As a now “white collar” worker (web developer) that used to be a “blue collar” worker (tool & die maker) this really kinda makes me mad.
When I first started working in an “office” back in 2001 I generally felt I worked with a bunch of spoon fed cry babies. Getting to sit down, type on a keyboard and fresh out of college make more than (or as much as) most veteran die makers. Know this: to be a die maker most (I) had to undergo 8,800ish hours of on-the-job training as well as night classes at the local college fulfilling enough credits for an Associates Degree. After (and during) that time, I worked 10 to 12 hour days standing on my feet, being in control or in charge of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of machinery and steel. Tight deadlines? Try working 7 days a week at 70 to 80 hours per week for a month and a half - and then at “crunch time” put in a few 20 hour days.
Time off? Usually, shops will give you one week after your first year, and sometimes won’t extend that time off until after you work a few more. Breaks? When I was working 10 hour days (6am - 4:30pm) we had one 15 minute break at 9:30am and then a 30 minute lunch at noon. That’s 45 minutes for the entire 10 ½ hours you were at work. Quite a bit different from the “white collar” one hour lunch and semi-frequent “smoke/coffee breaks” during an 8 hour day (ok, 9 due to lunch).
No wonder I had a hernia at 22 and fun basically meant going out to the bar and drinking.
There was no time for the occasional chit-chat between coworkers let alone spending hours a week playing games, on the clock. 25% of workers? Meanwhile, manufacturing jobs continually go overseas to save companies money? Crazy.
Now, do I want to go back to that? Hell No! But, come on people, realize the cushy-ness of your jobs and don’t take them for granted or think they’re something special. Or that you’re someone special that deserves special treatment. I’ve never worked in an environment where the workers had so much “fun stuff” to do: foosball tables, video games, TV, coffee bars, etc.
Ok, I got a bit off focus (I’m no writer and I’m passionate about the subject) but basically I’m just tired of hearing “white collar” workers complain about their cushy jobs and feel they need to waste time while the “blue collar” workers out there are seeing their jobs move overseas to save money.