Silly Grins

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Unskilled Labor as Humiliation

Thought: Despite good intentions, people can be incredibly bright in some ways, while horribly naïve in others. 

You'd think bright folks were already aware of the myth of unskilled labor.

Anyone who has put in a hard day’s work for an extended period of time truly understands that there is no such thing as unskilled labor. Those who’ve never tried might think that it is so. The kind of quote above makes a person wonder where this dismissive attitude toward labor comes from.

Now, people may define ‘unskilled’ as something that takes no formal training to do. Or at least, a number of people may imagine that some kinds of labor require no training.

Patience, pace, and perseverance are only a few of the qualities a person has to be prepared to internalize. 

(I really enjoyed reading the comments)
Some folks may have never tried pushing a broom for days on end, eight to ten hours a stretch (or longer), to the point where they’ve got callouses. Or, if you think you’re up for it, grab a shovel and start digging. Are you sure you could do it without tearing yourself apart? People who think that there is some kind of labor that does not take any skill, may be mistaken; I know I have been.

Personally, if there were any time that I felt humiliation, it would be paying five to ten times the amount for a job I can clearly do myself. Either that or failing to understand what it takes to simply get it done.



  1. My first job was working in a factory. Unskilled labour but some people still managed to make a dog's breakfast of it. Though some management positions could be classed as unskilled - you can screw up completely and still get ahead.

    1. 'To make a dog's breakfast of it'... I can't wait to try out that new phrase (new to me). Some real bright folks seem to be able to mess some simple stuff up, so I totally believe it. Management... "you can screw up completely and still get ahead" - I am staring at a wall plastered with papers at the moment without a clue what to add.