I have only ever reposted blog posts of my own before. I have never simply found someone else's story or article and pasted the entire thing in my blog. But a couple of weeks ago on a Friday I was riding to work, listening to my book on tape. I looked at the clock and it was 6:25. Time for Story Corp on NPR. I got there just in time for the following story.
My Friend Chris posted a story a while back about what his kids want to be when they grow up. It was cool. Ainsley was thinking about being a cashier. Muluken was thinking about being a baseball player. We need both, right? We also need cafeteria workers and cops, teachers and custodians. We need ministers and trash collectors, judges and doctors and the folks who pump out septic tanks.
When I worked in Indiana (The Paddle) there was a custodian there who was among the hardest working people have ever known. Miss Sarah was over 70. She walked to work. She loved that school. I saw her on her hands and knees in our tiled hallway cleaning the baseboards with a small brush. She was a good sport about my classroom - always a bit of a mess. But she made that school shine. She had more pride in her work than many of the teachers in that building. A great deal more. Miss Sarah was an inspiration.
In the following Story Corp piece two NYC sanitation workers reflect on their lives collecting garbage. And they talk about the friendship they formed after working together for many years. I was moved and it served as an important reminder about dignity and self-worth. These guys probably didn't start out as kids dreaming of being sanitation workers, but it is clear that they did an important job well.
It is one thing to read their words, but I'd recommend hearing their voices too. It is that cool NYC accent that makes them even more endearing than simply the text. There's this place in the recording when Bruno says that he is, "a bit of a marshmallow anyway," so when the people on their route began to cry when his partner was going to retire... you just have to hear it in his voice. Click on Listen to the Story below and it will take you to NPR's website. Then click on Listen to the Story again to get the media player going.