I’m sitting here in the “lounge” of a co-working space in Singapore while one of my students takes a make-up exam.
The lounge is actually just a table with six chairs, along with a multifunction coffee machine, a cabinet full of cups, a sink, and not surprisingly, a bottle of hand sanitizer.
It’s a somewhat busy spot, particularly at this time of the morning, with people grabbing a cup of coffee to bring back to their office.
But one guy keeps coming back.
He keeps coming back to put used coffee cups into the dishwasher, make sure that there are adequate supplies of tea and sugar, and perhaps most importantly to keep the countertop clean.
I’m sure the guy has been doing the same job for a while, but perhaps people are noticing him for the first time. They are more grateful for the work that he does, realizing the important role he plays in helping to keep the place clean as part of avoiding the spread of germs and viruses.
I’ve begun to take notice of such individuals everywhere I go, at subway stations, at local coffee shops, at malls, at our apartment complex.
I’m sure these workers have always been there, quietly doing their job, while the rest of us either ignored or took for granted the work that they were doing. You may think that the photo above is a recent one, showing the response on the transit system in Singapore to the coronavirus. But it’s actually from 2015. As I say, these workers have always been around.
But now with the panic that is spreading because of the coronavirus, hopefully the public will have more respect for the people that are doing such vital work.
And maybe we will realize that every job is critical in the grand scheme of things, and we should be grateful and express our appreciation to those whose work is often ignored.
So a big thank you to those of you who are on the frontline in combating this virus by helping to keep our workspaces and public places clean. Your work is greatly appreciated, and vital in helping to get the situation under control.
The guy just came back.
I made sure to thank him this time…
*image from AsiaOne