I was sitting in the chair with my opthomologist’s office and I asked him, “How long have you been doing this?” He replies, “About ten years.” I say, “Do you enjoy it?” He says, “It’s a job. There are worse things to do.” I would suggest to any doctors reading this, this is not the comment to make to instill confidence in your patients.
Later that evening I was at a local high school with my daughter and was chatting with the custodian. He had been doing the same job for 17 years and told me that he really enjoyed it!
I got to thinking so I went online to check out salaries of these very different men. Get this:
Opthomologist: $300,000 – $400,000 annually.
Custodian: $12.00 – $18.00 per hour
There’s apparently a wage difference, but I had already assumed this. So what was it that makes the rich doctor feeling almost indifferent about his job, while the blue collar custodian was full of joy? Unfortunately I didn’t get to talk with either of these men for any length of time so I still don’t know, but be assured it isn’t about the money.
I wonder about their personal lives, their marriages and family relationships, their faith, their community activity and their activities outside the job. Sure, we would like to have a six digit income, but I suggest that the world would be a better, or at least more joyful place if we carried the same joy as the custodian. Maybe it’s it the simplicity. The fact that he sees the immediate results of his work and knows that he has contributed to the school community.
Whatever the differences, everyone has a story. I will see them again, and hopefully will have the chance to hear more about their lives.