Friday, April 4, 2008

Early Workers by Angie Ledbetter

Driving home from my parents' house early this morning, I passed very few cars or people in the dark hour before daylight. A few teens waited for buses on street corners, and I felt sorry for them until I remembered the past three years when I and many other teachers woke at 4:30 daily to get ready and get to school on time. *smile*

A recycling truck lumbered by like some prehistoric behemoth; a city bus, lit from within like a land yacht, spilled its yellow light onto the wet street; and several school buses crossed my path this morning. Their drivers made me think about all the people who rise to go to work on the night shift or in the wee hours of the morning. Having to adjust my own night owl preferences to get up early too, I appreciate the effort they have to put in in order to make their 40 hours. There's nothing fun about it -- they have to sleep while others are relaxing, they go through a painful period of sleep deprivation until their bodies adjust to a new schedule, and they drag through sometimes months of feeling tired and drained.

I appreciate these people. Without them, our world wouldn't run as smoothly. Think of the emergency and hospital personnel, those who man newspaper plants and radio stations, truckers who haul groceries and produce cross country, and store clerks and restaurant servers who keep 24-hour businesses open and running. Many of them don't work the dog shift or early mornings because they prefer it. Maybe it was the only job available, or perhaps they are taking care of kids or sick ones at home. Or it's a second income because they are struggling financially.

I'm going to remember to thank these "cogs" who keep our world's wheels turning smoothly day and night. At the very least, I'll keep in mind they are tired and trying to do their best under hard circumstances, and probably need a little human kindness and compassion from those whom they serve, instead of grouchy attitudes. Without the early workers, my life wouldn't be filled with nearly as many conveniences.


Nannette Croce said...

I'm glad you brought this to my attention, Angie. As a person who needs my sleep, I of all people need to appreciate what these folks do.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Hear hear!

Barbara Quinn said...

So, so true. I am a night owl and when I had to get up early it was a real struggle.

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