Thursday, July 31, 2008

What We Expect From Jobs

I received a comment on an old post recently, and it got me thinking. The post reads.

Seems to me if a job can be done by a mindless machine then that job isn't one that anyone would really want. Sure, people will say they want that mindless labor because they want the paycheck, but they'll be entirely unfulfilled and will resort to liquor, drugs, violence, and TV. Go read Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line.

You know, this comment itself kind of makes me giggle. We have exported our jobs to Asia. The jobs that are left are straw jobs, made up jobs like website designers and service workers and mortgage brokers. Actually working to make something is now considered "Unfulfilling".

Think about it folks. This is the same mindset that makes you a "consumer". So many people are caught up in the arrogance of their jobs that they think that what they do to earn their daily bread is really important to who they are.

Our economy is in a shambles. We import everything from everywhere. Our manufacturing is gutted. We export sleazy and dishonest financial products, our hard earned knowledge and expertise, and dollar bills that are rapidly becoming worth less (note: this is worth less, not worthless). So I think that folks had better climb down off of their high horse and stop thinking somehow work is beneath them. Because that is really what you are talking about when you say are saying the work is below your high station.

People better get over that shit. I have a sneaking hunch that having a job will be a great thing. Just having a job will be "fulfilling".

6 comments: said...

The next big war the USA won't even be able to supply its troops with enough combat boots. We are becoming a nation of paper shufflers, producing nothing. A very bad situation.

Bustednuckles said...

I get a kick out of people who sneer at my dirty fingernails, hey, I'm a mechanic, it's honest dirt.

I don't think I will ever have to worry about finding something to do, even if TSHTF. Somebody will always have something that needs to be fixed, even if it is a wagon wheel bearing or a bicycle..

Mayberry said...

Right on Knuckles! Heh heh heh. I had one of those crappy jobs before. I was a control room operator in a power plant. The only tangible evidence of my work was some numbers on a meter on the wall. That and the lights were on..... But then I started building boats. What a feeling! That boat came to be, because my hands were laid upon the materials that it was made of. My mind figured out how everything would come together. Building, restoring, or fixing something gives one a gratification unmatchable by any "paper" job....

Staying Alive said...

Shuffling papers does not get it. I grant you it can make money. But it does not provide the satisfaction of building something that will last a long time. It does not give you the happiness that fixing something does. But if you have a brain you will always get pushed to the desk. And life goes on.


mockum said...

Ha! Re-read my comment. I said jobs that can be performed by *mindless* machines like an assembly line job inserting bolt #953 into hole 28A. And if not done at the rate of 45 an hour, a mark will go into the permanent record. Is that really the type of work you want to do day after day year after year?

A machine can't do the mechanic work bustednuckles is talking about. Who's sneering at him? I'm certainly not.

What's wrong with being a web designer? That's a very creative and satisfying job and requires numerous skills.

Some people like shuffling papers. They're called accountants. Why are you dis'ing them and the work they like to do?

mockum said...

I skimmed your post again and I get it now. It's about class. Web developers and paper pushers are white-collar which is *bad*. Assembly line workers and mechanics are blue-collar which is *good*. In the past, I've done custodial work and various other blue-collar jobs and have seen that attitude before.

If that's the case here, I won't giggle. It just make me sad. Because, like you said, a job doesn't make you who you are. A job is just an activity to earn money. Hopefully that job doesn't suck so much energy that one just sits on the couch for the rest of the day. To me, a repetitive job that a robot can do will do just that.