July 4, 2019
Editor’s note: The following email was sent to Tony DiGiovanni in response to his column in the May 2019 issue of Landscape Ontario magazine.

Good morning Tony,
Great story!

Many of my kids’ friends (29 to 31 year-olds) are self-employed tradesmen: electricians, carpenters, etc. When they are over, I realize how proud they are that they get their hands dirty as they earn their pay cheque each week. They are a proud bunch of guys who look a little different at the suits with lily-white hands who have never picked up a shovel. So I think we are in a transition period where being a blue collar worker is now something to be proud of — at least that is what I am noticing.

One time, I spoke to a group of high school students at Mayfield High School. The topic was “Great Jobs.” I asked the class what their version of a great job looked like. Then, after I heard their take on it, I told this story:

Many years ago, we used to hire sub-contractors with pick-up trucks and plows to plow snow with us. I put an ad in the paper and was interviewing people with trucks who could work around their regular full-time job. I really remember the interview I had with this one guy, Jim.

Jim was an upbeat and very positive young man who was about 30 years-old. He was married and lived in Georgetown, where his wife was at home raising their little girl. I said, “Wow, that is so good, what do you do?” Jim mentioned his job had great benefits, no boss looking over his shoulder all day, and was straight days, Monday to Friday, so that in winter he could: A) be home with his family, and B) sometimes plow snow for us evenings and on weekends. I was even more impressed. Again I asked, “What do you do Jim?” He then added he gets a clothing allowance so he can afford to be a homeowner and raise a family. “I have a great job,” he said for about the tenth time. Finally, Jim told me that he worked on the back-end of a garbage truck for the City of Toronto.

So there you go. You don’t have to work in a corner office in an ivory tower just to have a great job. In fact, those who have those ivory tower jobs, on average, are under so much stress they would probably change jobs with Jim in a heartbeat. So a “Great Job” can be any job you really like.

Brian Perras
BP Landscaping and Snow Removal
Caledon, Ont.