Work to live…

…don’t live to work. Unless you’re an oncologist or something.

University is the ever popular route to go in terms of finding a career these days. For the baby boomer generation, everyone buckled down and got degrees in medicine and engineering. For their offspring – my generation – it’s more like technology and communications or the standard doctor/nurse thing because our parents have been telling us to spare our backs and get office jobs our whole lives, and we’re brainless pussies.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that furthuring your education is even remotely a bad idea, and we definitely need doctors and lawyers and all that stuff.

But when you go to college for four to eight years or more, you’re going to owe a few bucks in student loans. If it turns out that you completely despise your chosen field and going to school was a big mistake, you’re completely and utterly fucked. And it’s looking like that’s the case for a lot of indecisive young adults today.

“Blue collar” means “working class” which usually represents that old white haired maintainence guy at every factory who makes upwards of $40 an hour or the lead mechanic at Goodyear who’s the local face of auto repair and cheap oil changes.

Lower down on the spectrum are the highschool dropouts who are doomed to flip burgers their whole lives. Below that, there’s the crazy older dudes who stand out in front of the cash for gold place twirling a sign in 90 degree weather all day for minimum wage.

Between the two, there’s an ignored group of people who don’t make terrible money but we’re not rich by any means either. The work isn’t back-breaking but you’ll likely break a sweat every day and go home tired after every shift. There might be mandatory overtime during peak season and virtually no voluntary overtime the rest of the year, but it’s a steady job complete with benefits and it pays the bills and then some.

It’s absolutely possible to be successful in life without being married to your job, is my point. What’s more, it’s actually possible to be happy and have a social life in the mean time as well. I run a printing press for a living and while I dread waking up, heading to work and standing in a warehouse for eight hours a day, I make pretty good money and my co workers are decent people. Plus if I didn’t have a job I’d lay around chain smoking cigarettes, getting high and stuffing my face with processed snack foods all day.

If I fuck something up at work, there are no drastic and immediate consequences like… say, a surgeon might have to worry about. I throw the shit in the trash and fix whatever was causing the press to run bad product. And I get paid double time to do that on Sundays.

Moral of the story is this: I work at a place that doesnt even require a highschool diploma and I make decent money. I’m content with that and not being a college graduate shouldn’t be a source of dread and anxiety. There are plenty of skilled trades out there that pay off in the end and life can still be enjoyable if you’re not bringing in six figures a year. Hail the working class.

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