Post # 53: Dispatch From Florida: Florida Lineman is Still on the Line

From Lee Weiner:

Okay, some stupid weirdness happened earlier today, and I decided to take a real break and smoke my weed outside watching the sunset. There's a patio-like space, with a few small tables and chairs and several palm trees, wedged between the rental office and one of the pool entrances. No one is ever there, especially with the pool and recreational and work-out/gym areas closed. 

I'm sitting, getting way more relaxed, and a young guy comes into the area on one of those little kid bikes that some bigger and close to grown young men ride to be cool or something. He's riding around in small circles, totally respecting 6+ feet around me. I'm stoned enough to say hello - he stops better than 6 feet away and we talk. 

He's a 7-day a week emergency-on-call electrician for the power company down here, belongs of course to the same union my kid does (IBEW - long ago very red, they actually had to change their logo since the one they used until sometime in the 50s held the lightning bolts or whatever in a raised left fist). The kid tells me he is just off a 12+ hour work effort restoring somebody's power. I say thank you, thank you for the work you're doing. He looks dumbfounded. I start asking about the protective equipment his company provides him for customer-interactions, but he prefers to talk about my "thank you."

He said nobody ever says thank you to him and the guys he works with (unless it's right after a hurricane takes everybody's power and they're desperate). Then, looking a little embarrassed, he says at least people could say thank you. He knows he's not a doctor, nurse or cop, or fireman, but he's somewhere in that line of people who are really working hard through all of this and doing important work. Maybe if they wore distinctive clothing or something so people would recognize what they did and understood how important it was, they'd say thank you. Not treat them as any hero or anything, but a thank you would be really great.

You can meet nice, unexpected people in the world even within the boundaries of social distancing and plague.


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