Sep 12, 2014

Thought for the day

With a nod to DaddyBear and his movie quotes of the day, here's my literature quote for the day:
“Good God, Kellogg!—haven’t you understood? I’d give you any job you name!”“All right. Track walker.”“What?”“Section hand. Engine wiper.” He smiled at the look on her face.“No? You see, I said you wouldn’t.”“Do you mean that you’d take a day laborer’s job?”“Any time you offered it.”“But nothing better?”“That’s right, nothing better.”“Don’t you understand that I have too many men who’re able to do those jobs, but nothing better?”“I understand it, Miss Taggart. Do you?”“What I need is your—”“—mind, Miss Taggart? My mind is not on the market any longer.”
-- "Atlas Shrugged", Ayn Rand
I've been working "white collar" jobs for most of my life. Tech support. More tech support. Dispatch. More dispatch. Dispatch and tech support at one time. "Mind" jobs. I enjoy most of the challenges that entails, most of the time.

But you know something? Perhaps the highest compliment I've ever been paid was from a friend, who made an off-hand remark one day:

"You just present this blue-collar can-do attitude."

"Blue collar" work is honorable work. It's not always - not even often - glamorous. But it's good work. It's good to be able to do that work. It may be dirty. Hot. Cold. Wet. Dangerous. But it's the work that makes the world go 'round.

Business makes the world go 'round, you say? International trading? Commodities?
Who laid the sub-ocean cables that allow instantaneous communications between continents?
Who built the launch pads that put Ariane, Titan, and N1 rockets and communications satellites into orbit?
Who welds the pipelines that move crude oil from wellhead to seaport?
Who rivets the hulls that move that oil from seaport to refinery?
Who paved the roads that trucks use to move gas and diesel from refinery to service station?
Who maintains those trucks?

See my point?

My "day job" makes a difference in lives... but it's a little silly to point to a radio console and say, "I pushed that button right." There's a different kind of pride in saying, "I built that barn."

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