Sunday, June 24, 2007

MEME: Sunday Seven - Episode 95

What I saw at the scene of the fire that killed nine of Charleston’s firefighters got me thinking about how little we say “Thank You” and who should be the first to receive our gratitude.

But first, Maureen of “Self Discovery Journey” was first to play last week’s question. Congratulations, Maureen!

On to this week's question!

Name seven of the most under-appreciated jobs in your community.

  1. Emergency response workers – firefighters, police officer, paramedical workers, animal control officers and the like

  2. Teachers, particularly those saddled with trying to cope with that useless ball of hormones, er, student, that exists between grades 6 and 12 in this country

  3. Grave diggers. Try it sometime. Even with a back hoe. F*cking hard work to go to, just to bury a bunch of meat so others won't rend it and scatter it.

  4. Sanitation workers, both the “garbage men” and those who work with sewers and septage. Try it sometime...

  5. Local government workers – every Tom, Dick and Hairy Jane thinks that just because they pay a pittance in property taxes they are somehow entitled to consider themselves the boss of said workers. So, having no other convenient target, they unload. Makes no difference whether you are a clerk in the local DMV or a tax assessor, a welfare worker or a public works driver or a City Manager, they are all marked and targeted in the public's mind.

  6. Waitresses (and, to a lesser extent, waiters) in other than the $100/plate joints that take three years to get a reservation. It's a screwed up system in this country when we allow a business to pay an employee a fraction (often one third) of the minimum wage and thus require that employee to hustle customers to make enough money to earn a living on which they often are the sole support for themselves and their children.

  7. Journalists. There – that surprised you. Keep in mind that most aren't the Bob Woodward's in this life. They make, on average, somewhere in the mid-high 20's, even in places like LA and NYC. They must produce, to deadline, upwards of 10,000 words per day of clear, concise, readable text describing the most mundane, egregious acts of their fellow man. Whether it's the summer intern producing the obituaries to the TV reporter breaking the story about the latest transgressions of the local basketball junkie, it's all fodder to their grist mill. For any on you who've read this far, the average blog entry is 250 words or less. Multiply that by 12, add in six hours of research, phone calls and leg work, sitting through boring meetings, visits to police stations, courts, hospitals, fires and accident scenes, all to sit down and write the days “news”. Little wonder that fair and accurate journalism is a dying tradition. It's very hard work for very little compensation. (410 words to here, by way of example)

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