The Dignity of Work

This guy and his coworkers, standing in
neverending underground rivers of your shit,
have saved more lives than Dr. Jonas Salk.

 ‘Puter’s been observing others’ behavior recently. Generally, ‘Puter concluded that many people are jerks. More specifically, ‘Puter concluded that many people are so selfish and/or self-centered, they unnecessarily make others’ jobs and lives more difficult.

Here are but a few examples, culled from the boundless examples supplied daily by his office building’s co-tenant’s employees:

People routinely place their filthy hands on the glass doors leaving sweaty, greasy smears instead of using the conveniently located handles, sometimes, as the person responsible for cleaning the doors is in the process of cleaning the doors.

People routinely discard their cigarette butts and car ashtrays on whatever horizontal surface (usually outdoors) they happen to be standing or parked.

People wipe their boogers on the walls above the urinals, probably because once you’ve commenced urinating and harvesting today’s crop of nasal obstructions with Mr. Pointer, there’s really no good place to turn to dispose of the aforementioned nose-hole goop.

People fail to flush the toilets after relieving themselves, or miss the toilet or the urinal altogether and walk away from their filthy mess. ‘Puter has actually encountered urine on top of the urinal, which, while impressive, indicates an extremely high level of asshattery on the depositor’s part.

To be certain, ‘Puter’s office building co-tenant’s employees are uncouth jackasses, but ‘Puter witnesses even supposedly “well bred” folks dropping trash in the street, or otherwise leaving a mess for someone else to clean up.  And this is unacceptable.

Folks, it is someone’s job to clean up your mess, whether it be bodily fluids or garbage or some other repulsive effluvium.  We call these people “janitors,” “attendants,” “garbage men,” “cleaning ladies,” “maids” and countless other monikers.  Each of these people has one thing in common: they are paid to clean up your messes.

These folks hold difficult, gross, generally low-paid jobs.  Many people holding these jobs are new to the country, or less well-educated than we fortunate folks, or just starting out in life.  None of this means that you are better than them.  In fact, if you selfishly or thoughtlessly make these people’s jobs more difficult, ‘Puter defaults to the assumption that they, in fact, are better than you, no matter how important you may think you are.

‘Puter’s witnessed highly compensated professionals treat service staff and subordinates so inhumanely, it’s made ‘Puter cringe.  And yes, where he has been able, ‘Puter has piped up. To ‘Puter, these so-called masters of the universe are hateful, small people who happen to have through some twist of fate or talent or nepotism finagled wealth and power.

There is dignity in work.  All work.  No matter how difficult, low-skilled, dirty, menial or unappealing you may deem it. You know who’s saved more lives than all the doctors and vaccine inventors throughout history combined? The plumbers who make sure your filthy shit effortlessly leaves your house, and who guarantee you get fresh, potable water on demand, night and day. Yet too many of us treat these hard workers like crap.

If you stiff a competent waitress on a tip, you’re an ass.

If you berate an employee, deserved or not, in front of others, you’re an ass.

If you smear your filthy hands on clean glass doors, you’re an ass.

If you throw litter of any sort on the ground, you’re an ass.

If you refuse to acknowledge another’s presence, you’re an ass.

If you think you’re better than someone else because you have a better vocabulary/education/job title/car/spouse/house, you’re an ass.

People who do these jobs get up every day and go to work knowing full well that their jobs are hard, undercompensated, sometimes dangerous and always thankless.  Yet still they get up every day and go to work. In ‘Puter’s estimation, it’s a heck of a lot easier for him to get up and go to work in his air-conditioned office and sit in front of his computer for 12 hours a day than if he had to get up and go scrape your boogers off the bathroom wall for 8 hours.

And yet, a substantial portion of our nation seems singlemindedly dedicated to making someone else’s life and job needlessly more difficult.  Selfishness, disrespect and inflated self-importance abound.  It’s enough to make ‘Puter want to go on a five-state killing spree.  Again.

‘Puter tests character by observing how a person treats subordinates.  Treating someone poorly simply because you can, knowing that person has no defense or recourse against you, is the hallmark of a cowardly man.  Treating someone politely — or even better, with kindness — when you don’t have to, or when you have nothing to gain and especially when no one else is looking, is the measure of a good man. 

Too many of us fail this most basic test of character. Man up, America.

About 'Puter

Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this. ’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies. The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig. His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred. He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently. Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet. 'Puter suggests the Czar suck it.