Sunday, November 4, 2012

I Get Kinda Tired Of...

Hearing people treat those in, what they consider to be, low-standard jobs. Such as fast food, gas station, store clerk, etc.

I mean, really - if EVERYONE went to college, like I hear so many people yap yap yap about on tv, who's going to serve all these yuppies their coffee at the drive thru in the morning? Who's going to be serving them at the grocery store counter? Seriously. It drives me crazy.

I have sat and listened to some friends and aquaintances rant about how everyone should try to go to college and get a degree, and better themselves so that there are not so many poor families around.

And guess where they have these little discussions? IN a coffee shop or restaurant. I have nearly collapsed in tears laughing at them and they get mad, and well, they don't invite me out for coffee anymore. And I don't give a shit. I'm glad. The only thing I regret is that I don't get to at least attempt to get them to see the irony and the error of their ways. Order from the server, and then say it's pathetic that adults are in these jobs.

The convos usually include me asking who the heck would be serving them if 'everyone went to college and got a degree'. They counter with 'high school students'. Then I look at the clock and say 'Well, they are all in school right now cos it's a Tuesday at 11am', and then they look stumped. What high school student could possibly be working that shift? Or the one at 6 or 7am at the coffee drive thru? Seriously. Why can't people figure this crap out for themselves?

It doesnt help that as an adult, I have worked in 3 grocery stores. I did awesome in school but I hated college and could not find my place. Every class I actually attended I got high marks in. But it wasn't what I wanted yet. So after I moved overseas, I did not go back to college other than a 2 year attempt at gaining the Early Childhood Development certificate, until I realized that after spending all that time and effort, I would only get maybe a $2/hour raise so it wasn't worth it for me to miss out on that much time with my kids, and go slightly batty while studying and taking the exams. I got over 90% in every class I took, and on every exam. I got 99% on the child psych 101 final exam. I loved that course! But just because I chose not to finish the whole program at this time does not mean I am a lazy dunce who doesn't want to 'better herself'. I'm just not interested in pushing and pushing and ending up stir crazy after finally getting a degree and sitting in an office or something all day. Is that wrong? If I want to go back to working in grocery stores after my kids are all in school and I tire of the daycare I am currently at, does that make me gum under people's shoe?

I liked working in those stores. I would show up, do my shift, help some people out, dodge some crazy customers, and then when I went home, I didn't have to think about it again. I didn't have to carry around files or worry about a presentation being due, or work insane hours. And it's a job that people have needed for a very long time. If there were no grocery store clerks, how would people buy their food????? It annoys me to no end.

Years ago, my boss realized that her husband's friend was someone I went to school with all through elementary. She said 'Hey, I know KT that you went to school with!' and he said 'Oh wow. How do you know her? I havent seen her in years!'. My boss said 'She works for me'. He said "She works for you?? I thought for sure she was going to be a doctor or something. She was super smart in school".

I was offended by that comment. I happen to think my job is very important too. I look after tiny human beings that cannot defend themselves. I help keep them safe every day so that their parents do not have to worry. I cuddle them when they cry, I make sure they eat healthy food, I read them stories, rub their back to help them sleep, and play goofy games with them while also helping them to learn a few things and get ready for school. What's wrong with that job? A doctor is very  important of course, and maybe I could have written the exams for it, but I cannot even bear to think of sticking a needle into someone's vein so I wouldn't do very well on the practical application skills test lol. I would faint. So no doctor for me - no nurse either unless I can guarantee a spot where I won't have to stick things in people lol - but is my job really so bad? It's lower pay but it kind of has to be in order for parents to have a hope of affording it - but I am literally in charge of the safekeeping of little wee humans every single day of the week, month, and year (if you count my own kids at times I am not working), for the past 2 decades. I would say that's important but it doesnt carry the distinction of Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer - so apparently I am wasting my life and talents. That really is shameful.

Gas jockeys - who's going to be there taking your money or filling your tank if 'everyone went to college'?
Servers - who's going to take your business luncheon order with all your hoity toity colleagues if 'everyone went to college'?
Janitors - who's going to clean your school or mall after hundreds of people tromped through the halls day after day, leaving essences of their body and germies if 'everyone went to college'?
Garbage collectors - okay some of these are really well paid by their city but the job still ends up at the bottom of the pile for 'things to do with your life', but who's going to handle all the garbage if 'everyone went to college'? There wouldn't even be a person at the dump keeping an eye on things.

