New research claims that 80% of adults are dissatisfied at work. Since we spend 90,000 hours of our lives at work, that’s discouraging news. But Clyde was hard at work long before researchers researched things like this. Clyde was a simple man doing what some might call simple work—he fixed household appliances.
Customers would bring in a faulty toaster or a favorite griddle and he’d find the offending part or wire connection causing trouble. He never charged more than he should. His small shop was lined with uniform metal bins that held screws and whatever odd assortment of parts he needed. He could look at something with his good eye (his only eye) and usually make a diagnosis.
This was back when people fixed what they had, and Clyde could do it. His shop wasn’t on Main Street, but one block east. His rotary phone hung on the wall in between his wooden bins. The long counter served as both an operating table and a place to have friendly chats with customers. Click and buy was decades away. Amazon was just the name of a river.
Clyde never got rich, but he wasn’t poor either. His grease-stained hands were productive and he provided the only repair service in his town. 90,000 hours were never counted, because it was about the labor he loved doing. Interestingly, Clyde didn’t plan on being an appliance repairman. He was training to be a pilot when he lost his eye to cancer. So, he trained for something else and with his good eye, looked at life with greater appreciation.
As we celebrate Labor Day, it would appear that too many don’t enjoy their work. The remedy for that? Perhaps seeing our work as a place where we make a difference for others—helping, improving, teaching, healing, providing, nurturing, and doing our work with all that we are for all those we serve. Then those 90,000 hours are not a curse, but more of a blessing.
From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands brings them reward. Proverbs 12:14