All I ever needed to know about work I learned from my father. Jacob Keller was a blue collar worker, a millwright, who worked in the factories of northwest Ohio and southern Michigan in the latter half of last century. His profession wasn’t prestigious and certainly not glamorous, but my father embraced his work and always had pride in what he did. There was a dignity in his approach to what he did. Here’s some of what I learned:
- Never be late to work.
- Work the full shift to the best of your ability. The union said my dad could start putting his tools away 15 minutes before his shift was up. He always worked until the end of the shift and then put his tools away. “Eight hours work for eight hours pay,” was his motto.
- Never complain about a job.
- Work when there’s work to be done. You never know when it won’t be there.
- Take pride in what you do.
- Work well with others, but never tolerate a loafer or a shirker of duty.
- Enjoy what you do. My dad always loved the challenges of installing new machinery and embraced learning new things until he retired.
I thank God for my father and how he taught by example. Remember on this Labor Day to be thankful for what you’ve been given to do. Enjoy your work!