When you take the time to think about it you will find in life, it’s all a matter of perspective.
The work ethic of the older generation, the baby boomers is vastly different from that of the younger generation, the millennial generation. I worked in a grocery store with a millennial who hated working on Saturdays. He would often tell me that he thought everybody should be off on Saturdays.
I would respond that he would not be able to go to the movies, or to the mall, a restaurant, or even stop for gas, because everything would be closed. His perspective was live for today, forget about the future.
The other end of the work ethic spectrum was the 80 year old man that was in charge of beer, and wine. He had been doing that kind of work for more than half of his life. He was a big guy who was as strong as a draft horse, and could move cases of wine, and champagne around like they were empty boxes. When he was working, he was WORKING nonstop. You didn’t even want to talk to him about work when he was on break though as that was his time, but when it was work time, he pulled his weight, and than some.
The millennial generation did not want to work with him because they couldn’t keep up with him. I remember a physically fit bagger in his early 20’s was offered a chance to get off the front end, and help him with a large shipment of wine, and champagne that was just delivered. This twenty something young guy thought that he was going to have an easy day working with an 80 year old man, little did he know...
It doesn’t matter how young, or lazy you are, if you are working with an old man, you are not going to let him out work you. No matter what. The young guy told me the next day that he hasn’t been that sore since his days of football practice back in high school. Poor kid.
The old man had a much different perspective about work. I remember asking him one day about when he planned on retiring, and taking it easy.
He responded, “What am I going to do, sit home, and wait to die? I am going to keep working for as long as I can.”
His perspective was that work doesn’t get done on its own. You have to jump in, and do it to get it done. His perspective was to keep working, and nobody was going to tell him otherwise.
He retired after many years of working there, and on his last day of work I shook his hand, and wished him good luck. That was the last time that I ever spoke to him. I heard that he passed away less than 6 months after he retired. I would like to think that he is taking it easy on the other side, but I know differently, if there is work to be done he is getting it done. I hope he found his Nirvana.
Thinking back on the past as we all do, there are certain memories that always put a smile on my face. The one memory that does that all the time is my memory of a lady that I use to work with named Patty.
Patty was no ordinary lady, she was special, she had Downs Syndrome. What I remember most about Patty is that she always had a smile on her face, and always seemed to be happy. Anybody who ever spoke to her, and saw the glow on her face, and the light in her eyes could see for themselves that her happiness that came from within, was genuine.
Her perspective on life was that she should be happy because life was fun. She would tell people about the things that she does in her free time, and always would include how much fun she had while doing it. People I worked with would often say that if everybody was like her the world would be a better place
If you were friendly with her, she would always tell you about her weekend, and the fun things she had done as soon as she saw you on Monday. If you were in a bad mood before she walked up to you, it was difficult to be in a bad mood after she left your presence. The smile on her face, and the cheerful tonality of her voice would lift anybody’s spirits.
She stopped working there when her family moved to a different city that was a bit too far away to bring her into work there. I was talking about her about ten years later with some co-workers, and one of them told us that he had heard she passed away less than a year earlier.
There was a brief moment of sadness that came over me followed by a smile as I thought about the cheerfulness she brought to all who had the pleasure of knowing her. For Patty Nirvana had Embraced her.