I’ve been a pipe as long as I can remember. You might have seen me, actually. Not that I’m famous or anything. Just a regular old pipe, draining water off the bridge over the river on the other side of town.
It may not be a glamorous job, I’ll grant you. Most people think maintenance is an unrewarding field, and I can see why they would. It’s repetitious, sure, pulling all the runoff rainwater from the bridge to the river below. You don’t get much variance in your routine there. Which means the job isn’t exactly challenging, that’s true. When I hear that a cousin of mine got a job at a nuclear plant, piping who knows what to who knows where –– it’s all very technical, and I could never follow along with that sort of stuff – it’s easy to think, “Oh, that could have been me, if a few things went differently.” But that doesn’t mean I regret anything. What I do, it’s important work. Knowing a family driving a minivan across my bridge won’t hydroplane and fly off the side, just because I was doing my simple job – nothing could be more rewarding.
I guess you could say that the period between storms could get boring, just waiting without anything in particular to do. But just like downtime at any job, you find ways to fill the hours. Sometimes I’ll rent out space to anybody who might need it, from spiders to birds to possums – I’m not prejudiced, you understand – and that has its upsides. You get to meet new people, and that’s always interesting. Everybody’s a little different, but you really start to realize, we’re all the same. Eventually they have to move on, and sometimes I’ll even have to kick them out to get my work done, but that’s just life, isn’t it?
The best part about my job is that I work from home. You’ll never hear me complain about the commute. I just wake up, and I’m there. About half the days, I’ll get a laugh from saying to the guy working next to me: “Funny seeing you here. You come around here often?”
“Round,” see? That’s pipe humor.