Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Unclogging White Collar Snobbery (or Flush the Elitists)

Believe it or not, summer is only a few months away from us.

For those of us already slaving away at a job, nothing really changes with the coming of summer. But for this year’s crop of high-school graduates, everything changes.

They have to make a choice: Go to work or go to college.

I heard on the radio the other day where there is some school district telling soon-to-be graduates that if they don't go to college they'll have to settle for blue-collar work.

Settle for blue-collar work?

While I'm sure that most teachers and counselors dream of having their graduates go to college and become accountants, stockbrokers, doctors, lawyers and astronauts, there is not a thing wrong with our young graduates looking to the blue collar professions. My dad used to tell my brother and me that "if it's honest work, it's honorable work."

I still believe that.

I also believe that most white collar professions are vastly overrated and that the people in them epitomize the old saying that goes, "There are a lot of people educated way beyond their intelligence level." Translated, that means you may have a PhD from Harvard, but you have the common sense of a dead gopher.

America would be in a world of hurt without our blue-collar workforce. Who are you going to call when your air-conditioning goes out in the middle of July--your stockbroker? Try calling your old botany professor sometime when your car starts making funny noises and belching smoke from somewhere under the hood.

Imagine if your toilet got clogged up and the only people you could call were white collar professionals. Call your accountant and he's likely to tell you to just go buy a new one, but be sure and keep the receipt so he can find a way to deduct it on next year's taxes.

Call your stockbroker and tell him that your toilet is clogged up and he'll ask you what brand it is, then put you on hold while he sells off all his stock holdings in that particular brand of toilet.

A doctor? First thing he'll want to know is if your toilet is on his list of approved insurance plans. If it is, he'll probably recommend an angioplasty and some prescription-strength Liquid Plumber. If it's not, he'll refer you to a doctor that works at the county hospital who handles indigent toilets.

And then there is always the chance that Obamacare may try to disqualify your toilet for a pre-existing clog.

A lawyer will want depositions from everyone who used the toilet in the past 24 hours so he can decide if they should join together in a class-action suit to sue the toilet manufacturer. Even worse, the lawyer might try to sue you for any accidents that occurred in your household as a result of everyone sitting around grimacing with their legs crossed while you tried to find someone to unclog your toilet.

And what would an astronaut care about a clogged up toilet? After all, when they're in outer space, they just go in their spacesuits.

What America needs is more vocational schools and programs that teach people how to work with both their hands and their brains at the same time. And what our school districts need to be doing is encouraging students to explore all the opportunities that are out there rather than just the college route.

To all the blue-collar workers out there, keep holding your heads up with pride. Go and find young people with aptitude, skill and attitude and teach them your trade by taking them under your wing or giving them an apprenticeship. Blue collar professionals built this nation and continue to ensure that it keeps on running. We should all be thankful and grateful for that.

It’s my opinion that America needs more plumbers and less lawyers. And as soon as we get enough plumbers on board, I say we flush all the excess lawyers down the proverbial white collar toilet.

That ought to clog it up but good.

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