What I wish I could do right now
Like, you want janitors and McDonald fast food workers and cleaners.
You just don’t want them to make a liveable wage and have healthcare and be treated like proper human beings.
People who work in an air conditioned office all day sincerely do believe that those jobs are both less important and not as exhausting.
a job being ‘exhausting’ doesn’t make it important, janitors and fast food workers are paid less bc their job doesn’t take any real skill – like basically anyone can do it
not everyone can be a lawyer or a doctor or run a successful business, those people worked hard and learned new skills and gained useful knowledge so their end job would pay more and not be physically exhausting
stop shitting on people who earned a good life because you aren’t being given one for free
I work in a hospital. It’s also the worst flu season in recent years in my hospital. You know whose job is one of the most crucial for EVERYONE, doctors and medical staff included? Janitors. Go ahead and try to have a safe working environment, ESPECIALLY in the medical field, without them.
Tell me, do you know how to best create a medically safe work environment? Because I sure as fuck don’t, but the janitors do, and they know this while being on their feet and performing manually exhausting tasks for 8+ hours straight surrounded by caustic chemicals.
Same goes for fast food workers. Do you have any idea how much knowledge and physical work goes into working in a kitchen? Wanna tell me you put out grease fires, what temperatures different foods are stored in, and how to keep a safe working environment for both customers and workers in a job surrounded by hot oil, ovens and chemicals? Not to mention, again, being on your feet for 8+ hours in a hot kitchen being yelled at by customers constantly.
I promise you that these people do a more difficult and oftentimes more important job than a large portion of office jobs I’ve been in.
Fun fact: In my neck of the woods, hospital janitorial staff union wanted a pay raise. Their workers were struggling. The hospitals laughed at them, so they went on full strike.
The hospitals were in crisis mode within an HOUR.
Surgical rooms were not being cleaned, toilets and patient rooms were not cleaned, garbage was not picked up, instruments that get reused were not being cleaned (i.e. scalpels, patient beds), laundry wasn’t done, floors were not clean, biohazard waste wasn’t collected.
The hospitals folded the next day and the union got EVERYTHING they asked for.
Now, you may not work in a hospital @purest-rain but wherever you do work, just imagine what might happen if… suddenly no one cleaned. No one picks up the trash in that fancy office. No one vacuums or sweeps, or cleans anything. Nothing. Not the toilets, not the offices. It might take a little longer, but pretty soon, those fancy law-offices look pretty gross, don’t they? Especially the bathrooms. I’ve cleaned bathrooms, I know exactly how disgusting people are when they use a toilet they don’t have to clean.
Stop shitting on low-wage workers just because you don’t understand how important their job actually is. You cannot simultaneously demand a service, while dehumanizing the person who provides you with it, and demanding they not be compensated fairly.
Pfft. Office folk who’ve never had to do a custodian’s job have no fucking clue how much goes into it. We not only have to clean and know how to clean, from mixing chemicals to different types of floor care (of which there are many), to sanitation protocol, but in addition, those of us who work around people have to be good at customer service, time management, assertiveness and discipline.
So, while the office person is sitting in a cubical trying not to get caught surfing the internet and having x-amount of access to a building, I have the master keys to an entire steel mill, all of the offices, everything. I interact with everyone from the plant manager to the new hire. I have to coordinate around heavy machinery, tons of overhead hazards, tons of ground hazards, coordinate around three shifts of blue-collar folk, keep the white collar folk happy and gosh, that’s not even counting the actual, physical labor of my job. (And it is very hard work, too.)
No, I don’t have a degree. What I have is experience. Confidence. The ability to clean a sanded-floored lockerroom regularly trooped through by dudes in greasy boots in about an hour and a half on a bad night. The ability to take one look at a steelworker and have them freeze in the door before they’ll even consider walking on a newly mopped floor. (Don’t worry, I don’t beat them up. It’s a loving threat.) The respect and trust of not only the owner of the business I work for, but the respect and trust of the company I’m subcontracted to, in its entirety, from the top on down.
Like gosh, person above, when was the last time anyone ever trusted you to that degree? I don’t see my boss for months at a time. I train new people who come in. I know the operation I work for from the coil truck to the truck’s weigh out, enough that they’ve actively headhunted me to get hired in. No one breathes down my neck, schedules meetings about productivity, questions my skills, abilities or education; at least, among the people I work for and with, I’m considered every bit as important as the people who have degrees framed on the wall, and I– am pretty sure most office workers can’t actually say the same.
