Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sometimes It's Little Things

I took this picture when leaving work tonight. The control tower is decked out in red and green for Christmas and I love it!

We have a dishwasher at work who is one of my favorite people in the entire airport. He's about my age and grew up in the same area of south Atlanta that I did. He's very religious and has Bible verses written on a banner which he hangs up in the dish pit every time he clocks in. I actually did a blog about him last year. He sometimes rides his bicycle to Marta and takes the train to and from work. I believe he lives at the local YMCA. He comes into work and speaks to each and every employee. He has a great attitude regardless of the fact, has a job which never seems to end or be caught up. He works in a tiny dish area which is hot and humid to say the very least. Things get thrown into the dish pit when it's busy and is often sprayed with water splashed onto him when utensils get carelessly thrown into the soak water while he's standing there scrubbing away at pots and pans. He never gets angry or overwhelmed and comes in each shift with a positive attitude and a smile. He's a better man than me by far. When we were at our lowest point still had a roof over our heads albeit behind on the mortgage and when we didn't have a vehicle, had family and friends who loaned us one.

He inspires me each and every day with his excellent attitude.

Trust me, when we haven't had a dishwasher I've gone back there and pushed a few loads through myself. You get soaking wet in a matter of minutes.

He comes in, puts on the starched white chef jacket provided then covers himself with plastic bags front and back. He wears long gloves to scrub the pots and pans with his airport security badge on his upper arm like a badge of honor. He's my Super Hero keeping us supplied with clean dishes, glasses, pots and pans and everything else needed to make the restaurant run.

When Massey started working there too and met him, she instantly took a liking to him. It bothered her that his face got totally wet when scrubbing as we all seemingly flung things at him while bustling in and out of the dish pit during the peak hours. She suggested a face mask to at least keep his face dry.

Yesterday while Christmas shopping at Lowes for my brother's present and new seal for the bottom of our bathroom shower door I stopped an employee and asked about a lightweight clear plastic shield for your face telling him what I wanted it for. He was so helpful and told me he bet it would make my friend's day saying his own first job had been as a dishwasher when he was young.


For less than fifteen dollars I bought an adjustable lightweight face shield which I brought home and Massey wrapped in Christmas paper complete with ribbon, bows and  tag which read "To Richard from Kelly and Massey".

He leaves his "costume" hanging in the back hallway on a hanger at work where he careful puts it on every time after clocking in, often asking for help getting his security badge (which has to be displayed at all times) on his upper arm and sometimes takes a few minutes to don the outfit in it's entirety.

I went into the back hallway at work about an hour before he got there and tucked the present right by his gear.

He came into work through the back door of the kitchen and immediately said "Miss Kelly, ya'll shouldn't have gotten me anything, I saw Massey's name on the tag too".

I told him not to get excited, it was nothing special just something we thought he might like for work and to open it. Just as quickly and with a huge smile he said "I bet I know what it is" and gestured with his hand around his face.

You know what? I think that was the best fourteen dollars I ever spent. He was thrilled and wore it the entire time I was there once he started scrubbing dishes near our target zone.

When I was standing at the expo window tonight doing my check out to leave  he came out of the kitchen pushing a cart full of clean dishes and pans to put up, proudly wearing his new face protection. He told me to be sure and thank Massey too for his great present. I told him a picture was worth a thousand words.

He is one of the most decent humble and hard working people I know, who am proud and grateful to call my good friend.

This world needs more people like him. Maybe his job doesn't seem overly important to you but makes our entire restaurant able to continue keep on keeping on throughout the entire shift.

Used to think I was a pretty decent person until I met Richard. Now realize it's people like him who inspire me.

Merry Christmas to my Super Hero...literally.

It's not who's got the better house, education or better things. It's about how great a person you are.

Thank you, Richard for inspiring me!

Til next time...COTTON

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