Hello and good day!
In the age of digital content, the notion that good, hard, physical, labor is honorable appears to be disappearing. Yesterday, I had a good long talk with the gentleman from the post office who picks up our orders.
His name is Steve.
He is a middle aged man, with a grey beard, and grey hair.He was wearing a kidney belt to compensate for a bad back.I asked him how things are going and he didn't even answer. All I got was a sigh, a lift of the eyebrows, and a shake of the head.
I asked him to tell me about it.
In Issaquah, WA there are only 4 postal workers to work 8 routes. Everybody is working 7 days a week and long days.They are having a hard time hiring because on the first day of work, new hires are supposed to trail along and watch the work.
Once they see how much lifting they'll be required to do and how long the days are, new hires are quitting on their second day. Steve told me that he is thinking about quitting himself. Even though he is only 5 years away from being able to retire with a full pension, he isn't sure that his body can hold up anymore.
I asked him what keeps him from quitting.
He said that the pension is part of it. But his pride and a sense of loyalty to his team and community is the other part.After all, if it wasn't for him and all the other hard working postal employees who truly do miraculous work, a lot of our economy would start to fall apart.
We certainly couldn't survive as a business in our current form if it wasn't for the post office. You may counter that we could simply switch to carriers like UPS an Fedex.
But some days, because of labor shortages at the post office, we have to drive all of our orders to the loading docks ourselves.
And you know who we see there?-----Amazon and Fedex and UPS.
We're all dropping our stuff off there.
I've written about it many times before, but I can't help but rehash it based on my conversation with Steve. The basis of our economy and civilization is making real stuff and moving real stuff around.
It is not content.
The idea that digital content and digital services can somehow make the world go around is a huge, huge fallacy.
I know from having had several conversations in our chocolate shops with youngsters that being a youtuber or a social media influencer is now considered to be a career option, and a prestigious one at that.
Of course, that makes sense.
Because if you can get rich doing nothing more than taking pictures and talking into a camera for a few minutes a day, that sounds like a pretty sweet gig. Only problem is that it runs completely counter to the real world.
Entertainment is the icing on the cake. It is what you do after the hard work is done.
Some folks are in the entertainment industry and they work hard entertaining the rest of us. But it isn't light work. It is real work. I hate to sound like an old stick in the mud here, but I think the problems currently being faced by the post office are a canary in the coal mine.
It seems to me that there is a cultural bias against good, old fashioned, blue collar, physical work.
I studied in a liberal arts college as an undergrad where I got two degrees, one in Spanish and another in business administration.Then I went back and got a master's degree in accounting. I was all set to sit at a desk my entire life, so I understand this cultural movement first hand.
Fortunately, my dad made me go down to Peru and work as an auto mechanic making $100 a month when I was 20 years old and then we got into the chocolate business and I was able to see where food actually comes from.
Here is the deal with accounting. It only matters if there is actually some business to account for.
Without the movement of goods and services, accounting is meaningless. Anyhow, before I get lost in a full blown rant, I'd just like to say this.
If you have a kid or a youngster in your life and they want to go into a blue collar profession, please do not treat that as somehow inferior to a white collar job.
It isn't. Our whole chocolate business is based on blue collar work and I am very proud of that.
Working at the post office. Laying concrete. Cooking. Farming. Plumbing. Electrical work. Fishing.
These are super, super important and honorable professions and they aren't as appreciated as they should be.
Anyhow, my ranting is almost over. But just one last thing. Thank your postal worker next time you see them. They are working long, hard hours right now so that all we have to do is go out to the mailbox or open our door and our stuff is magically there.
Alright, I am done now. Thank you so much for your time today.
I hope that you have a truly blessed day!