Blog powered by Typepad


Thursday, February 15, 2007



Make beds? Cart rubbish? Coo, Yanks can be precious. I used to unload cement boats: hundredweight bags, and dust getting into every pore.

Jackie Danicki

I'd like to see Rove's comment in context, because on the surface of it, it sounds like he doesn't want his kid's lifelong occupation to be picking tomatoes or making beds. Not really that hard to understand. (My first job was as a dishwasher in an un-air conditioned truck stop, during 100 degree+ Ohio summers, and that did nothing if not confirm to me that I needed to find work in climate-controlled conditions for the rest of my life.)


I have been a general kitchen porter (smelly, physically-demanding, dirty job), washed pots (the smelliest and dirty bits of the same job), delivered for a furniture store (hard, physicall demanding, white-van man). All before or during my degree in hard science at the best university in the country for my subject. Gave me good perspective, and respect for people in unskilled jobs or those that require non-academic skills that many in the cahttering classes seem to lack. Like Karl Rove this is often politicians. Politicians who want everyone to go to university because they have no respect for people who didn't.


I am American and did a "junior year abroad" at St. Hilda's at Oxford in the mid 80s. None of the UK students I knew worked what my American friends and I called "crap jobs" during the summer holidays: waitressing, road crew, landscaping etc. I think that American upper-middle-class youth are much more familiar with low-level employment than their British counterparts. I feel very strongly that everyone should have a "crap job" in one's youth. I learned more about human nature and political maneuvering from 3 summers spent waitressing, dealing with drunks and getting my behind pinched, than I ever could have learned as an intern at a corporation or an NGO. I also learned the value of my university education; it saved me from a life of "crap jobs." And I am very grateful to my parents for paying for it.

The comments to this entry are closed.