Today was my third day working at Fred Meyer. Saturday was my last day at Victoria’s Secret. I miss it, but this was the financially responsible choice. I suppose I’ll get used to it. On the bright side, I can wear colors, and I can see Kurt on my breaks because we work at the same place! Sometimes we even get to drive home together. 🙂 Way better than taking the bus for an hour and a half by myself.
At one point, I was restocking men’s work pants (yes, this post does have a point) and noticed something funny. For each brand of pants there is a different poster standing on a table of that particular brand of pants. Both the Levi’s and Lee’s models were handsome, lean, and charming. The frame consisted of a fully-dressed guy, just standing there, in a model pose, against a white background. No props or anything.
But the Carhartt poster was different. It was actually an ad for a shirt that protects from sweat and dirt so you don’t feel gross while working hard. In the photo was a guy wearing Carhartt pants and shirt, work boots and a hard hat, with his face turned down so you could barely see it, swinging a sledgehammer. He was demolishing a house. Dust and smoke filled the air around him. A few workers demolished things with their own sledgehammers in the background. It was a convincing scene of hard labor. It wasn’t meant to be sexy, and it wasn’t. But it was admirable. It was noble, and it was humble.
See, as I was growing up, I knew my father as an incredibly hard-working man. When I was around 7 or 8 (I could be wrong), he took up excavation for a living because music ministry just wasn’t doing it anymore. Even in music ministry, he had worked hard writing, recording, and performing music all over the country. Before I was born, he worked hard as a custodian, and before that as a cook. In recent years, he has begun to work for himself, but his job description is the same. He spends his time fixing plumbing underneath houses, building walls, building houses, repairing roofs… basically, if someone needs him to fix something, he does, and that’s how he makes his living.
And my dad always wore Carhartt. Still does, as far as I know. He swears by it as a brand that is definitely worth its cost and will outlast any jeans made just for looking cool. He’s always been a person who values reliability over appearance when it comes to any product. It it lasts forever and does what it’s supposed to, he doesn’t mind paying a little more. That’s wisdom right there.
Putting away the Carhartt jeans today reminded me of that wisdom. Or rather, it reminded me of how my dad will do whatever it takes to make sure his family is taken care of. He earns an honest living doing hard, sometimes strenuous, work that helps other people, and I admire that so much. I’ll probably think of that every time I’m putting away Carhartt products and see that poster. Thanks, Dad.