28. Work

I don’t know whether it’s the lighter-fluid or the water that makes them shine up so well. I think Jerry would tell you it’s his own special mix of polish, liquids and elbow-grease that makes a pair of shoes look new again. And he ought to know. He’s been at it for over thirty years, buffing an endless stream of wingtips, leather boots and loafers. His place of business: a small corner inside the local barber shop. His office: a single “shine” chair (for customers), surrounded by several shelves for staging shoes in-process. Most of Jerry’s customers drop off their shoes for later pick-up. But sometimes he’ll have a customer who wants a haircut and a shine right there on the spot. And Jerry is always willing to accommodate. He seems to enjoy the company of a walk-in customer.

Jerry is fun to watch. He sings and laughs while he’s working. And he rarely sits down. In between vigorous buffing strokes, Jerry will pause to take a short break. But then he’ll bear down on it again and work until the shoes finally meet with his approval. It’s the best shine you’ll ever see on a pair of shoes. And Jerry knows it. He’s proud of his work. His customers expect near perfection, and Jerry aims to please.

Day 20 Guide

Too many people consider their work to be a chore – drudgery. But work is good for the soul. Don’t wish your time away.

© 2007, Levi Hill

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