Monday, September 2, 2013

Worker Pride

When I was little, and for most of my youth, my dad would share the following.  If I was going to be a ditch digger, I should be the best ditch digger.  

He wasn't speaking about my being the best of the ditch diggers.  No, he was talking about taking pride in one's work, whatever that work might be.  

All the years I lived with my parents I saw both approach the work they did with that goal in mind.  My mom had dinner on the table when my dad got home from work at 5:15 and my dad was home by that time every work day.  

They both did their best to provide for each other.  They were quite the team. 

I think my dad joined a union sometime in the mid-60s.  Not sure how or why that happened.  

My dad was a forklift operator who spent the day making sure merchandise went from the warehouse to the many, many Sears retail stores in the Southwest.   

My dad worked for Sears at a time when profit sharing existed, so we benefitted from the commitment and investment the company placed in its workers.  In a way, Sears did its best to treat its workers well.

I am proud to honor my dad and the folks who perform all those day to day tasks that are so easy to forget.


  1. I wonder if back in 1968 you said to your dad, "One day, I'm going to tell everyone how great you are." I hope you did, because you have.

  2. I guess I did. But I was like most 16 year olds in that era. We disagreed about tons of things. It was hard to see what a swell guy he was. I do now.

  3. I remember asking my dad why he didn't run for President. I really thought he should. So I hope I let him know how great I thought he was, though I don't remember saying those exact words.

    I'm a member of two unions and I consider myself extremely fortunate.

  4. That must have been a sweet moment for your dad. I'm sure that let him know how special you thought he was.

    I've never belonged to a union, mostly because the sort of work I've done has been so varied. Also some of the fields I've worked in do not have unions that are active in private schools, in preschools, or in daycare. Perhaps someday in the not so distant future I can become a professor or instructor - then I'll join a union.