Posted by: David D. Daggett | November 1, 2010

The Dirty Work

The Dirty Work      

        How often do we volunteer to do the dirtiest job? Well, I didn’t exactly volunteer, but I ended up with the dirty work at our church’s Fish Fry to raise money for Sunnyside Ministries. Several of my friends and mentors were the leaders in charge.

The Dirty Work

        The ad hoc volunteer leadership group was incredible. They put together an army of volunteers that set up, cooked, fed, and cleaned up after a total of over 1000 people who showed up as customers, or supporters of the event.

         They were the leaders, and I was the follower. Out of respect for them I just told them I would be there and would do whatever they asked, no questions asked. Well they did. I got the dirtiest job. Over the course of the evening sometimes being a good follower meant doing some dirty work.  Just put me to work.   Funny how under good leadership it seemed okay.

        My job was to receive all of the tubs used to clean the tables. Then I scrapped the plates for washing, separated the trash, sorted out the silverware, poured the extra liquid out of the cups and glasses, and then passed everything along to the dishwashing machine. All in a confined area, all evening.

       One of the leaders, and a good friend and mentor, Karl Stimpson, is a retired construction company owner. Any time I even thought about slacking up he’d just look at me with a twinkle and a smile and say “tighten up!” That was apparently his call to action for his employees on construction projects.

        Doing the dirty work got me thinking. How do our actions connect with our thoughts and goals? What do our actions show? What are we doing for others? Are we willing to do the dirty work, start at the every bottom, work hard and smile to knowing that the work is needed and the cause is good. This good cause was to support ministries that feed and clothe needy individuals and families in our community.

         I started thinking about how these same principles apply to our athletic training, our professional development, and even our family duties. There is always dirty work to be done. Sometimes the dirty work is a necessary prerequisite for further development. Intentionally doing foundational baby steps is many times the necessary “dirty work” on the road to success.

         At the end of the long, successful evening, Karl summed it up the way he always does by simply stating “it was good.” Even the dirty work was good.

Willing to work,



  1. Great post, Dave. I agree that sometimes the dirty work is the most rewarding. There’s something about seeing the tangible results of hard, messy work (in this case, clean dishes) that is undeniably satisfying.

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