Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Lessons of Mike Rowe - Same Shit, different job

I am caught in the moment of reflection. My resume spans several decades. Hundreds of people have been on my “team.” Hundreds of thousands have shaken my hand. Fond memories of my favorites flash in my minds eye. The tiny Sue S. was one of the best customer service people I have ever known - note to self, image her when talking to customers. My favorite boss of all time Terri M. was wonderful when managing people - note to self, ask yourself what would she do when in a pinch. Teat others like Scott R. would - fair, but funny. Work hard like Geoff - but don’t sell your soul to “the man.”

What is the lesson we learn every week from Mike Rowe? There are dirty hard jobs in this world, and thank God I am not stuck working one of them. Everywhere Mike will go there is shit to shovel, a hole to clean, something that needs scrubbing, or smells of death. The same shit will follow you no matter where you go.

The importance of what we do daily is that it is satisfying. We need to make a difference or count in our own way. The ancient text of the Upanishads would tell you that work without passion is an empty emotion - it is a wasted life.

Looking back on the last year I do not want to think of it as wasted. It would be nice to think I made some progress and difference outside of being a nice guy to work with.

I am not entirely sure that the ten years prior to that were not wasted. It was the travel and adventure that helped to build my character, so I grew, but did I help the organization?

My next step is on Monday. Will I drive the desk? Or drive a difference? Will I find passion? Will I be an empty vessel?

There will certainly be the same old shit that comes with every job, and some new shit too. Note to self - imagine Mike Rowe when shoveling and add a smile when doing it.


  1. "a hole to clean"

    Does he really? Because that sounds
    kind of crappy

  2. You ARE a nice guy to work with and you DID make a difference. (I was there before you, I remember what it was like.) You are missed already.

  3. I'll miss you if you buy me lunch at Max and Erma's.