Unsung HeroesBlog / Produced by The High Calling
Where ever I go, I’m drawn to the underdog in the workplace. Perhaps it comes from my father, who spent his lifetime patching leaky roofs and laying shingles in a perfect line in the hot sun. He was out of the way, an unsung worker who helps make the world go round.
I find myself asking questions like “Who cleans the bathrooms at McDonald’s?” Who puts the clothes back in the rack at Kohls?” “Who stacks the tomatoes in the produce aisle with such precision?”
Mike Rowe hosts Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs and he highlights men and women who overcome phobias and danger to accomplish their daily tasks. I’ve watched, mouth agape, him profile road kill collectors, rattlesnake catchers, fish egg collectors, bee removers, septic-tank technicians and other professionals do things I would never do. But they must be done.
The New York Times recently highlighted the work of a window washer, who hangs on the sides of skyscrapers cleaning glass so the occupants can have a brigher view of their world. Brett Weingard’s client list numbers about 1,000 buildings in downtown New York.
“Washing windows is dirty work because the city is so dirty. And to be honest, I don’t think the work is all that healthy,” Weingard said. “ But I love it
He regales in the stories of close calls – when he was locked out of a building and could only knock on windows, hoping someone would rescue him.
His work, scrubbing away grime while swinging on the end of a rope or supported by wires to be deeply satisfying – even labeling it a “calling.”
“Because why live in New York,” he said, “if you can’t look out the window and see how beautiful the city is?”