A Different Look at the Garbage Man…

662916_88280650When I was growing up, if you’d have asked me what was the lowest and least of all jobs, I’d probably have said ‘garbage collector.’

If you’d asked me again as an adult, I’d have been more diplomatic. I’d probably have spouted some jargon about every job being valuable and any aspiration being noble, but really I was just being politically correct. I mean, seriously, what a horrible job. Sure, someone has to do it, but surely not anyone I know.

Shame on me for my ignorance and stigmatising.

I have to say, that my mind has been drastically changed by the simple viewing of a TED talk. Robin Nagle challenged my stereotypes of garbage collection and radically reversed them. Never have I been so appreciative of those faithful people in that humble industry who are the lifeblood of our civilized society.

We have taken sanitation for granted for so long, we can hardly imagine the consequences of a society in which it doesn’t exist. We hold professionals such as doctors and nurses in high regard, crediting them with the management of our health and well-being, all the while forgetting how much we owe to those who are our first line of defense in the prevention of sickness and disease.

Have a watch of Nagle’s clip, and gain a new appreciation for these men and women who work tirelessly and often thanklessly behind the scenes.

12 comments on “A Different Look at the Garbage Man…

  1. Rod says:

    There is a documentary series running on the ABC a.t.m, that covers the historical development of sanitation. Kudos to all the cleaners out there!

  2. Mark Myers says:

    Something you just never consider. Interesting stuff.

  3. Sara says:

    I loved that TED talk, and found it particularly challenging too… It’s very easy to forget how important the ‘menial’ tasks are, but even more importantly, how special those who do them with gracious humility are!

  4. sf says:

    No kidding, they sure have a tough job. But for me, I thought the hardest part was probably how early they have to get up in the morning, to go through the neighborhoods in time. Exactly, EVERY JOB is valuable and important and needed and God-given. Whenever someone asks me where my next job is gonna be, I always say ANYWHERE! By the way, them garbage men earn A LOT! But well deserved.

    • sarsrose says:

      haha, yes that would be hard! I’m definitely not a morning person. But then, I guess if someone is a morning person it could be a nice time of day. Not too much traffic!?
      I think people who are willing to work anywhere have such interesting lives. I was talking to a lady the other day who has done all types of work. Much more interesting than my school> uni> teaching story!

      • sf says:

        Oh no, your job as a teacher is incredibly very interesting and important! I just immediately think of how you make an impact to every single one of your students and how they’ll each remember you for the rest of their lives! Oh, how I would love to be a teacher, but I’m still working on a Bachelor’s degree (may finally achieve it when I’m 50). But the biggest drawback is my lack of patience. I can already imagine me hollering out for my class to “Shaddup!”, which would of course, be a terrible thing. So the option of being a teacher went out the door cuz of that. From reading your posts, I (and I’m sure the rest of your readers) can already tell that you must be one kind-hearted and loving teacher. Keep up the great work of playing an important part in students’ lives!

      • sarsrose says:

        Thank you so much for this reply. I found it so encouraging and uplifting. God bless you!!

  5. This is one of my pet peeves. I think we should even out the pay scale a bit. Too many people are working so hard and getting so little. Too many people are getting so rich based on their God given talents. Why does a football player get so much for being what God made Him to be? Why does a doctor deserve so much for doing what He is gifted at and loves to do anyway? Is one job so much more important than another?

    • sarsrose says:

      hmmm yeah that’s a tough one. Equalizing pay starts to get a bit like socialism, which is good in theory but doesn’t seem to work. It does seem unfair though, that some people get paid bucket loads to do what they love, while others get paid a pittance to do what they hate. But then with wealth and success comes great responsibility too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s