Today was my last day at work. For the last year I've been a Grounds Maintenance worker. In a month I will be a foreigner and a teacher. Until then I am just a bum, but a reflective bum trying to soak up as much of my beloved shire as I can.
I have gained a deep respect for the working man. My dad is a working man. My grandfathers and their fathers were working men. There is something satisfying about going to work everyday and working hard with your hands. If there are jobs in Heaven, I hope to be a gardener. My boss, a squat tough east coaster extended his hand to me this afternoon and wished me well. He appreciated my work and I know that he is a bit sorry to see me leave. You don't know these guys I worked with, they are just normal guys, but I tell you, they come to work every single day, rain or shine. They visit the chiropractors more than some and they smoke cigarettes and talk shit but I've never met such honorable men. And if an employer asks about my experience as a maintenance man, I will say this to him, "Working as a ground maintenance man was not glamorous. I didn't learn any new software. It barely paid the bills, but it did toughen me up. It was a struggle against nature. It was very quite but the trees spoke and the flowers asked for water. And the men I worked with were good hard working men. It taught me more about myself than four years of college."