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8th September
posted by amber

Shaking Hands With the Septic Guy

After he finished pumping out the tank, I saw him clean his hands, wiping them on paper towels from the cab of his truck. Then he approached me, hand outstretched, introducing himself.

I’m appreciative that he came out on such short notice. And also appreciative that he and others like him are willing to do this job, certainly not a pleasant job at all.

I hope he’s well-paid. I think he’s paid well to deal with people’s shit. I know that some workers, like those who work with our aged, our handicapped, our ill, have to deal with abuse and shit and are not well-paid but that’s not right. People should be paid generously to do jobs no one else wants to do.

They shouldn’t be treated like untouchables.

I shook his hand.

I wonder how someone ends up with a job like that? When he was little, did he want to be a fireman, or a truck driver (well, he drives a truck now, and he does work with hoses).  I can’t see that a young person would ever write that down as their ambition – to drive a septic truck.

I shook his hand. I wrote him a check. He drove away.

I think I’ll go wash my hand now.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

This story, unfortunately, was inspired by true events.


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