Friday, January 14, 2011

Poetry Friday: They've Got a Language All Their Own, Those Guys

I saw this poem the other day and it made me think of my refrigerator repairmen. Awhile back, we had to replace our fridge, which had abruptly decided to stop chilling. There was no cure available worth paying for, so I ran to the store, bought a new one (a discounted floor model) and had it delivered the next day before all our food spoiled.

A few days later, I noticed that cold air was escaping the seal at the top of the freezer.  I called the dealer and they sent a repairman. He was here a few minutes, said he fixed it, and was on his way. A few days later, I noticed that we still had cold-air-escapage. I called the dealer again.

This time, they sent two guys. And I have to tell you, these guys bowled me over.

They looked at the door. They talked (in a language all their own). They investigated. They questioned me. They tried this. They tried that. They moved something. They checked to see if the fridge door was doing the same thing the freezer door was. (It was.)  They talked a bit more in their secret language:

"What if ... ?"
"Yeah. But, hey, it could be that it's ..."
"I was just gonna say the same thing. Try that."
"Do you think ..."
"No, right."
"Uh-uh. Try to ..."
"I know! Yeah!"
"That should do it!"
"Only if ..."
"I know. But if we ..."
"Yeah. That'd work."

And after proper investigation, patient toil, and the application of techniques I did not even know existed and could never imitate, my refrigerator and freezer doors worked perfectly.

There is something exquisite about watching a master at work.

Gary Johnson knows it, and gives workers of all kinds their due. Be sure to click over and read the whole poem.

Good Workers

by Gary Johnson

Let us praise good workers (you know who you are)
Who come gladly to the job and do what you can
For as long as it takes to repair the car
Or clean the house – the woman or man
Who dives in and works steadily straight through,
Not lagging and letting others carry the freight,
Who joke around but do what you need to do,

(Read the rest of the poem here, at The Writer's Almanac.)

Laura Salas has the round up today at Writing the World for Kids.


laurasalas said...

Oh, Karen. Thank you for sharing this one. So many of our most necessary jobs are so unappreciated financially. I love this homage to these hard-working, soul-quenching people.

Mary Lee said...

I praised the good work of my oral surgeon earlier this week. This poem could be the chorus to my song, too!

Carlie said...

My Grandpa was a 20 year quadriplegic who always had a visiting nurse in once a day so your link hits home in a very real way. Deep sentiment. Thanks.