Admittedly, I really love where I work and this experience isn’t universal, but man, don’t make assumptions about how much a custodian has to know and do in a shift. Some things go well beyond classical schooling. And really, if there was a zombie outbreak, I’d rather have ten people who work my job beside me than a thousand office staff. XD
People look down on McDonald’s employees but fail to realize that if all these folks left McDonald’s and pursued “better careers” your ass wouldn’t be able to get a McDouble with an Oreo McFlurry at 3am.
You can’t demand a service while simultaneously degrading those who provide it for you.
You can’t demand a service while simultaneously degrading those who provide it for you.
Can we PLEASE remove the stigma for blue collar work in America?
“You don’t wanna be a garbage collector when you grow up, do you?”
$34,000 a year, no college needed?
God forbid you take an honest job $7,000 above Michigan’s average cost of living line.
“You don’t wanna be a ditch digger.”
Bitch, I was making $15 an hour, post tax, doing exactly that, the fuck is wrong with it? (Other than it was physically exhausting.)
We need to help America, as a whole, understand that college is not, and should not be he only option, and that there is NO SHAME in trade school or even getting a career right out of high school.
I, personally, know plumbers making $80,000+ a year. Better than most 4 year degree workers.
We need plumbers, janitors, truck-drivers, garbage collectors, machinists, to keep this nation running smoothly. And they deserve respect for what they do.
Miss me with your classist bullshit.
You know, here’s a funny thing. I always did great in school. Breezed through math, chemistry, physics. Everyone assumed I was going to be something important. Prestigious. A doctor. An engineer. A scientist. Something my parents could brag about, you know?
When I was a kid, I used to say things like: I want to be a woodworker! I want to be a hairstylist! I want to be an electrician!
And everybody said to me: don’t be ridiculous. Silly little girl! You’re so smart! You don’t want to be any of those things! You want a heavy acronym degree and a home in Martha’s Vineyard. You want a big desk, a country club membership, 2.5 cars and a purebred dog.
So I went to a really, really fancy college. And I studied fancy things. And I hated it.
Like, don’t get me wrong. I thought math and chemistry and things like that were interesting. But the idea of being in school for 7 years and then launching into a Respectable Career filled me with dread. Couldn’t I study science and math as a–a hobby? And maybe, you know, become a carpenter instead?
Everybody was fucking flummoxed. I was, no shit, referred to a psychiatrist. Because if someone is capable of becoming a doctor, they must be literally insane to want to do blue collar work instead.
I like doing things with my hands. I like spending several hours bent over a task, and having visible results at the end of it. I like solving concrete problems that have straightforward solutions, like: this person’s fingernails need to be repaired, or this shelf needs to go up, or I need to make a dress for a party. Sometimes, while I do those things, I think about math and science. And that’s nice. But that’s just something to keep my mind turning over while I happily cover myself in paint, wood glue, thread trimmings, whatever.
The structure and routine of white collar work sounds stifling and depressing to me. I don’t need much money to be happy, certainly not Doctor Money. Blue collar work sounds perfect to me. It always has. It sounds satisfying and fulfilling and it would meet all my financial needs. So why do I feel this weird cringe when I talk about making the change? Why do people act pityingly about it, like, oh, she just couldn’t Cut It at a “real job?”
Sure, a lot of people take blue collar jobs just to pay the bills. A lot of people take white collar jobs just to pay the bills. But is it so completely goddamned inconceivable that somebody might actually prefer blue collar work? That for some people–people with “options,” people who could be doctors, if they were so inclined–hairstyling or bricklaying or car repair is the dream job?
“You don’t want to be a ______” well maybe I fucking do.
Quite literally every job I’ve been happy in has involved not using my degree and actually paid more. I earned roughly the same money doing weddings and hosting tea parties as I did editing, and I worked half the hours with none of the same responsibilities.
I enjoy editing…but y’know, if someone had told me I didn’t have to go through the absolute hell that was academia, I could have been working my way up to top tier management by now, instead of struggling at the bottom of a profession that doesn’t allow me to live.
Thomas Sowell, a former professor who’s written several books, once wrote a column saying that every job he had before his professorship was “menial”. He went on to point out that society would miss garbage collectors much sooner than it would miss, say, economists.
One “menial” job I had in my 20s, I liked in itself, but I had to quit because so many of the people I dealt with in that particular place were rude to me for having that “low status” job. How stupid is that.
I mean but this is in fact what adults do at work
100% accurate, especially the coffee bit.