A small flame

A small flame

don't forget your garbage man

Daniel sitting in Daddy's garbage truck

The most difficult job Phil ever had was as a garbage man. {Yes, I know 'garbage man' isn't the politically correct title :O} It paid well, but not nearly what it was worth in time, exhaustion and the toll it took on the family. He worked insanely long hours, was always dangerously exhausted (I was worried he'd have an accident because he was dead on his feet!) and we never saw him. He started in the summer time and soon learned that he needed to take gallons of water & Gatorade with him every day if he wanted to keep up the pace without passing out. He staggered home after the kids were asleep, ate his one real meal for the day and dropped into bed for a few hours before starting his next shift. In two months time he dropped 40 lbs!

I'm not saying that all sanitation workers have such a difficult route as Phil did, but let's face it - picking up other people's stinky trash for a living isn't a wonderful experience. One of the things that was a huge encouragement to Phil on that job was when customers would leave thank-you notes, cans of soda, snacks, even gift cards clearly marked for him and set out next to their weekly pick-up. As you make your list of people to love and serve this Christmas season, may I suggest that you add your garbage man to the list? You'll probably never know how encouraging it is to those hard-working men to get a 'thank you'!



Jenni said...

I was just having a discussion at work about "garbage men," and asking around if anyone gives their sanitation worker a tip for Christmas. No one seemed to do it, so I decided not to either. It's hard to know how to prioritize who to give to, you know? But after reading this post, it made me rethink my decision. I'm not sure what I'll do, but I'm going to do something nice for our garbage man this year! And maybe I'll share your blog entry with my friends at work. :)

Rachel said...

You're right, Jenni. It IS really hard to prioritize for 'holiday tipping'. Still, there are other ways to say 'thank you' besides a tip. I don't know if we'll be tipping either, but we definitely plan to leave some kind of thank-you gift for the guys who do our street.