Reading the essay “Blue Collar Brilliance”, I noticed that Mike Rose is putting forth the argument that Blue Collar jobs needs more than just what people can possibly imagine and that intelligence can not only be measured by the level of schooling or the grades obtained. Rose uses his personal experience observing his mother work as a waitress in coffee shop and family restaurants to describe this, “When I was growing up in Los Angeles in the 1950s, my father and I will occasionally hang out at the restaurant until her shift ended and then we’d ride the bus home with her.
” (pg406). He watched his mother and her co-workers carryout their various functions, some taking orders while some prepare the orders. Rose also points out that blue collar jobs requires more than just intelligence and most blue collar workers acquire knowledge and other skills while doing their work.
I agree with Rose on this because I have been to a restaurant and was amazed at one waiter who seemed to have great memory and multitasking, taking orders from a good number of customers and despite the fact that people were constantly moving in and out of the restaurant, he could still remember which order he got from each customer and the exact place where the customers were seated.
Memorizing such working as a waitress or waiter does need more than just grades from school, the skills one obtains working daily in such a dynamic place makes them to become efficient.
In a dynamic society like ours, most blue-collar jobs do face different problems or challenges every day. They get to meet people who have different problems and solving or handling these problems requires not only some academic qualification but also some skills. It can be said that while working as a waitress in the different coffee shops and restaurants, Mike’s mother worked her way in understanding the mental and behavioural pattern of her customers. “And then, of course, there were customers who entered the restaurant with all sort of needs, from physiological ones, including the emotions that accompany hunger, to a sometimes complicated desire for human contact.” (pg407). How well she handles such challenges will also determine if those customers will come back to the coffee shops or restaurant.
Working in a health centre I can confirm that my daily interaction with people of various classes has given me more experience to deal with people having different socioeconomic, religious and political background. I was removed from my position to work as a front desk person with a title “Float”. My ability to understand and speak multiple languages and my resume of previously working with different retail outlets, I learned how to handle some customer related crisis. Yes, formal education is crucial for societal building, but attention should also be paid to blue collar workers. Judging someone’s ability to perform a given task by his level of education is not always the best way to go because there maybe people with all sort of “fancy” degrees but when put to task they can’t deliver. As the 44th president of the United States puts it, “there are a whole lot of folks who are book smart but have no common sense.” Barak Obama’s speech during the Rutgers University graduation in 2016.
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