I had been sitting in the airport for what seemed like forever.
It was just after they announced her plane’s third delay that I noticed him swinging his mop back and forth across the marble floor.
He looked to be in his late 60’s and he took his job seriously. It was a level of seriousness that I hadn’t seen in a long time. He liked his work and took pride in it.
As a child, I remember most adults being nice and taking pride in their work. But as I watched him clean the floor just outside of the security checkpoint I realized that what I was seeing had slowly disappeared and that his type of work ethic had faded from our culture.
Here was a guy who was working late on a Friday night and probably didn’t make a lot of money. Yet, he was obviously glad to be where he was.
His jeans and work shirt were crisply pressed. His shoes shined.
So did he.
He made sure he didn’t miss a spot.
I watched him make the same pattern with his mop. He came closer to where I was sitting and as he neared me, he made eye contact, smiled and greeted me, and returned his focus to his task.
Today, we’re surrounded by whiners. People who have an undeserved sense of entitlement. I see them on the news complaining about their working conditions and workload.
Someone gave them a job, and now they want to gripe.
When did America start producing people who claim they want a job, and then when a business gives them an opportunity, they work as hard as they can to do as little as possible?
I’m not sure, but I know it happened over the last 40 years.
My parents taught me a lot, but one thing that’s always stuck with me was: “Son, always thank the person who hires you, always give 110%, and never complain about your money. Because you agreed to work for it.”
Every American parent should repeat this same advice to their kids and to each generation of children hereafter.
And take your kids to the airport and let them watch the guy with the mop.
©2014 John Moore