Have you ever seen that TV show, “Dirty Jobs?” The host, Mike Rowe, takes on different difficult jobs (Season 6 Episode 24 “Fish Squeezer” & Episode 30 “Medical Waste”) sharing the gross details with the audience.
It’s easy to blanche at the unvarnished reality of some dirty jobs – including a few that our colleagues do for our residents.
Think about the Roads crew who will be out salting and plowing our 3,227 miles of roads this coming winter. They are on the road – at all hours of the day and night – in terrible weather – to make sure you and your neighbors can safely travel. And, they do this while most of us are snug and warm at home. They never get a “snow day” and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude!
Or, what about the team from the Medical Examiner’s office who are accountable to document a death scene and retrieve the body of someone who died in a terrible manner? This last week, they had to help retrieve a body from a well! I’m very grateful that they are up to this challenging work every day – including holidays.
And then there are the amazing professionals that work in our Sewer Division. They are in a category all by themselves.
It takes a special dedication – and a strong stomach – to do some of the tasks we need them to do. One of the “less pleasant” tasks is performing the annual maintenance at pump stations. This work includes removing the “debris” that people flush down toilets or dump in their sinks. This debris can clog the pumps and ultimately back up sewage into the homes served by that station. Talk about ruining Thanksgiving!
As part of my tours around the County, I experience different work sites in Planning and Public Works. I was invited to spend time with the Sewer crew at Pump Station 22 – off Woodland and 84th. There’s nothing like “walking a mile” in someone else’s hip boots, as they say, to really appreciate a person’s world.
Here are a few photos from my adventure.
But, pictures simply don’t really do it justice. Check out the video below – just don’t watch it before you sit down to eat your Thanksgiving feast. Seriously. I mean it. And, yes, that’s me in the yellow gear and harness dangling above the mélange of muck.
On this Thursday, as you gather with those you love to appreciate all we’ve been blessed with, keep a good thought for our County colleagues who take on some of the most difficult jobs – and do them excellently. I know I will!
Thanks for reading,