Wednesday, February 20, 2008

flashback


The other day on the pruning boy: orkin man edition gig, I stumbled upon a brief moment involving my true calling. Yet the shackles of my momentary position in life kept me from following through.

My true calling: befriending, listening, and being real with the undesirables.

My current shackle: being an employee of Son & Dad Tree Service, Inc.

This really wasn’t a big deal, but I later reflected on it while in my bathroom shaving.

We are currently on the job during yet another routine tree spray ordeal. This time I think it’s something about dormant season pest spraying. I swear, I think my boss makes these things up, just to make more business.

There’s this one customer we hit every spray session. I think she’s a very old lady, but she is aided by her grandson who apparently lives with her. We’ve never seen the lady, but the grandson comes out every time we show up.

And he’s a talker. You know, the kind most average educated people avoid. Like maybe he doesn’t get to see anyone all day, and here we are on his porch. The guy knows what we’re working with because he always talks about how he once had a chemical license. But now he’s disabled and taking care of grandma, etc.

My boss was in the back yard working while I went to the front porch to hand him the bill. Like usual, he started chatting away. And I’m OK with that. I just snapped back into the mode I was in at the old *izzy ministry days when we ran an open food pantry to the public. Guys like this dude were the norm.

And normally, I’m totally comfortable just listening to the ramble. Except here I had a job to do. But at the moment I didn’t have anything going on, so I just shot the bull and listened.

When it was time to leave, my boss politely interjected into the rambling in order to end it so we could leave. He’s good at that. I’ve never been a fan of that shutting people up tactic that upper-class educated people use when mingling with each other or those lesser than them. I think it’s fake, shallow, and rude. But I wasn’t in charge here.

I guess if I were in charge, we’d never get any work done. We’d be listening and conversing with every crazy in the fair mother city.

Damn. I really miss those crazies.

1 comment:

Mike said...

In my particular job I have to remind myself to be patient with the folks who need what I would personally consider an inordinate amount of face-time. If certain personality types miss their daily allotment of talking, the work environment deteriorate in a way that may seem mysterious to a casual observer.

This has helped me to be a bit more mindful of folks in general.

I hope.