Thursday, March 13, 2008

Essential Services

I heard a news item today about a possible strike at the TTC. A local news station was doing a survey: “Should the TTC be an essential service?” The consensus seemed to be no.

It made me wonder what would make a service essential. People without cars need to get to work - often more than the people who can afford to drive cars.

I imagine most of us think that the surgeon is essential to our surgery. We probably even recognize that the nurses and technologists are essential. We want to be confident that life support machines will support our lives when needed.

We do not always remember that the janitor is also essential to a successful surgery. We remember only when we hear the statistics on how many people die after successful surgeries because hospitals are not as antiseptic as they should be. Viruses and bacteria spread quickly unless they are cleaned to death.

Who kills the germs when the janitor cannot get to work?

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