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Sunday, June 19, 2016

What's the Worst Job You Can Imagine?

When I was a kid the worst job I could imagine doing was working as a garbage man. Back then the garbage men were up before dawn, had to run from the truck and pick up the stinky, overflowing bins from the gutter before manually tipping the rubbish into the truck. I completely understood why Dad left them a six pack of beer at Christmas.

These days the garbos work pretty much normal hours and sit in the cab of an air-conditioned, fully mechanical garbage truck which does all the work for them.

Now I’m older, I think the worst job in the world would be a portable toilet cleaner, a roadkill collector or one of those traffic controllers who holds up stop signs in front of you when you’ve spent too much time faffing your hair in the morning and you’re already running late for work.

Traffic Controllers: the people we swear at under our breath for making us wait impatiently on the side of the road whilst a tractor does a pointless reverse pirouette in the dust.

Firstly, I couldn’t bear all the standing, especially standing in the sweltering sun or the freezing cold wind for hours on end. Secondly, I couldn’t bear the tedious boredom of it all.

Over the last six weeks I’ve had to drive to work passing through some roadworks and bizarrely, the traffic controller guy and I struck up an unanticipated rapport.

For some reason Mr Traffic Controller thought my canary yellow Suzuki with the PINKY P number plates was hysterically amusing. Every time my car, Golden Boy, rolled past him at forty kilometres an hour, he’d start performing a royal flourish as he ushered me past, waving flamboyantly and doing a little jig.

Whenever he spotted Golden Boy waiting in the queue of cars his face would invariably break into a huge grin of recognition and a few times he even yelled something out to me as I crawled past. I’d just laugh in an over exaggerated manner, wave back flirtatiously and give him the thumbs up in a cheeky Pinky P style.

I began to really look forward to seeing Mr Traffic Controller; he was part of my morning routine for six weeks.

On Friday, Scotto and I both had the day off so we drove through the roadworks in his Bat Car on the way to do some errands. As we drove past Mr Traffic Controller, I rolled down the window and Scotto stopped the car.

“Hello!” I beamed. “I’m Pinky P!”

“PINKY! One of me regulars!” he shouted with gusto. “I wondered where you were today!”

We had a little chat and he told us his name was Paul. He told us he recognised Scotto’s car too.

Paul is the kind of person I’d like to be, someone who embraces life and finds the positives in a every situation, a human who makes an effort to connect with other humans.

I suppose it’s not the job that matters… it’s what you do with it.

Golden Boy