Finished with multiple commitments, weary, and finally home, I looked forward to an unscheduled Friday morning. After coffee, breakfast, and a quick scan of the paper, I sat at my computer ready to review an upcoming presentation. And that’s when the power went out. Thankfully, it was a weekday morning, and the sun was shining brightly after a week of cold weather and heavy rain.
My wife used her iPad to contact our power provider, a local EMC, and learned that our entire subdivision was out as well. Since our homes are serviced by underground lines, we assumed the problem was upline from us. Within an hour, however, we were surprised when a power company truck pulled up our driveway. Apparently, the transformer just behind our house was the problem. It was the first one installed in our subdivision forty-seven years ago, and fed power to us and everyone else downline.
The two employees were kind and informative, and assured us they’d have our power restored shortly. But, as the hours passed without success, and morning turned to afternoon, we were still without power – and water since our source was a well whose pump required electricity.
Not a problem, I thought, as we had long ago paid to have a water meter and supply line from the county installed in case of just such an emergency. I accessed the valves controlling the two lines, shut off the one from the well, and opened the one from the county… without success. No water flowed into the house.
Our call to the county for help was answered by a polite young lady who assured us she’d send a representative out to diagnose the problem. Within half an hour, a gentleman arrived to inspect the meter and our line only to find that our supply valve had never been opened after the meter was installed. Who knew? I thanked the man for his valued assistance, and he replied, “I’m just doing my job.”
An hour later, our power was finally restored. The issue had been complicated by multiple factors, far beyond our transformer. With daylight fading, but the lights and heat back on, we thanked the two who had spent the day in our subdivision for resolving the problem. Their response? “We’re just doing our job.”
I really appreciate people who are just “doing their jobs,” for our nation’s economy is largely dependent upon folks doing precisely that. But, with millions of unfilled jobs available across America, many sectors of our economy, including dentistry, can’t function optimally. Nearly half the practices across the nation are searching for a chair side assistant, dental hygienist, or both. Many have had to downsize, resulting in an unfortunate reduction of access to care.
I was most fortunate to have been serviced by employees committed to their jobs. They were experienced, skilled, and happy to help. Not everyone, however, is as lucky as I was. The pandemic is over, and it is long past time for those who can, to fill those open jobs. After all, it’s what makes “America work.”