By The Men's Editor
THE COLOR OF YOUR COLLAR
Much like the rest of America, I was trapped into watching all this hoopla over the TV show, "Who Wants To Marry A Multi-Millionaire?" You couldn't help but see Rick Rockwell, and his bride of ten minutes, Darva Conger, yapping away about the ridiculous situation of being married to a stranger on national TV. They both doth protest much too much for my tastes. Be that as it may, I saw another show debating all of this nonsense. Three women were being questioned by a moderator about, "Marrying JUST for the money." All three said that they would "never, never, ever, ever
." Okay, fair enough. They were then asked if they'd marry the local garbage man or milk truck driver. They all said, "Sure we would, as long as he wanted to own the company someday." That's when I said to my TV, "Shut up you expletive-deleted."
That brings me to my point: The color of a man's collar. Are you a white-collar guy or a blue-collar guy? And do you care? Are you one, but would rather be the other?
First, a bit about me, and how I got here.
Dazed and confused
Upon graduation from college I was expected to do what all semi-bright, semi-lost, more than semi-spoiled college grads were supposed to do, climb the corporate ladder in the white-collar world. I didn't quite fit the mold. I tried. The ladder collapsed under my weight. The corporate structure of these fine United States didn't want me, so to hell with 'em. I don't want them either.
Where's The Empire State Building, Lady?
Cab driving was a bust, as each of my unfortunate passengers would have one complaint or another, and tell them to me in their own New Yawk way: "Hey champ, you took the wrong way!" "Is it possible to go any slower?" "Hey Buddy, you speak English?" Goodbye, little yellow taxi.
An Offer I Couldn't Refuse
Bartending - now, that lasted about an hour. Sigh. I had a natural inclination for the pretty ladies. One of their ilk walked into the bar on my first night on a holiday weekend. She proceeded to make me an offer I couldn't refuse. She pointed out the window to her pretty red sports car and said something like, "I have this cabin about an hour from here . . ." and needed me to help dust her etchings. Well, what would you do wiseguy? Goodbye, dirty bar rag.
The Shaky Ladder
I went back into the white-collar world for awhile, but all of the offices that I worked in seemed to have that darn big clock on the wall. You know the one. It has that large sweeping second hand that went, tick,
.tick. It's either this or the snake pit. There must be something I can do.
Blue Collar Or No Collar
Blue collar work came my way. It came in the form of an ugly lime-green one story factory. I hated the first steps I took into that building. In my mind, this was to be for just ONE day. I stayed for fourteen years.
The lights flickered. The smell of dirt - grime - and years of neglect were everywhere. This didn't feel right. All those years at college for this? I took my assigned place. At first, I didn't fit in here either, but no one cared. Throw that
bundle! Fill that truck, - Move it - Move it on out. Let's go! LET'S GO! - - Look out overhead! - - OK, everybody grab a beer!
I made some friends. I would go to the local watering hole after work with some a da guyz. We'd drink our beers, and have a few laughs. LIFT that barge. TOTE that bale. You get a little drunk and you'd better NOT land in jail.
Badges of Manhood
I went home at the end of each day a bit worse for wear. My hands showed the bumps and roughness of hard work, my muscles bulged from the strain, sometimes a streak of dirt covered my cheek. I'd rest for awhile and feel good about my day, proud of my badges of manhood. A product moved. Something tangible happened as a result of my toil. The end of my day meant just that, the end of my day. No deadlines to meet. No clients to call. Nothing. Nada. All that was left for me to do was to grow as a man - and grow I did.
Blue Collar Snob
My white-collar friends would ask, So, what exactly is it that you do at that company of yours? I would tell them that I was a MERCHANDISING FACILITATOR. They'd nod their heads as if they had a clue.
I've been in both worlds, White and Blue. I'm a writer now - still using my hands. If I just got you to that last sentence, I facilitated your eyes through my article. I've still "got it."
Look out overhead! WATCH YOUR STEP!
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