October 31, 2016

The NYT discovers guys who don't want to work in an office — they start out in offices, of course...

... but then they realize that's not how they want to live and go out and do something like landscaping  or stone masonry.
While he finds great satisfaction in the job, Mr. Kelley is aware of the assumptions of those who believe that making a living with one’s hands is not as prestigious as office work. On a summer afternoon last year, Mr. Kelley had an encounter with a woman who complimented him on a job. After they had spoken for a moment, she said, as he recalled it: "'You are really articulate for a laborer'.... I had to explain to her that just because I have a broom in my hand right now doesn’t mean I didn’t go to college. The assumption there is that you didn’t have opportunity at some point so you are stuck in a blue-collar situation, that you aren’t smart enough."

Mr. Schickel, the landscaper, knows that conversation, that look. But he said it stopped bothering him. “If I cared what everyone else thinks, I would still be at a blue-chip company and feeling unfulfilled,” he said...

“There are hard days when you are working labor and you hate it,” he said. “There is no way around it, and anyone who has ever worked labor will tell you that. But sometimes it’s nice to come home and your body is aching. You take a shower. You eat food as quickly as you can and you pass out. You wake up sore, and it’s nice. It really is. You will be working on a crisp fall day, and the leaves are changing, and you are outside and working hard, and then it’s lunchtime, and you grab your lunch and are lying in the grass, looking at the trees, and it’s a beautiful day and you think, ‘It’s worth it.’”
Even as men may need to wake up and see that they don't belong in an office, women ought to wake up and see the desirability of the men — not all of them, but some of them — who don't want to live like that. 

87 comments:

damikesc said...

Women seem obsessed with status over anything else. Men want beauty and women want status. Men seem far more willing to negotiate on that then women are, IMO.

Bob R said...

You could make a movie about it. Call it Office Space.

Snark said...

My father is a college grad who taught high school geography for 18 months before he said "screw this!" and worked as a labourer at a veneer plant for the next 30 years. It happens.

Rocketeer said...

Even as men may need to wake up and see that they don't belong in an office, women ought to wake up and see the desirability of the men — not all of them, but some of them — who don't want to live like that.

There are plenty of women who see the desirability of men like that. It's just that they're foreign to the NYT, and the NYT hasn't discovered them up until now either. I suspect they came close a few years back. Perhaps now they finally will.

TreeJoe said...

Written by a newspaper based in a microcosm-city whose population and income is dominantly derived from people working in cramped spaces indoors/undergrounds and whose subsistence relies upon those who live far away supplying the city, or who struggle to afford to live in the same city but who perform the work of laborers.

I find the NYT obnoxious but enjoy reading their articles. However, they often have these "We just discovered the rest of the world" articles - and this type of writing/research just grinds my gears.

MayBee said...

I've heard ads for Truck Drivers lately, with pay of $80,000/year. I hear there's a shortage.
Seems like a good way to earn a good living without racking up a whole bunch of debt at college.

damikesc said...

Most women I've known in my life would prefer, at least physically, a guy who works with his hand. They might prefer a white collar guy financially, but deep down, most women want masculine men. No amount of social engineering can alter that.

Rocketeer said...

I find the NYT obnoxious but enjoy reading their articles. However, they often have these "We just discovered the rest of the world" articles - and this type of writing/research just grinds my gears.

I find even these articles enjoyable if I pretend I'm reading The Onion.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

YouTube: Girls Like Status

TreeJoe said...

P.s. I gave up the office life for the glamorous life of working from home and traveling to expensive spots to wine and dine people I barely know into favoring my company with business.

I DREAM of the day in which I will choose to abandon this work and instead pursue whatever the hell I want. However, since I came from an impoverished family, I will first work and save to invest in the next several generations of my family so that they may have more stability and options than I did growing up.

That to me is the embodiment of the american dream. Work towards making a better life for your family/others and along the way build something that you yourself love just for yourself.

traditionalguy said...

