so bad.
But I started thinking about those who are doing jobs we don't usually take notice of -- the snowplow drivers, mail and newspaper carriers, delivery people, law enforcement and emergency services personnel.
Today, I am glad I am not the newspaper carrier for the daily newspaper. He hasn't missed one single day, not even Christmas Day, on his route and is out before the plows so I can enjoy the funnies before I go to work.
I admire the snowplow drivers. They are the ones who have to find a way to work regardless because we are all depending on them to make it safe for our trip to the office.
Of course, the law enforcement and emergency services folks have some of the most demanding jobs ever.
I can't tell you enough good things about the mail carriers who have had to walk through knee deep snow just to bring the holiday cards to my door. Not to mention the FedEx, SpeeDee and UPS drivers who likewise had to find a way to get their work done, regardless of the weather.
These folks generally don't work an 8-to-5 shift, yet the rest of us depend on them getting their work done so we can do ours.
Underappreciated is part of their job description. Usually they are out of sight, out of mind unless they happen to get in our way or can't get their job done.
I am confident that these are not super human people. They have many of the same trials and tribulations I do. But they go to work every day and do what I couldn't, no matter what the pay.
Recently, there have been a number of television shows that focus on the folks who do the jobs most of us wouldn't, even if we could. Ice Road Truckers, Ax Men, Deadliest Catch and Dirty Jobs are all interesting shows to watch. But as is often the case, those who should have a show dedicated to them are too busy to be bothered and wouldn't know what to do with the attention anyway.
These are the people who completely understand what Studs Terkel meant when he wrote, "Work is about daily meaning as well as daily bread."
So, to all of you who have done your jobs so amazingly well in spite of the weather, you have my admiration and my thanks. To me, the fact that you get up every day and go to work -- no matter what your circumstances or what challenges you face -- make you heroes in my book.