Again, sorry it’s been so long since the last post. Business has finally picked up enough for Bossman to announce, a few days ago, that I could finally get more days in the schedule. So to celebrate my official re-entry into the world of hauling, and to mentally prepare for the busy season, I decided to write something that would remind me why I love what I do and reaffirm some little pledges I give to myself. Now that I read over it, I realize a couple things. One, I’m a big dork. And two, I’m incredibly lucky. (To have a job I actually like.) Anyway, here it is:
Today will be special. Today I will haul things from one place to another.
I will handle things that are too heavy or too messy for someone else. I will use some knowledge and some creativity to sort these things and take them to the appropriate places so they can be reused, recycled, or buried most efficiently.
I will resist being overwhelmed by large piles. I will swiftly tackle jobs that many people see as undoable. I will figure out how to get bulky or awkward items out of cramped spaces and around tight corners safely.
Today I will get some exercise.
Today I will get to travel to many different places. I will see little corners of the world that many people do not get to see. I will learn about how people live by studying what they discard. I will get to know the city better by navigating its streets and actually entering homes and talking with residents in all of its neighborhoods. And I will witness a little bit of history in every piece of ephemera that passes before me.
I will spend much of today outside, feeling the sun on my face.
And then I will be let into people’s homes and trusted to see things even their own families may not be allowed to see. I will help them deal with difficult changes in their lives, like death, divorce, and moving, with sensitivity and respect.
I will do all this unsupervised and unsurveilled by management, in the good company of a partner who I like and trust. I will be friendly and foster solidarity with any others I come into contact with working to transport and process waste.
I will make some mistakes, and I will keep learning how to do my job better.
I will do the same things today that I do every day, and that is why today will be special. Because every day is special when you’re a hauler.
Maybe it’s ridiculous to be so invested in wage labor. Maybe my happiness serves the capitalist machine by keeping me docile. But another thing I could add to what I wrote is that every day, the difference I make – in making sure things get reused and recycled, etc. – is very tangible, even measurable in weight or volume of actual items/materials. That feels good, even if what I’m doing is only a sort of damage control and does little to change the system. I’ll try to effect change in other ways when I’m not hauling. But I’ll also resist the tendency to go through life stubbornly dis-identifying with what I spend a huge part of my time doing, like some day-job waiter going on 40 who still thinks of himself as “really a musician”. When I haul, I’ll haul with pride. And I’ll post about it here more regularly, I promise. Thanks for reading.