He speaks the truth. I did hard labor 12 hours a day in many indoor and outdoor venues in summer college days. After graduation I got my first 8:30AM to 5:30PM office job on the 30th floor of a Downtown office tower. I was really stuck.

I soon realized that I sorely missed being outside in the sun, especially in the winter months, when it was near dark by 5:30 and actually dark by 6:30 when you were home and changed. Lawyering was some better. The different Courthouses or a deposition locations were another stop every few days, and witness interviews and accident scenes were also trips.

Ann Althouse said...

"There are plenty of women who see the desirability of men like that. It's just that they're foreign to the NYT, and the NYT hasn't discovered them up until now either. I suspect they came close a few years back."

Well, they wrote an article about me, which is perhaps what you are referring to.

Ann Althouse said...

"Women seem obsessed with status over anything else."

At what stage of the time line of a relationship?

I feel sorry for women who use shallow standards and get hitched to someone who isn't going to interest them in the long run — in conversation, in sex, in shared values.

n.n said...

The NYT discovers diversity.

buwaya said...

"P.s. I gave up the office life for the glamorous life of working from home and traveling to expensive spots to wine and dine people I barely know into favoring my company with business."

I was a road warrior for several years. I know and supervise many more in that mode.
It can be a hard life. In our case expensive wining and dining aren't in the picture though.

Achilles said...

So many useless people in the world...

Yancey Ward said...

Like BobR, the very first thought I had was Office Space.

Snark, my uncle, now retired did the same thing- right out of school he taught for a year, then got a job at the phone company doing line work the rest of his career, and even found the time to build a cable company for his rural area.

I spent few Summers working with both my father and grandfather building and roofing buildings as a teenager, and until I graduated from college. I had the opportunity, if I had forced it, to work with my father building and selling houses, but instead did what I thought both my parents wanted- go to graduate school. I ended choosing a career where I at least got to use my hands, organic chemistry, but of course it isn't hard labor and it isn't outdoors, but I enjoyed it and it allowed me to retire early when my industry started cut out people my age.

My biggest regret is not just working with my father. By this time I would already be a general contractor of 20 years experience, and deeply in love with the work. Would probably be richer too.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Chicks dig those civil engineer guys who wear a white shirt, a necktie, and a construction helmet.

Bonus points for steel-toe boots!

bagoh20 said...

I can choose to work all day in air conditioning at my desk or out in the plant welding, grinding, running machines, sweating, and getting dirty. The very reason I'm typing this right now is that I'm at my desk taking a short break from the shop work, and I don't want to do desk work. Even though it's often important, it's boring and mostly unsatisfying. I would never stop the hands-on dirty work to comment here. No offense intended, but that stuff is fun. Just about the most satisfying feeling I ever get is being dirty, maybe bleeding, exhausted and heading home after a hard week of it.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

Sounds like many of these "laborers" in the story own the company which means they are actually small business owners. They have to sell their services, give estimates, and do all the paperwork from taxes to local permitting to keep their business running. They also usually make a fairly good living. You are not talking about $12 per hour menial laborers. Most are also not short on dates.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

There's a tree surgeon joke to be had, probably.

buwaya said...

BTW,

Road warrior is a very nasty job mode for married men.
Almost every one I know of has been divorced.

If you want to stay married, stay home.

Also, well paid manual workers seem to get hit with divorces very frequently, much more than office jockeys. Inside info.

dhagood said...

@maybee - it is possible to make pretty good money driving a truck, but it is much harder work than most people realize. if you drive legally (within the federal motor carrier safety regulations for drivers) you will work 70ish hours per work pretty much every work. driving 11 hours a day in an 80,000 lb vehicle is tiring and sitting that long in essentially one position is very hard on your body. you basically have no life except for what you see through the windshield, and you see your loved ones and your friends around 4 days per month. alcohol found in any truck, or alcohol on your breath, will get you fired instantly.

if you drive illegally, you will work more than 70ish hours per week, and if you are driving over your hours and a drunk kills himself by driving into the back of your trailer, you stand an excellent chance of being sued into oblivion if not incarcerated in prison.

it's a hard way to make a living and you'd better be able to take a joke, because the joke is almost always on you.

