How would you feel about a 4 year old telling you to “Get back to work?” A construction crew in Maine knows the feeling well, and loves it.
According to a report from the Portland Press Herald, Harold and Felicia Murray have two children: 4-year-old Spencer and 1-year-old Willow. The family recently moved to Waterville to be closer to Willow’s doctor in order to more closely monitor the small girl’s bladder and kidney disorder.
But the transition to their new home was rough on Spencer who became homesick and began to withdraw from his family and eventually stopped talking altogether.
Silent for two weeks, Spencer then noticed a crew from from Ranger Contracting working for Summit Natural Gas in front of the family’s home. Suddenly, the boy set up a chair outside the home and began talking with the crew.
“He came out of his shell. He’s talking again,” said his father, Harold Murray.
Ranger Contracting owner Bill Sanborn heard about Spencer’s interest and gave him a hard hat. Summit even named him the honorary worker of the week on the company’s website.
Workers are so used to Spencer’s presence on the jobsite that whenever he is late making his rounds, they ask about him. Some of the crew members even refer to him as “boss.” The boy has even been known to hand out fresh water—thanks for the ice cream doughnuts and more the crew has shared with him.
The story is a good lesson for all crews with interested kids around their sites. Spencer’s attraction to the site has turned into a study. He’s able to identify construction vehicles and even makes visits to the library to learn more about the work. If more kids had this kind of experience, it’s doubtful the industry would be facing such a severe shortage of skilled workers.