Rich People Telling Us What Rich People Are Telling Us.

I recently read this article. If you know my blog at all you know that if I start a blog this way I’m going to rant.

Read the article and tell me if I’m full of crap but it angers me on so many levels.

Permission to rant?

Because I can!

Because I can!

The article talks about the philosophy of “Do what you love. Love what you do.” And basically explains how its classist and ruining our worlds job market.

Let me lay down my credentials. I am a privileged North-American, white, male. I do come from a lower financial class than most. I was raised by a single mother who worked as a social worker for 2 years but couldn’t find a job afterwards. She mostly volunteered through the Ontario Work-fare program. I understand what it means to be poor in North-America.

My major gripe with this article is the consistent use of phrases like this: “Work becomes divided into two opposing classes: that which is lovable (creative, intellectual, socially prestigious) and that which is not (repetitive, unintellectual, undistinguished).”

Or this: “what do we believe about the inner lives and hopes of those who clean hotel rooms and stock shelves at big-box stores? The answer is: nothing.”

Let me be completely clear how egotistical and overly biased the previous two statements are. I’m shaking in anger at the assumption that people who clean hotel rooms, or stock shelves can’t like their jobs, let alone love them.

In essence my take in this is that the author thinks blue collared workers can’t love what they do because it’s icky so we should stop telling people to do what they love because obviously everyone wants to be a silicon valley CEO and a Graphic Artist.

My little brother is an Apprentice Electrician and he loves what he’s doing but according to this article he shouldn’t. My older brother is a Croupier for a casino. Both are great at what they do because they have a passion for it.

This author seems to think that telling our kids to “Do what you love, Love what you do” has, “has seen the rise of the adjunct professor and the unpaid intern: people persuaded to work for cheap or free, or even for a net loss of wealth.”

As a man who grew up in a poor household with a mother who needed to swallow her pride and get a food box for Christmas, I have a few choice words for the author of this essay.

I believe the person has completely missed the point of this saying. It’s meant to give everyone hope that there is something for us out there and that we need to learn to love what we’re doing or we’ll go insane doing it.

Instead of focusing on the negative stereotype that blue collar work is undesirable, the author should be using their platform to preach how desirable they can be.

What we need to concentrate on his increasing the pay, benefits, and respect that waitresses, mechanics, plumbers, housecleaners, etc. That would make these jobs financially viable and those who want to do them will be able to.

I don’t care what you do, all jobs feel like work sometimes. The trick is to find what you’re good at and what you love and go for it. Even if people like this author don’t think those careers are worthy.

You also have to find joy in the work you do, even if it sometimes sucks.

Life is a lot easier if you love what you do.

Taking away the dream of finding your love and passion in work is wrong. So I say, go out there and “Do what you love. Love what you do.” But don’t be a giant ass and make other peoples jobs sound like they are unworthy.

3 Responses to Rich People Telling Us What Rich People Are Telling Us.

  1. I have to agree. I know plenty of people in the service industry who LOVE it because: they love interacting with people. Serving people plates of food makes them happy. Flexible hours allow them to live life on their terms.
    And I agree, we need to raise the pay of these jobs so that people who love them can work in them and make a living.

  2. Jen says:

    Thank you! I was beginning to feel really horrible when I read the article. I love your take on the DWYL.

  3. You know, I’d never really looked at it the way you pointed out here, despite the fact that I, too, grew up quite poor, the child of a single working mother (in a factory job) with four kids. I tend to take the side of the phrasing being classist because, yes, people can’t always afford to do what they love.

    But you’re definitely write in that it’s classist in a whole other, possibly more insidious, way in that it assumes that trade, service and other blue collar work cannot *possibly* be something that people love.

    Thanks for the discussion!

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