There’s a reason terms like “Monday Motivation” and “TGIF” make popular hashtags. Tedious work, horrible bosses, and a frustrating commute lead to stressed and unhappy employees. We look forward to days off and transform into miserable, cranky beings as the hours wind down drawing us closer to another workday. Today, a mundane event reminded me that there are lessons all around us that can impact the way we look at life and what we consider to be problems.
Someone for Every Job
I peeked through the window after hearing a noise outside my home. I watched as a garbage truck made its way from house to house. Two men would hop off the back of the truck and grab the teeming trash cans. One worker, in particular, was dancing as he worked. I couldn’t tell if he was listening to music or just moving to his own beat. I continued to watch him, curious about how he could find joy in such an unpleasant job.
The fact that I am an unquestionable germophobe made his attitude even more striking. I thought about the previous evening when I put the trash can by the curb. I had ripped a few pages out of a magazine so I could wrap them around the handle. There’s no way I was going to touch that thing with my bare hands. I use gloves sometimes, but I’d just often grab the first available item—even leaves of a pant or tree if they’re wide enough.
No Job too Lowly
I know I couldn’t do it. Even if you get past the germs, the stench of garbage that had been sitting for days can be like a punch in the face when you open the lid of the trash can. I thought about how many bins the workers handled this morning alone. Then, there was the collective stench of the waste from different homes festering on the back of the truck on which they rode. If you’ve ever been stuck in traffic behind one of these trucks, you’ve experienced the nauseating effect.
As they got closer to my house, I could hear him singing. I could see, too, that he was smiling. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could tap into a happy place under such conditions. I remember hearing Christian author and speaker, Joyce Meyer say that no matter what job you have, even if you have to clean toilets for a living, do it well and joyfully.
He That Is Faithful in That Which is Least…
If you complain, you’re sure to find someone who’ll say you should be grateful because there are many without jobs who’d be happy for the one you hate so much. Or, that there are persons with worse jobs who take what they can get so they can provide for their families. This sanitation worker was that reminder for me today. He showed that there are lessons all around us and they’re often exactly what we need.
I watched as he walked back to one of the cans he had emptied earlier and straightened it, so it stood perfectly in front of homeowner’s driveway. His behavior made me wonder how he would act if he had a “better” job. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” - (Luke 16:10 KJV)
A Lesson in Everything
On this cold February morning, I thought about the number of people in comfortable offices complaining about having to go to work. Granted, there are jobs that are damaging to the soul. However, if this gentleman can take pride in and even find a way to be joyful in a duty that most of us find repulsive, we can muster a new or better approach to our challenges.
You may not like your job but commit to doing your best—always. I was impressed enough to contact the sanitation company to give the guy a shout-out. It’s what you do when [you think] no one’s watching that counts. There are lessons all around us, and if we pay attention, we might find the inspiration and motivation we need to be better and more grateful human beings.