Every year the Jefferson City Schools begin the year by inviting the community to a breakfast, which is followed by a gathering in the Performing Arts Center. The community joins the faculty, administration, and the school board, in a pep rally of sorts.
Dr. John Jackson, the longest serving superintendent in Georgia, reminds every one of the ingredients needed for the kind of success that places the Jefferson City Schools in many of the top academic categories in the state. Chairman of the Board, Ronnie Hopkins, introduces his chosen speaker for the year who brings the pep talk or words of inspiration to teachers as well as the community about the importance of educating our students.
This year, as in other years, members of the drama department were on the schedule to perform. The scene to be performed was from the play, “Hairspray.”
“Hairspray” is a musical that features rhythm and blues from the 1960’s and the story line is laced with social issues concurrent with that era.
The community breakfast served as the perfect backdrop to show off the drama talent of our high school students. The curtain went up. The set was revealed. The lighting was warm and inviting. The actors walked out on stage. And there was silence. And more silence. Then the silence became uncomfortable.
Finally, one of the actors said, “Does anyone know any jokes?” The audience laughed, but not with much volume. A little later the spotlights dimmed. The actors stepped off stage. The curtain lowered. Apologies were made.
A lot of disappointment was felt by all. We were disappointed for the students who did not get to display their talents. We were disappointed that we were not entertained. No doubt, some were disappointed in those who failed to do their job in doing a sound check.
No one would have given any thought to those working as sound techs if there had not been any snafus. But since there was a problem, everyone thought about that person or those people.
It made me think of the movies I’ve watched and all the credits that are listed at the end of the movies. Most of those names are of people who never appeared on screen. They are names of people who worked behind the scene, but without them, none of what we saw or experienced in the theatre could have been possible.
There are many jobs like that where people rarely notice you unless you fail to do your job.
When is the last time you noticed the work of the garbage collector? When your garbage was not picked up, right?
When is the last time an offensive lineman was named the most valuable player in a football game? Never. Yet that unnamed guard that the team runs behind repeatedly enables the running back to be a star.
When is the last time you knew the name of the chef that prepared your meal at a restaurant? Never. However, the waitress that brought you the food the chef prepared is the one that received your tip.
Those people that jump from airplanes—I doubt they ever think to call up the people that are packing their chutes and thank them. Yet those people that are working behind the scenes have those skydivers’ lives in their hands. If they don’t do their job, when the curtain goes down, it will be for good.
You might not think about the person that cleans the public rest room unless there is no toilet paper. Then your thoughts are not pleasant at all. That adds a different twist to those work “behind the scenes.”
So what’s this all about?
Every day there are people working behind the scenes that make the world go around. In fact, most people don’t get to go out and take a bow. Unless there is a mess up, no one is likely to notice them.
All people occasionally would like someone to notice them. If you are one of these people, then perhaps you should be the one that starts noticing others that are not usually noticed. Send a tip back to the kitchen for the chef. Leave a gift for the garbage collector at Christmas. Tell that offensive guard after the ballgame that he made the difference, (if he did, of course). When you walk by those people that clean in the hospital, tell them that you notice how clean things are and that you appreciate the work they do.
There are people everywhere that are working in the background. Without them, the main show would never take place, wherever that show is, whatever the performance might be.
So next time you hear the music and enjoy the performance, if you look somewhere in the background you will find the sound and lighting technicians, and the stage crew. Surprise them. Tell them you noticed their good work.