Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Beauty of My Job Is...

To many, this is not an attractive job. They may even scoff at it. Yes, it's just a humble job, yet I love it and am happy with it. And I'm not at all ashamed of it.

To put it in a euphemism, my job is to make sure that premises like private homes, offices, apartment lobbies and new buildings are fresh, spotlessly clean and pleasant-looking.

It's not that I have no other choice. With my Bachelor's degree in Education, I could work as a university or a high school teacher, though I would have to meet up with the higher standard of education here, which  requires at least two years of further studies. I could also take up an entirely new  course of my own choice at the university or some vocational courses, all for free and with a monthly allowance from the government. But I brushed such opportunities aside, without any regrets. The thought of going back to school makes me cringe. I had spent five years at the university and completed two Bachelor's degrees, and now I'm too lazy to live a student's life again. That's ancient history now.

I chose my present job because it's something new for me. I have that special knack of doing jobs that the majority scorns. Odd jobs involving the use of physical prowess. Jobs with diversities. I can keep such jobs as long as they exist and as long as I have the strength to do them. Another reason is that I didn't go looking for it. It came to me right before I completed my Swedish language course in SFI (Swedish for Immigrants / Svenska för Invandrare). And I started right away sans the trouble of job-hunting. (I thank my employer, Städkompetens AB, for hiring me.)

Okay, so, what's wrong with cleaning jobs? For me it's enjoyable, even advantageous. Just imagine, I make places clean and shiny! Well, this is not actually a hard job here since everything is already clean. Our clients just want their places super clean, which is actually the standard here, to maintain their cleanness, and I like to do such polishing jobs. These are not difficult jobs at all. I've done much tougher jobs in the Philippines.

I'm also the master of my time. I determine what time I go to work. If there are some job orders for home-cleaning (hemstädning), my superiors or our clients would usually ask me what time suits me best.

Salary-wise, I get a standard per-hour pay. I work only a little over 50 percent, but my monthly salary is good enough to make ends meet. I work to survive and to support a greater cause, which is actually the main reason for my whole existence.  If I want to earn more for some long-distance travel expenses, I'd just ask for some extra jobs. No sweat. And if I want to be "rich" according to my simple standard, I can request for a full-time work load. No problem with that. I'm a workaholic anyway. But then, as I said, I'm contented with what I presently earn, knowing that my "other mission" makes my life more meaningful and satisfying, as it brings lasting benefit to mankind.

I believe that the best aspect of my job is the help that I can give to people who work hard to build up their families,  some too old and incapable to clean up their big villas and units, others alone  and in need of companionship. I love the thought of being needed and making them feel secure. I love the way they treat me with respect and dignity, the way they try to help me lighten my work by cleaning up a little before I'd go  to them or by entirely avoiding to mess up. 

I like the way they express their gratitude for my service, which is through words of thanks and material gifts. I'm refreshed to hear them say, "Thanks, as always.", "Just let me know what else you need to make your work easier", "It's always nice to have you here.", "We're very satisfied!", "Jag känner mig trygg när du är här." (I feel safe when you are here.), "Vad bra att du finns!" (It's good you exist!), "Hmmm...smells good again! It's clean here again!", "I like the way you clean.", etc. Expressions I never forget and that keep me inspired.

And sure, one more beauty of my job is our clients' trust in me. They leave the entire house or office in my hands, sometimes with money lying here or there, especially during the first time they hired me. Some kind of test? Sorry, I'm never tempted to take others' belongings, whatever they are. I only have eyes for "dirt" and hands to sweep it away. Well, I gained their full trust, and that's a reward I cherish.

So...isn't my job beautiful? I know I'm rambling here again, but I can't help it. I just enjoy this job, that's all. I like the people I work for, and I truly care about their homes, offices and apartment buildings.  Of course, I also enjoy intellectual, aesthetic, photographic and "cosmic" jobs, for which I also make time as long as I can. 

For now, though, I find beauty in this job and  in the people I work for.

...Just as I find beauty in simple, little things around me.

Isn't life full of beauty? It's actually a matter of how we look at things.