MadisonMan said...

My oldest, best friend, who was best man in my wedding, works construction.

His body is shot. Shoulders. Knees. Elbows. Wrists.

He would not be happy doing anything else, but there is a severe cost to the body over the long run, in his case. I'm not sure if this is universal.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

For the man who works in an office but who wants to feel like he's been beat up before heading home there's always CrossFit.

bagoh20 said...

Remember ladies: a man who is good at making things happen with his hands doesn't forget how when he gets home. He just needs a promising project.

Rick said...

MayBee said...
I've heard ads for Truck Drivers lately, with pay of $80,000/year. I hear there's a shortage.
Seems like a good way to earn a good living without racking up a whole bunch of debt at college.


This is a short-term profession now. Within a couple of decades most inter-city truck traffic will be driverless. It will take longer but within the lifetime of some people alive today virtually all vehicle movement will be driverless.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

"Also, well paid manual workers seem to get hit with divorces very frequently, much more than office jockeys. Inside info."

Not if they own the company. The reason they do so well is they can hide most of their income. Every construction/plumber/electrician I know lives in a McMansion but would qualify for food stamps. The wives all sign the returns so they are stuck when it comes to asking for child support. So most just stay married.

jimbino said...

The best thing is that a laborer can use his carpentry, plumbing, gardening, electrical and welding skills to increase the comfort and wealth of his family without paying income tax or FICA taxes. He'll stay home to labor and home-school any kids, and, if he has no outside earnings, he will qualify for free Obamacare.

Especially if he's divorced from a lawyer after 10 years of marriage, as Meade could manage, he could do well with the SS spousal benefits based on her SS earnings' record alone.

A better deal for a well-employed young woman would be to take in, at age 18, a harem of handy men, say a carpenter, plumber, electrician, cabinetmaker, and gardener, marrying each one in series for a term of 10 years only. Her four unmarried concubines would qualify for free Obamacare, and ALL FIVE of them will qualify for 100% of the spousal share of her Social Security and Medicare upon her retirement or death. And all their minor and college children will get a kiddy share of her SS benefits when she retires or dies.

Now that the country is being overtaken by Socialism, we need to establish a college major in Gaming the System. Either Hillary or Trump could teach the courses.

Amadeus 48 said...

All hail Althouse! Defying convention since who knows when! You are way ahead of the curve, m'am.

Rich said...

I am in the middle of a book right now called Shopwork as Soulcraft, by Matthew B. Crawford. All about this. Highly recommend.

Rich said...

Correction: It's called "Shop Class as Soulcraft"

Michael K said...

"Truck Drivers lately, with pay of $80,000/year. I hear there's a shortage. "

I suggested this to my daughter when she graduated college. There were jobs in Texas that paid that well. Lots of women truck drivers now. I have heard of couples, obviously without kids, who drive together.

I know a number of doctors who went into other fields. One ER doc in LA went into construction and was a contractor.

I have stepson who is a contractor building custom homes in Oregon. We visited in August and he showed us to projects he was working on. Both were huge projects. One a 7,000 sq ft home, the other a Bed and Breakfast for a computer engineer in Texas and her husband. Tow of his ons work for him and the third son works for his uncle in LA rebuilding old Porsches. We visited his shop two weeks agin and I got to see the only $25 million Porsche I'll ever see.

It is the original Porsche that raced in La Mans about 1950. They have completely restored it and it was in the Grand Concourse in Pebble Beach in August. Their clients are collectors. He showed us a $250,000 new Porsche that they took as a down payment on a restoration.

The shop is a great place with lots of metal working machines, some of which are 50 years old. They don't do anything with new Porsches.

