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.
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?