Thank You for ‘Just’ Doing Your Job

A long anecdote and how it changed me

Image: Oiled bird being picked upI was raised to be polite, to say ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ and ‘you’re welcome’  of course.  It was just something you were supposed to do as part of average-to-good manners, automatic phrases.  This changed about a decade and a half ago, and I’m glad it did.

Back when I lived in a small coastal California college town, the local university had proudly built a marine wildlife care centre to respond in case of environmental emergency, and particularly oil spills.  The facility was brand new and suddenly we did get an oil spill!  (They’re not that rare.)  Like many others, my husband and I immediately reported to volunteer; he was an undergrad in the wildlife management program, and I was an environmental engineer trained for response to hazardous material spills, so we were well qualified and immediately found ourselves handling oiled birds from dawn to late, late at night for several weeks.

(Continued after the cut.)  Continue reading “Thank You for ‘Just’ Doing Your Job”