JaimeRoberto said...

Maybe the NYT is beginning to recognize that condescension toward people who work with their hands is one of the things that opened the door to Trump's candidacy.

mockturtle said...

There have always been ambitious, status-seeking wives in history and fiction, from Jezebel in the Bible to Lady Macbeth to Hillary Clinton. But there are plenty of women who have more honorable values. A prudent man will know the difference.

mockturtle said...

My step-grandson, whose parents are both surgeons, is pursing a career in auto mechanics, specifically hydrogen engines. His parents are pleased, not aghast, at the prospect. They are both disillusioned with what has become of medical practice.

Big Mike said...

It's simple mathematics, really. The composition of college student bodies approaches 60% female to 40% male and consequently 1/3 of the college-educated women must either (1) marry a man who does not have a college degree, (2) go unmarried, or (3) enter into a same-sex marriage. Plus, a lot of us men like to build things, see them completed, know that we did that. Pushing papers doesn't cut it.

Clayton Hennesey said...

Men who work out of the office south of Wisconsin often wear shorts.

glenn said...

"You seem really articulate for a laborer"

Right after that comes the throat punch.

And Jaime Roberto said it far better than I ever could.

Todd said...

JaimeRoberto said...

Maybe the NYT is beginning to recognize that condescension toward people who work with their hands is one of the things that opened the door to Trump's candidacy.

10/31/16, 2:46 PM


LOL!

The NYT does not notice anything that doesn't happen at NY/DC cocktail parties or the AP wire service. They are as blind to "America" and "real American people" as the average North Koran.

Paul Snively said...

Mike Rowe, call your off... uh... nevermind.

Anthony said...

Actually, one of the CBS Sunday Morning guys did a little commentary on that several years ago and it stuck with me. He (probably Kuralt or Osgood) made the suggestion that one could go to college and still work with one's hands. He gave the example of a cabinet maker who'd gotten some degree or other for the personal fulfillment but still went the 'work with his hands' route because that's what he loved to do. Kind of the opposite of what many have been saying about only going to college if you absolutely need it for your job. I'm not so absolute in that regard, although I do believe college can be a waste of time and money.

mockturtle said...

The NYT does not notice anything that doesn't happen at NY/DC cocktail parties or the AP wire service. They are as blind to "America" and "real American people" as the average North Koran.

Or even the average North Korean. ;-)

Bill said...

just because I have a broom in my hand right now doesn’t mean I didn’t go to college.

By the same token, you can be an educated, articulate person without having been to college. I know a number of college graduates who can't properly construct a paragraph.

Larry J said...

It sometimes amuses me to hear the snobs when they look down on people who "work with their hands." Obviously, they don't know much about biology. The hands are controlled by the brain. When someone is doing skilled labor, they're using the knowledge they've gained from experience to accomplish a task or solve a problem. The mental processes for diagnosing an engine problem are pretty much the same as a doctor uses to diagnose an illness, just on a different domain. Funny, I don't hear them looking down on surgeons for "working with their hands."

buwaya said...

"He (probably Kuralt or Osgood) made the suggestion that one could go to college and still work with one's hands."

This is a very expensive way to get a good education in he liberal arts. The books are out there, and these days nearly all the really good ones are free. But this requires dedication and an introduction to that entire world.

This should be the job of K-12, but of course, high schools are dreadful, leaving a huge lot of otherwise intelligent kids effectively ignorant. The education bureaucracy doesn't want to hear it though.

TreeJoe said...

Buwaya,

I "travel" about 30-40 days a year, stay in hotels perhaps 15-20 days. The rest I'm home. I realize many road warriors travel far more but I've pushed hard not to exceed this for the very reason you name - family. Even my modest habits are hard on my particular family sometimes (i.e. I just got home last night from a 5 day conference)

buwaya said...

"Funny, I don't hear them looking down on surgeons for "working with their hands."

Its all about status, and status signals.

madAsHell said...