The list could go on endlessly, but those are ones I hear about the most, including store clerk, or 'i work in retail'. What's wrong with those jobs? I hear politicians talking about 'the man with a family of 5 who is flipping burgers, he needs help!'. I take it to mean, he needs to get out of that job... and if he wants to get out, then it would be good for him to find a way to do that. But what about people that don't mind flipping burgers? It helps bring money into the home, and there are an awful lot of fast food places around so apparently lots of people go there for a meal. So what if they all left the job because they got sick of everyone looking down on them and making them feel like they need to 'do something with their life'? Where would soccer mom stop to pick up supper on the way home? (okay that was mean, but if people want to throw around stereotypes, they should prepare themselves to get one right back).

And what about people who simply do not have the mind for college work? I did great in high school but it did not prepare me for the bulk of work in college. I still did well, when I showed up, but it was killing me! Up til 2am so many nights I couldn't count them. I felt like I couldn't breathe, and half that crap had nothing to do with the career I was hoping to get to eventually. It was unreal. My bf is very smart with numbers, he can figure out equations in his head like you wouldnt believe, but he HATES reading. HATES HATES HATES it and always has. I wouldnt be surprised if he is ADHD or Dyslexic actually. But my point is, he did not do well on written exams at all, almost failed himself out of high school and went for the technical diploma (trades) instead of the academic ones (I got the advanced matriculation diploma, but I can't do math in my head like he does lol). So should he feel bad about himself for not going to college and torturing himself into a degree? Or should he be at peace with the fact that college was not for him and he has managed to go over 20 years since HS being gainfully employed all but 4 months of that time? Maybe he should be at peace with the fact that he can go out on a dangerous gas well site and be in control of everything that is happening, and have everyone on the site's lives in his hands and he does the job well and safely? You know, so people can have heat for their homes. Even those who went to college to become doctors and lawyers. They couldnt have that without some low end jobbers at the helm.

People fill niches and there are a LOT in the working world. The snooty people that look down their noses at others seem to forget that even their highly expensive clothing and furniture had to be delivered by  truck, so even the 'dumb truck driver' helped them get to where they are in their lives. They can entertain their friends in their lovely home, but everything in it had the hands of countless 'low end job' people. How can they not see this? It makes me crazy sometimes.  There are jobs for people of all ability levels, and sometimes it's just because they like the job! Or maybe they have the skill but they don't fancy going to school for 10 years and are satisfied with something else. What right do others have to judge that?

I had higher aspirations for myself, and sometimes I still do. I think about how my paternal grandmother did not go to college until her youngest was in school. She got her Registered Nurse diploma just after age 40 and she worked in that field for 25 years until retirement. Twenty-five years as an RN and she didn't even start until she was 40. Sounds good to me. Why do we all have to know what we want to be when we grow up, by age 18? You would not believe the pressure my 15 year old has been under to pick the HS classes he would need for his chosen career. I was angry with his guidance counsellor because I saw some elective courses my son might find interesting - Emergency Medicine and Forensics (they didnt have classes like that when I was in school!!) - but the counsellor advised him NO, because it would be a waste and interfere with the classes he should take to become a librarian (my son's current goal). Are you freaking kidding me? Why can't he deviate a tiny bit and try something else too? Maybe he will hate it, or maybe he will like it. He won't know unless he tries! I thought we were supposed to be helping our kids experience a whole bunch of different things so that they could have a better time figuring out where they 'fit'? Apparently not anymore! He's 15 and has only been a newspaper carrier - how is he supposed to know what he wants when he is 20, 30, 40, 50? The whole session was 'well, he will need this to get into that college program, and this and this and this'. I said 'Or he could always take upgrading for a year like half my friends did, to polish up on the classes, or take any he missed and needed'. The counsellor looked at me like I was insane. My son was only 14 at the time of this meeting, I should point out. All I needed when I was in highschool was to make sure that I had a top level course in the core subjects, and 100 credits. Then I picked some elective classes like gym and Sociology/Psychology, and Art. My son's final 3 years of highschool are filled completely with brainiac classes. I can only hope he won't implode. He is scary smart, but even scary smart can crumble under the strain.

And what if he doesnt want to go to college at all for awhile? I would support that, but his teachers have a fit. What's it to them? Maybe he wants to serve them their precious coffee each morning and make sure the orders are done right, and take pride in doing the job properly. That's few and far between seen these days! So who cares what he wants to do as long as he wants to do SOMETHING?


  1. Hey, another great rant! I remember my daughter coming home in tears because she was moonlighting serving at some fancy doctors meeting. One of the doctors basically chewed her out because she had come into the room and 'interrupted them' by offering hors d'oeuvres on a tray. I really wondered if these fancy doctors had equally atrocious bedside manners.

  2. alot of those people serving coffee etc are college grads.

  3. "listened to some friends and aquaintances rant about how everyone should try to go to college and get a degree"

    Yeah, that makes sense.

    Better themselves how? By getting a job where a college degree is needed? There is not enough of those jobs around. So... degree .. no job? Hmm, the ones with a good work ethic and determination will go work at Burger King but will now be saddled with thousands in student loan debt - nice.

