Monday, May 26, 2008

Labor Day Weekend 

It's the wrong time of year, but we are concluding a Labor Day Weekend. It consisted of tearing down and hauling more than 12 cubic yards of cabinets, sinks, counter, dishwasher, plaster, tile, linoleum, plywood, sheet rock and more from our kitchen. I'm sore all over. My wife had the hard job of lugging buckets of material to the dumpster in the driveway. I had the dirty job of hammering, cutting and yanking plaster and tile from the wall. My daughter manned the air hammer to break tile. (Lovely things, air hammers.)

The project was a reminder of how difficult most people's working lives are by comparison to those of us who sit in offices writing, calling the media and going to client meetings. I believe every office worker at least once a year should be tasked with doing manual labor. Executives at McDonald's work behind counters in their restaurants one day a year. Why not the rest of us? It is too easy to set oneself apart in the comfort of one's office or cubicle and to begin to believe one is not like the cleaners who dust, sweep and empty trash cans. We could just as easily be in their jobs but for advantages we have had.

I learned a great deal from the hours of tugging, hauling and hard breathing just completed. I will appreciate a new kitchen more because of it. However, I don't want to do that much demolition again if I can help it. Demolition is for younger folks who can endure the monotony, filth and pain better than I.


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