I see this has the relationship tag. I think Disney covered this well in "The Lady and the Tramp".

LCB said...

Mike Rowe Works Foundation: http://profoundlydisconnected.com/

buwaya said...

TreeJoe,

This family stress is so for most, and most do have it worse, as you say.

A common overseas industrial job in a remote location - three months onsite, three weeks off (home).

Spiros Pappas said...

Many, many of my neighbors are general contractors and plumbers and electricians and whatever. These guys aren't poor or stupid. And most of these "manual laborers" seem to be more financially secure than our neighbors who are doctors and lawyers. The professionals are up to their necks in debt and seem to be stressed out! Just is what it is I guess. I know I never will work in an office ever again and good riddance to that soul destroying experience.

Lost My Cookies said...

Why do the people they interview for these stories always sound So fake? They alway sound like they were written into the Gilmore Girls as an unsuitable live interest.

Simon Kenton said...

Mike Walton (Michael T. Walton) ran Walton Marine, the Mercury outboard dealer for the central Utah area. In his day, he was the source of most of the outboards used on western whitewater rivers, and he knew a prodigious amount about running them in whitewater and fixing them when you missed an on-the-fly (out-of-the-thalweg) depth estimate and sheared off a lower unit, or took a big hit and douched out the magneto, or tipped over and submerged it for days.

He was also a noted historian of science - especially the odd intellectual crannies that came as the Renaissance took hold and gradually squeezed out traditional learning (mostly from Aristotle, Aquinas, Augustine, and Paracelsus) as the source of information about the operation of the world. I didn't encounter a language he could not use. One might have expected Hebrew (he was an observant Jew) but Latin, Greek, and pretty much all the modern European languages including their premodern variants (cf Cervantes versus Carlos Fuentes). He ran his personal counter-cyclic economic program, in flush times saving up tasks and projects and money for his home and business against those times when recession hit, and he could hire people who desperately needed to be hired. A very good man.

I remember talking to a fellow boatman and mentioning some article he wrote (eg, "Genesis and Chemistry in the 16th Century," in Reading the Book of Nature: The Other Side of the Scientific Revolution, (which he edited). The reaction was, "What?! Ol' Mike? Mercury outboard Mike? You're shittin' me." It seemed so cool, not just that he was fabulously learned, but that he could so neatly separate it from his economic life. I almost wrote, "his real life," but I doubt very much that he would have determined one more real than the other.

The Vault Dweller said...

I think this article reflects a cultural change that needs to occur in America. There is kind of this platonic ideal too many Americans have of how to have a successful life. It looks like go to good grade school, be involved in extra curriculars, go to good high school, go to good college, then go to professional school or go into 'business' and work in an office doing some kind of vague office things.

Anything less is viewed as a failure to too many. Our culture in many ways looks down on people who are 'blue collar' or at the minimum views them as not ideal. This is bad because frankly we are probably over filled on college graduates. Not to say that a college degree is worthless even if you don't wind up using that particular field of study in your career, but it is expensive. And it seems like a poor investment to foist off on the American taxpayer, especially when the individual with the degree might have been better off starting their career rather than going to college.

Achilles said...

Blogger Todd said...

The NYT does not notice anything that doesn't happen at NY/DC cocktail parties or the AP wire service. They are as blind to "America" and "real American people" as the average North Kor[e]an.

It seems unlikely now, but if they manage to get Hillary elected we will have to show them what goes on out here.

Michael K said...

"I don't hear them looking down on surgeons for "working with their hands."

You obviously don't know many internists.

Most HMOs and medical corporations are run by internists, if by MDs and not Pepsi salesmen.

Many I have heard state their mission in life is to bring surgeons down to their income level.

It's a source of some amusement to me as I am retired and not in the game anymore but most of them have no idea what surgeons, who do work a lot with our hands, do.

Tomorrow, my former partner and I will drive about 70 miles to go to the 50th anniversary memorial of the Los Angeles Loop Fire.

