In a way the tendency for American to do most things themselves is part of our cultural expectation of self reliance. That’s a good thing. The problem is that doing that has hidden some real problems with labor laws and decreasing productivity. As well as denying employment to the young and college students who would by and large do some of those skanky little jobs for spare cash. Nobody got hurt, well emotionally, some jobs are, by their very nature dangerous, by doing some work that got you dirty. Been there, did that.
Go to college, my parents said, you’ll never have to do hard manual work, they said.
Don’t follow your grandfather — and every construction worker — around while he’s working and ask how it’s done, they said. You’re smart enough you’ll never have to work with your hands and you’re a WOMAN for heaven’s sake.
A) They were wrong. B) We all are.
Their advice was absolutely right for their time and place. I get a kick out of going back and listening to my friends being called “doctor” by their nannies and live-in maids and what not.
No, they’re not doctors, but in Portugal there are so few doctorates awarded and through my time it was so difficult to get my degree (the rough equivalent to a bit past the masters here, at least when I tried to finish out my doctorate I had a year to go…
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