The lie of Santa Claus has always bothered me. Between movies and mall Santas and lies that parents tell their children, the gifts that they deserve are given by some overweight man who hangs around short elves, and who has a taste for milk and cookies, and who flies around in a reindeer-drawn sleigh. Santa Claus is supposed to know who has been naughty or nice (a rather god-like state of omniscience about character) and reward accordingly. Of course, no one excepts for little children actually believes in these myths, but an immense amount of creativity has been taken in portraying these myths and a great amount of resources are spent in pretending as if this is the case in terms of media presentation of supposed Santas.
But this year another reason has been added to the list of reasons why I hate the myth of Santa Claus so much. It should be noted that I was fortunate enough not to have parents who lied to me about Santa Claus, and that I grew up in a family that did not celebrate Christmas (and, it should be noted as well, that I still remain true to these beliefs). This winter, for the past few weeks, I have been a driver’s helper for UPS, which I would like to blog at length about in the near future (perhaps even tomorrow morning). As opposed to the lie of a fat man with a sweet tooth bringing presents all over the world on the night of December 24th, there are real people who spend a lot of work getting goods from one place to another safely and in a timely fashion. These people are logistics workers.
Logistics workers are a fairly broad group of people who work in various ways to help ensure that goods are brought from point A to point B in a quick manner while preserving the integrity of the item itself. Some of these people are like me, people who pick up or deliver packages from one place to another–whether from a business to a service center or from a service center to a business or residence. Some of these workers are responsible for managing software that tracks packages or that tracks the supplies of goods available for customers to purchase. But however modest these individuals or their skills, there are a great many people who work on helping people get their items in good condition in a timely fashion, and to have these people unjustly forgotten or neglected while some myth about a crusty Germanic igloo dweller at the North Pole is continually repeated is quite an injustice.
After all, a lot of people are simply not aware of where their products come from. Some people might look and see that a given product is made in China or some other country, but there is little curiosity in how this product gets to the store, or gets from a website purchase to one’s home or business. The process involves a healthy amount of scanning, some combination of ships, trains, trucks, or planes, with someone providing the first pickup of a boxed or bagged package to to the final delivery, tracked every step of the way for control processes. At every step of the way there are real people doing hard and important work to ensure that people get what they order in a timely and efficient manner. There are no elves or reindeer involved, just a lot of hardworking people who deserve some appreciation. Let us give them the credit that they deserve, and leave the myths and lies behind. The truth is far more interesting, after all.