The survivors, now men in their 70s, will be there and the LA County FD is making a big thing of it, I understand from my son who is a fireman.

We took care of them for 2 years in the burn ward of LA County Hospital. Each of us was involved for about 4 to 6 months with them.

John said...

WITC.Edu in New Richmond WI

Automated Packaging Machine Technician program. two year program, graduates start at $45m or so with no experience. That's if they work in a plant. If they start as a service technician, lots of traveling, $100m, no experience.

Most of the students have worked part-time or summer jobs during the program so have experience and get more.

I've worked with the school and am a huge fan. Will be having dinner with the director of the program next week.

Greater Chicago area a company has openings for 5-6 machine builders. $40m to start, can go to $80-90 in a couple years if they are good. +OT + Great benefits program. Owner of the company says he could double his business if he could hire people.

John Henry

John said...

There is also no reason why working with one's hands and going to college need be mutually exclusive.

I never had any plans to go to college, figured to spend my life as a mechanic. Then, in the Navy, got talked into enrolling to take SCUBA lessons as part of an oceanography course. (Navy paid the tuition and I wanted to learn to dive) Found my Navy schools got me about halfway to an AS degree and took some other course (including advanced SCUBA) to complete it. Worked about 60 hours a week in the Navy and went to school 4 hours a night 2 nights a week.

Got out of the Navy and the VA offered me a fantastic amount of money to keep studying. Finished my BA while building and running a travel agency. That went bust in 76 so I got a job as a maintenance supervisor/mechanic. While working 50-60 hrs a week, I drove 100 miles round trip 2 (occasionally 4) nights a week to get my MBA. VA Paid for it but the company would have if VA had not.

My daughter went to Chem Engineering school in the regular way as a full time student. Later, while working full time 40-50hrs+ she got her MS in Engineering Management. Her company paid for that.

So bullshit on not being able to work one's way through college. It was not easy and I am sure it has not gotten any easier since then. Anything worth doing is seldom easy.

Professionally? I worked my way up to manager of facility operations then found that I missed working with my hands. Bought a machinery sales company and designed, sold and serviced packaging machinery for 22 years. Sold that in 2007 and just been consulting since then. I spend a lot of time in plants fooling with machinery. I get to travel all over. I still love working with my hands and will keep doing it for the next 20 years if God gives me strength. 90 is the new 65.

John Henry

Rocketeer said...

Well, they wrote an article about me, which is perhaps what you are referring to.

Indeed it is.

dreams said...

NY Times, a bunch of liberal bubble babies.

tcrosse said...

A mainstay of the NYT, which I haven't read for years, used to be features about a couple of Ivy Leaguers who left their fancy jobs in New York to go make artisanal cheese, raise llamas, or open a B&B out in the wilds of darkest Connecticut. It made me wonder if an Ivy League degree was a prerequisite for making artisanal cheese.
My own grandfather was a machinist for the railroad, and a gentleman of culture without benefit of college. In those days skilled artisans were not to be despised, cheese or no cheese.

Michael K said...

will keep doing it for the next 20 years if God gives me strength. 90 is the new 65.

Yup. One nice thing about Medicine is I can work, maybe not doing surgery, but doing interesting things until I'm 90. I guy I worked with until this year graduated GRADUATED ! from Medical School in 1943. He was 88 and still working.

dreams said...

"I know a number of doctors who went into other fields. One ER doc in LA went into construction and was a contractor."

My Dr for the last 18 years left the profession just this year. I got a letter saying that it was with mixed feelings that he would no longer be providing medical care but he had got another opportunity that he was excited to pursue. I don't think he liked Obamacare and the computer medical records.

dreams said...

"My oldest, best friend, who was best man in my wedding, works construction.

His body is shot. Shoulders. Knees. Elbows. Wrists.

He would not be happy doing anything else, but there is a severe cost to the body over the long run, in his case. I'm not sure if this is universal."

