As I write this, we're battling the "Polar Vortex" in Wisconsin. It is not only insanely cold, we're setting records for the coldest temps recorded. To put it bluntly, it sucks. This is magnified by social media and the constant reminders of the cold. People will joke about the cold, complain about the cold and not stop talking….about the cold.
Meanwhile, I am currently working from my home office. Could I have gone into the office? Sure. But I justified not going by saying to myself that it wasn't worth braving the elements to get to the office. It wasn't worth it for me to drive 3 miles to my office when I could do the same work from home. It then hit me that I've become extremely soft. Years of being in an office, surrounded by comfy climates have softened me to the point that I elected to stay home and work, rather than head to the office.
Quite frankly, I feel kind of guilty. I feel guilty because I know what it's like to be out in the elements. I feel guilty because I know how much your hands hurt while trying to get somebodies car running in extreme cold. I feel for the guys who are underneath a machine that is defrosting in the shop while dripping salty water onto your face and into your eyes. I feel for the people that are out on the road, trying to keep people going in these extremely low temps. As Mechanics and Technicians, this is part of the job. It's hard to explain to somebody that has never done it. At times, it just hurts.
I then think about outside of the service business that we know and love. How about the Linemen working to get power restored to keep families warm. The importance of this became extremely apparent to me as I became a father a couple of years ago. My Mom has worked for power companies for most of my life and these guys are out in this dangerous cold, risking their lives (yes, it is that serious) to keep thousands of families that they don't know safe.
I think about firefighters that brave the elements to save other peoples lives. Police Officers who find stranded vehicles along the road or paramedics who provide life support to accident victims. Tow truck operators helping those who are stranded.
How about the people keeping the roads safe and driveways clean? Construction workers who are pressured to meet a deadline to the point to where they feel they need to work.
The list goes on and on of people that I feel indebted to. All of you are remarkably talented folks who show passion and the drive to keep people safe…even at the risk of your own well being. There is something about your heart that makes you want to be there to help others. We often hear about how ugly people are to each other but these people are heroes that should be celebrated. They do what others don't want to or simply cannot do.
For that, I quite simply want to say thank you. We couldn't function as a society without you. I appreciate you and I truly hope that people understand how tough your job is. Stay safe out there!