I like watching professionals do their job. I do not know why it is… maybe because I am amazed at how essential their work is when I really think about it, and yet they go unnoticed and are underappreciated too often. Or maybe, I am simply envious of people who have skills I will never be able to possess… who knows.
My most favourite for some years has been the window cleaners – I especially love to watch them from the inside clean the outside of sky scrapers. It’s an art, I tell you! (But my all-time favourite, I have to say, are still, by far, the Zamboni men. They know how to put on a show all by themselves!)
So, naturally, when I had a few drainpipe cleaners over at my place yesterday morning (no, no water troubles, just a periodic maintenance check-up), I was all prepared to stalk them around, hoping to maybe get a chance to strike up a conversation with them and get a peek into their professional life. Maybe they will even let me touch some of their cool gadgets! I was all hyped up.
Well, I did get to talk to them. A lot, actually. But it was not exactly how I expected it to go.
“Did you just move in?”
“No, I’ve been living here practically since it was first built, over two years ago.”
“Hmm… then, do you do anything special to keep your drainpipes clean?”
“No, I don’t think so. I just cook and bathe and flush as anyone would, and clean ’em from time to time. I’m sure I use the same washing liquids as others.”
“Really? Are you sure? ’Cause you’re not letting us do our job!”
“Wh… whaddaya mean??”
“We’ve been to the others, and we’d say 90% of their pipes REALLY needed us… but yours are just a waste of time for us!”
“Oh, I’m sorry… I think?”
Apparently, I had inadvertently offended them by keeping my pipes disrespectfully clean (although I do not believe it was clean to their professional level)! But they told me they were happy with my insult and would take it any day. They now had smiles on their faces which they did not when they came in through my doors.
So, maybe I’m not a trained drainpipe cleaner, and I will never be one.
And maybe there are many professional jobs I will never hold.
But maybe there is one professional job you need no expertise or special skills to hold… a professional smile-maker.
Maybe it is a profession that pays the best when a job is well done.
I would not call myself a good professional smile-maker just yet, but I think I racked up some well-earned smiles yesterday towards becoming one . It is one profession I love to hold myself, just as much as I like to watch others in action.
“You made our day!”
“Glad to be at your service.”