Factory work can wreck havoc on the body too, it took a toll on my arthritic body but overall I feel like I got lucky and came along when good factory jobs were still available.

BN said...

"Fulfilling work" is the sort of oxymoron that gives understanding to the SJW term "a perspective of privilege."

MaxedOutMama said...

Very, very many women do see the desirability of men like this.

It's only in certain marooned islets of elitism that this attitude holds.

Bob Loblaw said...

My oldest, best friend, who was best man in my wedding, works construction.

His body is shot. Shoulders. Knees. Elbows. Wrists.


That's what I'm seeing. I'm at the age where my blue collar friends are having these sorts of problems. They can still work, but they're popping pills to manage the pain and keep the swelling down. Some of the welders are having trouble with their vision, too.

On the other hand, a desk jockey at one of our suppliers just dropped dead at age 46. Sitting on your ass all day is hard on your body too, just not in the same ways.

Mrs Whatsit said...

". . . the desirability of the men — not all of them, but some of them — who don't want to live like that."

What's the qualifier for? It's not as if "all" of the guys who work in offices are especially desirable. Sounds a little defensive!

chuck said...

Lots of women truck drivers now.

I knew one of the first back in the 80's. She had decided that she wanted to drive semis and left a position at one of the SUNY campuses to do so.

Paul Ciotti said...

I took a writing class many years ago taught by a former writer for The New Yorker. He said one day he went to see the renowned editor, William Shawn, to turn in a 30 page story. "It's a bit discouraging," he told Shawn as he tossed his manuscript on Shawn's desk. "I've been working on this for three months and all I have to show for it is a few pieces of paper. In the meantime," he said, pointing out the window at a nearby skyscraper nearing completion, those guys built a 30 story building."

He says he thought that Shawn would sympathize with him, offer some words of comfort, tell him that what he is doing is a work of the mind, something that will last for ages. Instead, he said, Shawn put his finger to his lips and said, "Shhh, don't tell the other writers."

William said...

When I was younger, I had some jobs that required unskilled physical labor. As I remember it, the weather wasn't always idyllic, and there's nothing more oppressive than heavy lifting when your body is still fatigued from the previous day's labor. I don't recommend furniture moving as a career to anyone over twenty five. Office work is a far, far better deal, but, of course, all work sucks. That's why they pay you to go there......In a recent New Yorker, there was an article about the restaurant critic for the Times. He has weight problems and is flirting with diabetes, iirc. Anyway, as described in the article, the job had its drawbacks......I suppose it's just about impossible for an outsider to break into the porn industry.

John said...

William said

Office work is a far, far better deal, but, of course, all work sucks. That's why they pay you to go there......I

Maybe you are doing it wrong. Or doing the wrong thing.

I think it was Zig Ziglar who said "Find something you love doing so much that you would do it for free. Then get so good at it that people will pay you to do it" Drucker said "The successful person doesn't know whether he is working or playing. He is always doing both."

Kind of what I lucked into a half dozen times in my life with factory work, machinery sales, teaching, changeover consulting, writing and the other stuff I do. 2 hitches in the Navy was not exactly fun but it gave me a Hell of a preparation for what has come since.

I was just kidding about retiring when I hit 90. I doubt I'll retire even then. I'll still be working as they lower my coffin into the crypt. Banging on the lid yelling "Hey, I had another idea." There is nothing in the world that I can think of that would be more enjoyable than what I do right now.

If I hit the lottery and won a couple million bucks, I suspect that I would keep right on doing what I do. Maybe be a bit choosier about the jobs I take on, maybe take a bit more time off, but I'd keep on working.

John Henry

mockturtle said...

I drive a lot. Most of the roads I drive are beautiful two-lane highways. The men [mostly] who build and maintain these roads are my heroes. The guy who fixed my air conditioner this past week is my hero. Plumbers are often heroes. [You couldn't pay me enough to crawl under houses]. Everyday important jobs that, thank God, people choose to do!

