“Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me.” - Carl Sandburg
The trash dump is not what most of us would describe as the ideal work environment, or place to visit. On the morning I went it was cold, wet, and as always, stinky! Heavy equipment was going in every which direction and confused newbies like me were mixed in with the regulars.
Daily, the staff at the dump deals with hazardous waste, awful smells, dangerous conditions and cranky people. Their salaries are certainly not in the top 1%. Most of them are on their feet all day. I would bet many, like me, ask the same questions that the last 100 customers also asked. Even if there’s a sign, we may miss it, be confused, or just want confirmation.
To my great surprise, I found myself motivated and upbeat after my trip to the dump. Why? Because they clearly know how to meet people where they are that, be of service, and have a stellar attitude.
Here are the four things they taught me on the cold winter morning I went:
Most of us don’t work in a (literal) dump. While our work might be hard, it’s not likely as hazardous, tiring and smelly as those who work in a dump. It can be easy to complain about office politics, an upset customer, and someone who has done us “wrong”. We can get frustrated by our kids, our parents, and what life presented us that day.
While that’s all part of the human experience, we can also rise up and act like the people I encountered at the dump. I’m sure they see and experience things daily that we would never want to know about. They certainly could have a list of complaints.
Instead though, they sought to serve, be happy, and set others up for a win.
How incredible would it be if we could get there more with our families, our work lives, and our friends?
To an incredible year ahead for all, and may you treat others as well as the dump crew I encountered treated me!