Let’s face it, very few of us have a job that we love. Very few of us truly enjoy what we do and go to work every day thinking this is exactly what I’d spend my time doing even if I didn’t get paid. Most of us would rather be doing something else that’s for sure. But, life doesn’t work that way. We have bills to pay and mouths to feed. So having a job is a fact of life for the vast majority of us.
But, we do have some choice in what kind of job we take. Some are in the carpeted corporate office world. Some are in the dirt and fields. And, some are actually work from home in the jammies, or so the internet would have us believe.
Many people are super proud of what the do. And, rightfully so. Pride in what you do for a living can take many different forms. There are people who protect us, like those in law enforcement and the military. Those who dedicate themselves to helping others, like those who volunteer for charities. There are also people who create things – objects, widgets, services – which make our lives easier or in the least more enjoyable. There are people who serve us food at diners, fast-food joints and gourmet restaurants. There are people who deliver our mail, collect our garbage, mow our lawns and pick our food from the field.
There are a bazillion kind of jobs that people can do. A ton of different things that we want and many that we absolutely need to survive as a society. And, in all of these jobs there are people who love what they do.
But, there are also jobs that many would be totally embarrassed to do. The kinds of jobs that if you went back to your 20 year high school reunion you’d never admit to doing, or more than likely avoid the reunion altogether just to not have to discuss it.
The other day my kids pointed out just such a job.
We were driving somewhere and while at a stoplight saw something that you see in many cities around the us. I call this something, the Dude On A Corner Dressed In Some Weird Outfit Spinning Some Sign guy (it’s usually a guy for some reason…I don’t know why but it usually is).
You know this guy. He’s the one holding some sign advertising a new apartment complex. He’s the one dressed up as a sandwich spinning some Subway sign shaped like an arrow. He’s the one, in the days after the new year, who’s dressed up like the Statue of Liberty dancing with a sign saying “Get $50 Now” or “Get Your Taxes Done Now!” BTW, what the hell does the Statue of Liberty have to do with paying taxes anyway? I guess it’s easier than dancing with a sign in a costume that represents the massive bureaucracy and bloat of the US government.
When we saw the guy dressed as Lady Liberty, one of my kids said, “there’s no way in hell I’d do that. That would be so embarrassing if someone I knew saw me.”
Now normally, I would have just turned up the radio and listened to some song so I could tune them out. And, also piss them off while I listened to my music. But, then it hit me.
This was a perfect teaching moment.
You see, while I wonder what kind of music that dancing dude is listening to, I actually kinda admire that poor guy dressed as a faded teal lady holding some lamp and wearing a toga-like outfit.
Yes, admire. I’m sure that guy would rather not be standing on a street corner breathing in the noxious fumes of all the grocery-getters sitting at the stoplight while he stands in the rain trying to get people to realize, “hey I should use those people that showed up in that dilapidated shop 2 weeks ago and will be gone come April 16th to do my taxes.”
No, I’m sure he’d rather be getting paid more than a minimum wage (at best) to stand there. He’d rather be making 6-plus figures a year. He’d rather be warm in some cozy office. With a desk. And, an assistant. He’d rather not be seen by people he knows while dancing in a toga on 1st and Main.
But, guess what? He’s trying.
He’s trying to make some money. He’s trying to feed himself. He’s trying to feed his family. He’s trying to pay his bills.
He may be embarrassed from time to time. But, he’s trying to move on to something bigger and better. He doesn’t want to do this until he’s 50+ years old. Whether he realizes it or not he has ambitions. He’s hoping to move to something better.
You know what he’s not?
He’s not the guy sitting on his sofa all day watching TV. He’s not the guy who hangs at the liquor store drinking beer all day. He’s not the guy begging for change so he can buy more drugs.
He’s not the guy with way more kids than he can afford and living off the government payments for every kid he has while his kids starve for food and his attention. He’s not the guy who is just hanging out wasting his life and my tax money…your tax money.
He’s not the guy who is holding out for something better. Holding out for something that’s not “beneath him”. Holding out and willing to drop out of the productive workforce.
He’s not that guy.
You know what he has? He has pride. His pride says that he should be doing everything and anything he can to support himself and his family. He’s the guy who is willing to stand on a corner spinning a sign, and incidentally getting a pretty good work out while dancing. He knows the value of a hard days work…any work.
There are many things wrong with this country. So many that it would take me a lifetime to discuss. But one of the main things wrong with our society is people have given up on having pride. We have record amounts of people who’ve given up looking for work because too many jobs are beneath them. Oh, and it’s just so damn easy to take the government handouts. We have record numbers of people who have gone on Food Stamps to help feed themselves (buy beer). And, what’s worse is the government says you should give up your pride and take the food stamps. You know why they do this don’t you? It’s because government grows…it always grows and this helps create more government jobs. Oh, and there’s also the issue of when you get a society to depend on you for food and handouts you own them. You’ve effectively enslaved them. Permanent voter base baby.
But, I digress. Back to Sign Spinner Dude. He should not be embarrassed. We should not be embarrassed for him.
That said..other dude/dudet living off those of us who work hard every day doing what little you do, you piss me off.
And, you other dude, should be embarrassed.