Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wanted / 04

I want my children to be hard workers, to take pride in the work that they do. To see the value in that work.

The other day, as we were walking across the grocery store parking lot, Sena commented on a sign she saw hanging on the wall honoring someone for being the deli manger since 1981. "Who would want to be a deli manager for that long?" I was embarrassed, and I looked around to make sure no one overheard us.

Sena was not being a classist.  She did not mean to degrade anyone. I understand what she was thinking.  But it's important to me that my children never, ever feel above honest, hard work. I hope that they never look down their noses at fast food gigs or manuel labor. I want them to be more embarrassed to be given something that they didn't earn than they would ever be of any pay check.

I think that my generation was sold a bill of goods. We were told, "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life." But that simply isn't true; even if you do love your career, there will be laundry to do, taxes to file, lawns to mow. It's all work. And what's more, that sentiment seems to devalue just getting a job. It's okay to just have a job-- a job that isn't creative or environmental or related to social justice. It's okay to get a nine-to-five with benefits and a retirement plan.
It won't make them boring.
They can still be fascinating, even if their jobs aren't.
And I hope, even at their not so fascinating jobs, they will sit down at their desks and work hard. And be proud.

Wanted / 01
Wanted / 02
Wanted / 03


  1. Sena is the only 9 year old that would know being a deli manager is not the most desirable job.

  2. I've been feeling a lot of pressure when it comes to the job front. Especially having an art degree, there's this expectation from your professors that you'll stick it to the man and give the finger to traditional desk jobs. It's preferable to being working as a server or barista than it is to be in a 9-5 office. But, the work isn't too hard, the pay is pretty good, and I have benefits. So shouldn't I be content with that?

    There's a second half of this where I feel embarrassed to tell people I have a degree in photography and I'm an office assistant in the same paragraph. As if its my responsibility to prove people wrong that believe art degrees are useless? That's a pretty large undertaking ha