    The ones without determination and work ethic will sit at home or... "occupy" a city street & bitch about how hard done by they are.

    Or maybe your aquaintences meant those people should better themselves by taking classes for learning for it's own sake.

    Aaaahhh how wonderful! To sit on the grass on a beautiful college campus with autumn leaves falling gently, sipping cappucinno & discussing poetry or philosophy! (Siiiggghhh)

    If you want to learn something for the sake of learning it - GREAT! That's what Google and public libraries are for.

  4. Also as a blue collar worker I have heard many times (often in newspapers) the following quote: "Well if wanted to:(insert simple, boring task here), I might as well have become a plumber".

    The inference is from statement like this is that blue collar jobs are somehow mentally challenging than those that demand a university piece of paper.

    OK doc (or newspaper editor)! You just jump right in that backhoe & dig your own sewer line trench! I'll go for lunch & you let me know how it works our for you in a couple of days!

  5. Good post. The way I see it, there are 2 types of people: People who "get off on looking down on other people" and people who don't. At the moment, it seems that the left-wing form most of the first group. Ironically, they denounce old-style religion for the way it excludes people and looks down on people (and on that point I agree with them) but then they look down on and condemn other people, kind of like a new form of religion.

    The idea of "higher education for all" and "high-level jobs for all" is a myth in my opinion, and a kind of pyramid scheme that will eventually fail, with the people who think themselves better (in better jobs and with better education) fighting it to the bitter end without any care for who gets hurt in the process.

    Sorry if that rant was over-the-top, but it's what I feel and what I fear.

  6. John, after coming home to a nice hot water tank pipe bursting for hours while we were at work, I truly appreciate plumbers lol. Actually, my bf dabbles in the art of mechanical and technical work and runs hot oiler trucks and pump trucks at work so he got it sorted out asap. A plumber checked the work and said it was perfect. I'd like to see Mr Lawyer hacking away at a pipe after remembering to turn off all the water, and getting out a canister of propane and locating his torch tips to do whatever-it's-called to the new pipe and gluey stuff (as you can see, I have no idea what the stuff is called but I watched it being fixed lol). People that can do that work are just as interesting to me as people who can go inside a body and fix a heart valve. Heck I'm still amazed by the people that figured out how to make phonographs and cassette tapes and telephones, let alone any thing else out there lol.

  7. And about work ethic, etc - I was raised to do the best I could so even when I worked at KFC as a teen, I tried my best to do things right and do my job. I worked there for 2.5 year and hated almost every minute of it (who wants to go to a school dance after work while REEKING of kentucky fried chicken lol), but I did the work and did my shifts and only did not show up for one shift in that entire time - my last 3 hour shift, cos I was ticked off at my boss and after she was rude to me and wrote garbage on my raise request, I decided to act like all the other little turds she had hired over the years and show her that i was NOT like that. Apparently she was really shocked that I had done that, but I had handed in my 2 weeks notice and worked every one of those shifts aside from the last one. I spent over 2 years being responsible and caring about the customers so that they were eating properly prepared safe food, unlike teens I knew in other places! my god, you don't wanna know lol, and then my boss treated me like I was the same as the rest and I had had enough.

    I carry 3 glowing letters of reference from the three grocery stores I worked at, and my current boss made me sign a blood oath (seriously LMAO), that I would not move away again and leave her in the dirt cos she does not understand computers and cannot do half of her paperwork anymore.... but I am somehow supposed to think that those jobs were/are crappy and a waste of time. Very interesting.

    Who exactly would we want looking after our children when we go to these colleges and universities? Full child development diploma graduates? Cos guess what - that's going to cost BIG BUCKS for parents to pay if all of the staff are the high rankers. Who the hell will be able to afford all that? It's just annoying and aggravating! If I finish my courses, my boss will suddenly have to find an extra $500 a month or more to pay me, which would mean every parent taking a fee increase - slight or not, it's an increase, and then if the other two girls were to finish their's as well, that would be over $1500 a month extra in wages for my boss to pay out. Whoa. That would be a $70/ month increase to each parent at the center - over $800 extra paid per year, and that's just at my center. Bigger cities pay more and therefore parents would have an even larger increase. Just to ensure that everyone there was fully college educated with a diploma. Even the richer parents would have trouble paying sometimes, and the more children they had the worse it would be, so would their college educated jobs help them in the end or hinder them? Around and around we go.

    Every job is important. Every single one.

    Except, might I toss in there - MANY political-based jobs!!!

  8. Oops I forgot to add that the $500 a month increase in my pay if I get the certificate/diploma is the minimum amount I would expect, and that would end up taking about 4 years to pay off what it originally cost me to do the courses in the first place! No thanks!



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