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Here’s to you, Culligan man

Steve Coyer | Friday, January 14, 2005

With everybody back at Notre Dame after a long winter break, most students can tell you something that they missed while away from school. Many people are glad to be back with their friends. Others missed South Bend specialties like Eggs Benedict at the dining hall or the smell of ethanol in the evening.

For me personally, I am most grateful to have my nearly infinite supply of crisp clear Culligan water back. For those of you who don’t know, Culligan spring water is delivered in five-gallon containers and can be found in many offices and dorm rooms on campus. Not only is it the most pure and refreshing water I know of, it also is delivered by some of the most unsung heroes at Notre Dame.

These workers … no, that is not the right word … I mean, legends deserve to be recognized and I’m here to tell their story. Forgive me if I seem to exaggerate but I assure you, these men do exist.

Every two weeks my three roommates and I go through about 30 gallons of Culligan water (six containers) and at the end of those two weeks we anxiously await the arrival of a certain person. He arrives when we least suspect and brings with him a large handcart laden with 40-pound jugs of water.

Sometimes his name is Ben; other times it is Dan. Regardless, he is always the Culligan man to us.

Weather conditions have never stopped them from making the delivery. Snow, fog, freezing rain and big puddles are no obstacle for these warriors.

Although my room is located on the third floor, this is hardly a challenge for the Culligan man. Even when the elevator doesn’t work, he has been known to haul the water up the stairs barehanded.

And his feats don’t stop once he gets to the room. While it would be sufficient to leave the water outside our door, the Culligan man personally takes each of the five gallon jugs and places them next to our cooler. When one of my roommates tried to lift two of the jugs at once he failed entirely … clearly he underestimated the strength of the Culligan man.

This pattern of Culligan water delivery happens all over campus. To some it might seem mundane and routine. To me, it is so much more. My roommates and I have come to rely on a constant supply of Culligan water and we have a deep appreciation for the men who deliver it to us.

And I’m sure most people on campus have their own “Culligan man,” a person they rely on week after week and who never gets any real recognition. So for all those unsung heroes, this one’s for you.