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The Case For Building A Wall

August 1, 2018

This post has nothing to do with immigration or the president of the United States.

I don’t get to build walls much anymore.

I work in computers. Actually, it’s more accurate to say, I work with computers. If you’re reading this, chances are you do to. It’s a great job. Today in Utah it was 102 degrees. My office was a pleasant 72. Six months ago it was 10 degrees outside. My office was a pleasant 72. Six months from now. . .You get the idea.

And by luck of the occupational lottery, I ended up in a profession that pays pretty well while not requiring me to brave anything more dangerous than a paper cut. You know, from back when we used to use paper.

But, my job is also very unfulling in a weird sort of way. When I arrive at work, my desk is completely empty. Okay, there’s a computer monitor. . two actually, and a docking station for my laptop, and the keyboard and mouse and my desk phone and my bluetooth headset. But, other than that, it’s totally empty!

When I leave for the day, my desk is totally empty. Except for a bunch of stuff I’m not going to list again. But, you get the idea.

A successful day for me, often involves “winning” a battle with my email inbox. Less than 10 remaining emails? Winner!

The point is that there are few physical evidences that I’ve even been to work. This has been a tough week. I attended a meeting earlier where children of abuse related their stories. Yeah, it was as emotionally disturbing as it sounds. Why I was in that room is a story for another day.

But, if I’m feeling down, it helps to build something. My job doesn’t allow me to build stuff.

I had lunch earlier this week with my friend Toad. (Yes, that’s his real name.) Years ago I worked for Toad remodeling an empty house. It was a “fill in” job while I was between computer gigs. There was something deeply therapeutic about first destroying something old and rebuilding something new.

I ripped out old cabinets, sheetrock and a 8’x8′ brick fireplace. (Jackhammers are a really fun tool!) I then built new walls and covered them with sheetrock. I installed countertops. I got to hammer stuff and cut stuff and even fire those cool .22 caliber nails to secure a wall to a concrete floor.

At the end of the day I could look at the room I was working on and see real progress. If I doubted myself in other areas that day I could ask myself,

What have you done today?

I built that wall. It will be there for decades. It’s a good wall. It’s been a good day.

I realize the difference in pay between most laborers and my job. In fact, I don’t fully understand why society has decided that “information workers” like me are worth so much more than people who actually build stuff, or repair stuff; people who are creators.

I wish those professions paid better. Because, sometimes it’s a very good thing to build a wall.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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