Sometimes I complain about my job. Who doesn’t?
I work a desk job. Monday through Friday, I navigate the corporate jungle of meetings, TPS reports, HR memos, and executive management questions. When I kvetch, it’s about spending too much time staring at spreadsheets, some new bureaucratic procedure, or IT. The only thing all Americans agree on is their IT department stinks.
In my first job, when we were having particularly bad days, we used to say we’d rather dig ditches. Our boss would laugh and call us idiots.
But today, I must agree—we were idiots.
This week I’m having my driveway repaved. It was cracked and the lower left corner was pretty much ground down to the gravel. I hired a company to tear up the old driveway and lay down new asphalt.
To be honest, I didn’t give much thought to how they’d remove the existing asphalt. I guess I figured they’d use heavy machinery—a Bobcat or backhoe. Maybe bigger companies do, but these guys specialize in small residential jobs, and they dug up my existing asphalt driveway by hand.
Yes, you read that right.
While I was working from home, sitting inside with an icy Pepsi at my elbow clicking some keys on my laptop, these guys were outside prying up my driveway with picks, sledge hammers, and pry bars.
Corporate America never looked so good.
Four of them worked for hours, hauling asphalt away piece by piece. It was hot and humid, but they kept going until the clouds gathered and threatened rain. Then they packed up their tools and knocked off for the day.
I was never so happy for the trials and tribulations of my chosen profession. I wouldn’t last a day digging up asphalt driveways. I’d be begging some executive to let me write a mission statement or tweak a PowerPoint presentation for the hundredth time.
I wonder if those guys were thinking the same thing—pitying me for having to work inside all day, staring at a computer, speaking corporate nonsense on conference calls.
I hope so.