Although my late husband held a PhD in biochemistry and worked as a research scientist, I probably admired him more for his skill at auto mechanics and home repairs. He was very good at almost everything [except plumbing].

Michael K said...

" I don't think he liked Obamacare and the computer medical records."

You'll see more of that unless Obamacare is fixed/killed. Older docs who don't have student loans and their kids are educated.

An OB I used to know was seriously thinking of buying a MacDonald's franchise and quitting.

""Find something you love doing so much that you would do it for free."

My partner, who is riding with me to the memorial tomorrow, used to say "I hope they never find out I would do this for free."

I had to quit surgery at 55 after back surgery. Still working at something, though.



Rusty said...

I remember during he first gulf war welder-not even certified welders- were being paid $89,000 to start. Plus bonuses. Food housing and four weeks paid vacation. They'd even help you get your passport.
I was too old but a couple of young guys in my welding class signed up.

mockturtle said...

Rusty, I remember when Rubio said, "Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers," he got a big applause. Even if they don't make more money, they are more useful, IMO.

rcocean said...

Working outdoors is great - when the sun is shining. Working outdoors when its 40 degrees and raining is something else.

rcocean said...

The other problem with "working with your hands" is that when you get old, you're pretty much done. Its tough laying concrete or even mowing the lawn when you're 55.

But you add numbers and write words when you're 70 and in a wheelchair.

mockturtle said...

Of course, he should properly have said, 'fewer philosophers'. ;-)

rcocean said...

"it is possible to make pretty good money driving a truck, but it is much harder work than most people realize."

Yep, especially if you're a long-distance trucker. I had a relative who drove a tractor-trailer. driving 14 hours, 6 days a week. Slept in his cab. Made good $$, but on an hourly basis, he was making as much as a bank teller.

OTOH, he was out on his own. No boss. All he had to do was deliver the goods on time. And he saw the USA from one end to the other.

Bob Loblaw said...

Yep, especially if you're a long-distance trucker. I had a relative who drove a tractor-trailer. driving 14 hours, 6 days a week. Slept in his cab. Made good $$, but on an hourly basis, he was making as much as a bank teller.

Ugh. What kind of life is that?

Fen said...

"You seem really articulate for a laborer"

"Have you known many laborers, milord?" - Arya Stark

Fen said...

Of course, he should properly have said, 'fewer philosophers'. ;-)

I was doing some research awhile back, came into a website full of Occupy types.

Everyone there considered themselves to be "thought leaders", which is likely why their camps smelled of shit and stale piss all week.

Odd how the People of the Workers Party always get sold off to the glue factory like Boxer in Animal Farm, while the "thought leaders" like Bernie Sanders have 3 houses.

Mac McConnell said...

"Working outdoors is great - when the sun is shining. Working outdoors when its 40 degrees and raining is something else."

On those cold rainy days you go quail hunting.

Rich Vail said...

I have a ph.d. in History...I used to go to furniture stores and wish I knew how to build that kind of stuff...20 years later, I'm a master cabinet maker building furniture grade cabinetry & millwork. While I loved teaching I wouldn't NB trade what I am doing now for anything in the world.

At the end of the day I can say I built that.... And know it will be used for decades...

Anonymous said...

I'm a stay-at-home mom to three young children. I haven't worked outside the home for almost six years. But before this life I graduated from Princeton undergrad and Northwestern Law, and did a clerkship on the 7th Circuit. There are a few times I've gotten the "look," or the conversational passover from those who probably assume I'm boring or unintelligent because of what I do. But I just remind myself: who cares? First of all, it's a good lesson in humility for me. My background isn't important to what I do now and doesn't make me better than anyone I meet. And second -- it's fun when people find out. (Yes I realize there's a tension there.) There is so much life and satisfaction outside of the prestige treadmill so many of us are (or were) running on. Glad these guys stepped off of it.
-- Jessica