At the pace we move it is so easy to think in generalities, assumptions and stereotypes. Recently, I was reminded that thinking that way is our loss as we miss so much when we do.
My mother-in-law has moved in with us. She finally sold her condo in real estate depressed Alabama and I went with her to Alabama to help her move. She stayed on in Alabama with her friends for a few weeks so when the moving truck arrived in Kansas City, I was there to greet them.
Now my moving experiences haven’t all been great but this time, I was delighted. Not everything was perfect by any means (we moved furntiture out during a torrential downpour, and the bill was 30% higher at the end of the day) but it did go fairly smoothly. What made it a joy for me though, was talking to the movers.
Each crew had a young man that any mother would be proud of. The Alabama crew had a young man who worked his way through college as a mover and is finishing his degree in bioscience. He says he enjoys working hard, and didn’t mind putting himself through school even though his parents are helping his younger sister. He wasn’t blowing smoke–he had no reason to impress me–but he sure did! What a great hire for some lucky company/lab.
The delivery crew had another young man who is a hard worker and a gentleman. I have a daughter in a wheelchair which opened the door for him to tell me about his girlfriend of seven years who is also in a wheelchair due to a car accident. He met her when she was in the chair. She is a counselor at a high school, and they go out to football games, dance clubs and places other young people go. They get quite a bit of attention and many, he says, are shocked that they are dating and not just friends. He has learned alot about people as he sees the world through the eyes of someone who has challenges but is in no way handicapped!
The drivers of each truck were more experienced guys who take their job seriously and were extrememly responsible. They are small business owners who pride themselves on a job well done. All of the movers at both end of the move couldn’t have been more professional, respectful, or interesting to chat with.
Think of the opportunity I would have missed if I hadn’t visited with them and learned their stories. They enriched my life and inspired me in their approach to life, hard work and customer service. Too often we assume laborers aren’t educated or think personal pride in the labor force has disappeared. My experience says both assumptions are inaccurate. Just take time to look and listen. While they may have been working for me, in was indeed my pleasure.