Once I did things for a living.

A while back, I was called back into work after working all day long. I stayed until a little past midnight. I was back home and in bed by 1:30 a.m and I was up at 6:00 a.m and back to work by 7:30 a.m. After that, I did not go home for another 36 hours. I got about four hours of sleep at the job site, but the rest of the time was spent working.

And by working, I mean shoveling snow and spreading salt using a five gallon bucket. I was not senior enough to use any of the machinery even though no one else worked as many hours as I did.

Now, I was young and healthy. But after all of that, I almost fell asleep on the way home and I did not have much strength left in my body.

These days, one of my jobs is to photocopy various documents and put them into binders for regulatory reasons. And I get paid a lot more to do it than I did when I was shoveling snow and it does not take much of my time.

Now, which of these two things do you think was more appreciated?

Just the other day my boss was thanking me effusively for photocopying the various documents and putting them in binders. He does that quite often. My boss’s boss has thanked me for doing the job. Even the boss of my boss’s boss notices the work I do photocopying things.

But as for that long day and many other days like them, no one really noticed or cared. I was just a piece of scum there to do work that nobody else wanted to do. I stayed there long after the other people who had been plowing, as opposed to shoveling, left. I stayed because I was told I had to clear certain emergency exits before I could leave because of health and safety reasons. The bosses that told me I had to do this left after they told me I had to this.

To be fair, I don’t think they really cared if I did it or not. They just wanted to be able to say “I told Ape Man to clear those areas.” I was just dumb enough to do as I was told. And nobody bothered to thank me. Not on that job or the many others like it.

But which do you think I am more proud of? Photocopying things or shoveling snow?

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