Thursday, May 17, 2012

A foot in the mouth moment

It's kind of funny when people totally put their foot in their mouth (as long as it's not me). 

The other day I was on a first date (total torture) and as we were discussing each others careers, my date completely put his foot in his mouth. While explaining my current job situation it impresses some people, while sometimes it makes other people feel sorry for me. I believe this guy fell into the latter group.

He said to me in reply to a question or comment that I can no longer remember, "I mean, they let anybody into the classroom to substitute teach." There was no, "right?" after that statement, and it wasn't said as a question. It was a statement.

I kind of sat back, slightly in shock. Then I kind of wanted to laugh, because, I mean, did he really just say that to someone that does that for a living in the interim?

Instead of answering right away, and effectively putting my foot in my mouth, as well, I just sat there. After a couple of minutes he said, "well, obviously not you."

Right. No way. Not me. Of course. 

I laughed and realized, well, in some states he is right. Unfortunately, he has lived in Iowa his entire life and this fact is not true for Iowa. Iowans have to hold a bachelor's degree and take a 20 hour course at our local education agency and then jump through about a million hoops to prove that you are not a criminal. I'm not saying that every substitute is a quality teacher. I have come across some horribly, awful substitutes. The kids also tell me about some of the bad ones, so I know.

But, still.

I said, yes, you are right. Some states only require a high school diploma, but... what would we do without the people that fill these roles that nobody else wants to do? I'm serious. Think about all of the positions that support your own position. What would you do without these people that do the so-called "grunt work?" We'd be pretty miserable. We would also have very little time to do the job we were hired to do.

I was first introduced to this concept a really long time ago. In fact, I was 18 and working my first job in a restaurant as a server. I was grumbling over having to tip out the bussers and the bartenders a percentage of my tips, and the person training me said, "Well, could you do their job without them? If not, they deserve to be compensated."

This response has really stuck with me over the years. He was right. Those people helped me do my job better. I earned more tips because of their efficiency.

What support positions are in place that make your job easier? Janitors? Supervisors? Administrative assistants? Assistants in general? How is their job any less important? They make your life easier, right?

Luckily, I'm not the type to get mad and get all huffy about my date's comment (well, at least not visibly), but it did give me some insight about how he views other people. An insight I wasn't sure I liked.

(Maybe this is why I am still single. That's a subject for another day, though)

Point of the story. I think everyone should have to do a service job at some point in their lives. Waiting tables. Bartending. Retail sales. Any type of face to face customer service. Your view on humanity will change. Guaranteed.

Have you held a job in the service industry? If so, what?


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you! I get upset when people say things about other's jobs and education levels. I'm the very first of my parents to graduate HIGH SCHOOL, let alone attend and graduate from college, and then go on to get a Master's degree. So, it irks me. My parents are some of the hardest working people that I know and smart, too. People need to get over themselves and their views of others. :)

Cee said...

I completely agree - everyone should have to work in the service industry to get an idea of what things are like. Too many people nowadays feel entitled to higher paying jobs right out of school, whereas I feel one should have to work their way up right from the bottom.

Great post!

Also, please do NOT give him a chance at a second date, lol. He sounds like a douche.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Oh boy. I worked a retail job for a long time and it did suck. People treat you like dirt sometimes. I think that you are right. Everyone should have a support job so they will hopefully be more sympathetic and understanding. But some people will never learn.

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I served all through college and while I loved it at the time (fun! good money!) I could never imagine going back to it now. Too much dealing with rude people!

My old job I did ALL the grunt work for my team and I was so over it. At my new job we have a receptionist who does the "grunt work" as you'd call it and I definitely appreciate her!

Tiffany said...

I couldn't agree more. I think every person should have to wait tables for one week. They would immediately become better tippers, stop complaining about their service, & all around be about 10 times nicer.

Anonymous said...

1. Just the thought of a first date sends me running. My friends joke about how much I loathe them. I have been known to cancel often. Like every fucking time I may have a first date. (asking me to dinner instead of just a drink at a sports bar is probably their biggest downfall)

2. In Minnesota you pretty much have to hold a teaching license to sub. Grrrr I wish I could have subbed while in school, I think they should let you while you're in process of getting your license seeing as it's awesome experience!

Molly @ Blonde Out Loud said...

Let me say it for you, what an ass!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Yeah, some people are clearly just not smart or at least don't think before they talk :) I used to work in retail, and I also feel like teaching is definitely similar to any customer service job ha. Sometimes I am shocked at how badly parents and others treat us, though that's not the norm it's still quite shocking.

I really wish you substituted near me because I would definitely appreciate you :) I am lucky that my classroom aide (speaking of unappreciated but SUPER important people) is my sub when I am out, but when she is out, I've had some interesting experiences. I once had a woman clear my sink for 4 hours (not exaggerating haha). She wasn't hurting anyone though, so I suppose that is good. Last week my aide was out two days and I got two AMAZING subs in a row. I told them and everyone who would listen how great they were. I hope they get all good jobs and as many as they want the rest of the year. So many important jobs in the world :)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Some people really do not think before they talk... it's a shame.

I sold shoes for awhile in college and then waitressed for 3.5 years. It was a hard job, but a fun job. And it gave me appreciation for what servers do. I am way more understanding of things that happen when you go out to eat - like when it takes awhile to get your food. Or last night - a group from my run club went out and people were huffing and puffing over how long it took her to split the checks. Um, there were like 20+ of us there... it's NOT a fast process. I just kept my mouth shut but it really annoyed me!

Shoshanah said...

I remember in college that friends would be able to substitute teach during the summer. I just thought it was crazy that in some stays you could be a college student and substitute teach in a high school. Especially since most of the substitue teachers I remember were older semi-retired teachers. Or moms who wanted to work, but didn't want a full time schedule. I can't imagine having someone so young as a substitute. Or on the other hand being mature enough to be a substitue in college.

Jess said...

Ive worked in service jobs on and off for years. Waited tables a lot. And yeah....I soooo agree. Everyone should have to work in service at least once. Invaluable life lessons are learned. Like, how to not be an ahole.

Jayme said...

Haha oh boy. What a winner! *sarcasm* Good for you for knowing who you are though! :) I've worked at a grocery store for 5 yeah, I know what it's like to deal with people. It sucks sometimes.

Angie said...

I serve at a bar in West Des Moines on the weekends and cannot believe some of the things people say and do. My coworkers are fun though (and it's good fun money), so I keep working :)

Angie said...

I don't like that comment either. Overly generalizing and thoughtless. Personally, I don't know what I would do without my staff. It is an entry level position in my field, and needed so much! They do some crazy things sometimes, as do I, but most of them are pretty great :). They deserve nothing but respect. I had great service at a restaurant in Orlando--they made me feel so special, that I wrote a letter to corporate. I've done that job--I know what it's like--and I hope they get recognized for it!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I can't believe he said that already knowing that's what you do! I mean it might have been a little less foot in mouth if he hadn't known but wow!