Be Proud of What You Do!

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a nice start.

Yesterday, my wife went to wash clothes and the washing machine wouldn’t turn on. Simple enough. I checked the circuit breaker, and sure enough, it was tripped. Having spent 20 years as an electronics technician, I know tripped breakers are typically a symptom, not a cause. There’s usually something else wrong. I turned it back on and we immediately smelled smoke. Yeah, not so simple anymore.

My washing machine at home is easy to get to. I can pull it out and walk all the way around. In an RV, you need arms as long as Wilt Chamberlain’s, and as skinny as Peewee Herman’s. I don’t qualify on either account. But, as it turns out, there is a third option – somebody who knows how to disassemble the entire back half of the motorhome and set the washing machine in the bathroom door.

There was a time when I did all my own repairs. Rather, I should say, I attempted them. It was a skill borne of necessity. When you can’t afford a professional, you grab a few tools, expose a little butt crack, and make do. If you’re gonna do the job, you have to dress the part, right? Of course, by the time you’re done replacing all the parts you messed up yourself, it would have been cheaper to hire Bubba.

My grandson is at that age where he needs to earn a living, but he’s not quite sure what he wants to be when he grows up. He’ll be 21 next month. And he’s engaged. I’d say it’s about time to start figuring this out. My advice has always been to find something you can enjoy, because you’ll be doing it for a long, long time. Find something that can’t be outsourced, and you can continue doing it a long, long time.

I grew up at a time when there was a little less respect for those professions where you actually need a shower at the end of the day, like mechanics, carpenters, and plumbers. Tell people you spent your days hanging off the back of a garbage truck and you were the life of the party. You know, the moment you left the room.

Jeff Foxworthy once joked that his sister was so proud of her son because he pointed to the sky and said, “Airpwane!” He said, “Well, I would hope so! He’s 13 years old! That boy is gonna have a job with his name on his shirt!” Okay, I’ve had a few of those jobs. At least I used my real name. Not like calling Customer Service and a guy who can barely speak English says, “Hello! My name is Steve!” Right.

Still, there’s always been that stigma about careers that are a little less glamorous than others. But let me tell you, when my drainpipes stop working, a plumber is worth whatever he charges to clean that mess out. Sure, he goes home smelling like whatever was inside those pipes. But ten minutes in the shower, and he’s good as new. Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out which bills to put off.

I think we put way too much emphasis on how others perceive our chosen profession. I have one of those “respectable” jobs and, thankfully, it’s something I love. But I’ve been a truck driver, a marine carpenter, a carpet cleaner, a paper boy, a bowling alley mechanic, and even a pizza delivery guy, among others. And you know what? The money all looks and spends the same.

I’m in a business that’s often used as a punchline, especially by people who never had the ambition to try it themselves. But it’s something I enjoy, where I’m able to reach my own goals by helping others do the same. I’m not wealthy, but I could be. And at the end of the day, I can go to sleep feeling good about what I do. Do other people get a chuckle out of it? Sure. That’s their problem, not mine.

Be proud of what you do, but for the right reasons. Not because it makes somebody else happy, but because it makes you happy. Be proud because you’re good at it. Be proud because it’s an honest living. Be proud because you’re willing to get up and go to work every day at a job not everybody else could, or would, do. It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks – your opinion is the only one that counts.

It’s been said that if you find a job doing something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. I’m not so sure about that, but if you have to work anyway, wouldn’t you rather do something you can enjoy? Consider opinions, but don’t let anybody else steal your dreams. They’re too important. And so are you.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved