Unappreciated Jobs of Neopia: Sewage Cleaners
It's just another day in Neopia Central. Busy Neopets bustling and hustling on the streets of the Main Shops and yet, unknown to them, there are Neopets busy down under.
In the sewers under the Central, sewer workers work laboriously repairing any damaged pipes and scrutinise and comb the sewers just to check if the pipes are working. Most amazingly of all, they don't even complain if ignorant Neopets shout names at them, from above!
'It's a habit to keep your mouth shut when you are working there. After all, WE are surrounded by raw sewage!' Gary Tons the Chia says. 'We are not rude if we don't greet you back.'
To the residents in Neopia Central, they are invisible. Literally. One time, Nigel the stockbroker drove his car and plowed through the cones and barricades surrounding the manhole near the Money Tree. Fortunately, the crew was fixing the pipes below and no one got injured.
In Neopia Central alone, eleven men, including the famous Matt the Sewage Surfer, maintain more than 400 miles of pipes. Every day we just walk above these pipes that whisk our unspeakables away. It's a convenience and a health issue! Imagine what will happen to Neopia Central if there weren't anyone to fix the sewage lines when they burst. That would certainly do a hideous thing to the quality of life of the Neopets living there, and not to mention their health.
Yet no one seems to notice the crew's efforts. Most of the people who help out Matt the Wocky do so just to get the Neoboards avatar.
'Hurry up to level 50, will you? I'm in an avatar collecting rush!' complains Matt. 'There is NO level 50 in the sewers. I prefer working with my crew or even alone, rather than those avatar collectors. They are just so... self-centered.'
Sewer maintenance is a "labor-intensive, unappreciated, never-ending work". The crew is busy virtually all year round, cleaning and fixing pipes, attending to complaints, repairing manhole covers and even keeping an eye out for curious Baby Neopets.
'Sometimes a baby would just pop his head in the manhole, threatening to lose balance and fall,' explains Kans the Lupe. 'But it's good to have visitors; the babies actually make us feel better because they do appreciate our jobs and are so eager to help us out. But it's no place for babies here.'
'We're all out here to keep the Central sewer going,' Xoro the Grundo says. 'It's good to know that you've got someone watching your back all the time!'
When asked what they hate about the jobs most, the crew have a consensus- GREASE! They say it's gross, stains clothes, and feels strangely warm.
'It's a dirty job-- but I'm the only one, I mean only WE, are good enough to do it!' Matt the Wocky comments about his new crew. He has been working in the sewers alone for years, but lately ten other men, who shares the same passion for plumbing, have stepped up to help him.
The risk these men took to repair the sewers are great. Danger lurks at every corner of the sewer.
'Krawks, sharp, pointy objects, grease, sludge, dung, toys and so on. All in a day's work,' Rick the Kacheek says. 'It's nasty and dangerous. But I'm proud of my job; it wasn't as bad as I had imagined. I still remember the first day I was on the job; I slipped and fell because of a yoyo. To think that Neopians couldn't just use the trash can!'
Occasionally, giant Krawks would ambush Matt, but now with a crew by his side, it seems that they just disappeared.
'The good thing is that sometimes we find Codestones and other rare items here, a bit dirty but still it gives us some motivation,' comments the 'muscles' of the crew, Grorad the Elephante.
Contrary to the popular perceptions, the crew are the cleanest Neopians on the streets. State-of-the-art soaps and sterillisers were provided to them, courtesy of Mr. Wolick Sams, the boss of the crew.
'I feel that they deserve the best, after what they have done to the Central. They shouldn't be looked down on and anyone who does that should be ASHAMED of themselves.'
Shockingly, when interviewed, the majority of pets do not even know their jobs exist. The rest only know of Matt the Wocky in the 'game', Sewage Surfer.
'Like I said, they only care about themselves and the avatar. Sewage Surfer is not a game, and Neopians these days should really change their views. They should learn to be transparent,' says Matt.
In my opinion, I feel that they have one of the most important jobs in the whole of Neopia. They are the shield of Neopia Central, against those dastardly germs who will pry our health away with their microscopic hands of death. They step through the manholes before the break of dawn, risking their health, their lives perhaps, just to make our Central clean. They have families, who might be the only ones who show them the support they need, to take care of. They have to make a living and yet they were made to feel so small by those inconsiderate words some people speak. They are not garbage; they are heroes. They are our first line of defence against giant Krawks and potential sewage floods.They don't flinch at the sight of filth, don't back away just because of the smell and turn the other cheek when people criticise them. They deserve more.
Given all the trouble and hard work they have contributed to Neopia Central, they deserve more respect. Neopets should really admire them as they are resilient, selfless, and CLEAN! So if you happen to pass by them when they are having a break, shake their hands, or if you must, hug them. After all, they are the cleanest Neopians on the streets.
This is a tribute to the Sewage Surfer, Matt and his crew.
Nodesofranvier's next Unappreciated Jobs of Neopia will feature Dr. Frank Sloth himself, if he could be found.
Further reading : Sewage Surfer: Neopedia Article.