The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Should Blue Collar Be The New White Collar?
October 18, 2010, 5:59 am
Filed under: Comment

Once upon a time I wanted to be a Policeman.

Not some flashy version like the guys in Starsky & Hutch, but a bobby on the beat with helmet and truncheon.

I knew everything that needed to be known about becoming cop and would tell all and sundary, including the Chief Inspector of Nottingham who was a friend of my parents.

And yet here I am, years later, about as far removed from being a policeman as you could possibly get.

Given the state Nottingham is in with crime, this is probably a good thing, but this got me thinking, where are the next generation of coppers going to come from?

I ask this because we seem to be a World obsessed with material possession … a World that is increasingly judging someone by what they have, not what they’ve done or believe … a World that is more focused on themselves than on the community they live in … a World that views graduates as better employees than people who left school.

Where the hell are the next Policeman, nurses, plumbers going to come from … and do we really want society thinking [wrongly] they’re made up of people who weren’t good enough to get a ‘good job’.

Given adland loves helping out charities [which is a worthy cause, but more often done as it offers creative freedom than anything more worthwhile] maybe it would be good if they also started looking at ways they could help other industries … especially those find it hard to compete both interms of financial rewards and a lack of stigma attached.

Of course they won’t, because Government business is a lucrative business – so it’s in their interests to just promote the problem rather than solve it – but if we all want to live in a society that is safe, clean and healthy … maybe it’s time we started talking, promoting and rewarding these jobs with the level of respect they deserve because even though I may earn more than an average bobby on the beat, I know who I think contributes more to society and I know who we’ll seek out when we get into some sort of trouble.

21 Comments so far
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never fucking thought id say this but thank fuck youre a planner because if you were a policeman the amount of damage to society youd cause would increase ten fucking fold.

good point about adlands charity hypocrisy but given englands fucking finances, maybe government business wont be so fucking lucrative anyfuckingmore.

anyway the money my cowboy fucking builders, plumbers and electricians is more than most fuckers in adland could hope to ever fucking make but then a job where you have to do something is never going to be as appealing as one where you get to copy and paste the same presentation every other fucking week while wearing the latest trend glasses developed from some fucktard planners “research”.

Comment by andy@cynic

I think Andy brings up a good point, a lot of the blue collar jobs that appear so unattractive are often much higher paying than a large portion of white collar jobs. I’m not sure if that policy extends to nursing or policing, I doubt it, but it does indicate that the issue isn’t purely about salary but also the perceived public stature which is interesting given so many people’s obsession with finding shortcuts to material or financial success.

I’m not ignorant to the part I play in this game, which is disappointing given my Father works in one of those industries that we need but don’t want to be a part of, though I know he would be as scared about you joining his Police department as Andy would.

Comment by Pete

I think the millionaire plumber is a bit of an old wife’s tale Pete. Sure there’re a handful of these workers that make more than the white collared ones do, but as a general rule, I’d think the median number would be a lot lower. I haven’t got any data on this obviously, just guessing.

That said, I was watching a documentary this weekend about how the construction sector in Quebec was the most corrupt sector in the world when you factor in the scale etc. So if you really want to make money…

Comment by rafik

my plumber makes gates look like a fucking pauper.

Comment by andy@cynic

Hi Rafik, I don’t think there are many millionaire plumbers, just like I don’t think (hope) they’re many millionaire planners, I was just indicating that compared to the average income, their salary was at the very least on par, if not more.

Comment by Pete

isnt anyone fucking listening? my plumber is fucking loaded. i am literally paying someone to deal with my shit. i know everything i produce is fucking gold but this is ridiculous.

Comment by andy@cynic

What I think that doco meant to say was that construction corruption wasn’t as well hidden as some of the other sectors.

Like Governments for instance …

Comment by Rob

who the fuck do you think you are campbell? ben elton. well you work is funnier than that queen musical writing champagne fucking lefty twat.

Comment by andy@cynic

You know I hate Ben Elton ANNNNND that Queen musical so stop stirring the shit and go back to keeping your plumber in the style your ex-wives are used too.

Comment by Rob

I forgot your old man was in the force Pete – having met him, I would imagine he’d find the thought of me being in the same industry as him as morally offensive. And as he can crack walnuts in his teeth, he’s not the sort of person I’d want to upset. Ever.

I think you both make good points about salary vs perception – though I doubt the Police or Nurses make anything like a Plumber or Electrician plus it’s a bit hypocritical for us to talk given we earn a good salary without anything like the level of risk or discomfort they experience -however that aside, I do think money and social standing do have some parts that go hand in hand and I for one would be happy to pay more tax if it went to rewarding those in the trenches rather than the middle management consultants that spend millions on reports that ultimately are done for job protection than industry betterment.

But hey, doesn’t everyone say that right until they are asked to hand over the cash.

To me, it’s a bit like democracy – everyone talks a good game and then when it comes down to letting their voice make a difference, they choose what’s in their best interests, not the nations.

And to think some people don’t believe society are a bunch of hypocrites.

Comment by Rob

I’d rather you were a policeman than my plumber.

Comment by DH

Answer: immigrants. repeat cycle. where did the FBI find new cops to fight the mob, the same pool they, the mob, was, pissing in, and they, WASP FBI, thought was made up of uncivilized fucks. who does our garden, plumbing, cocks or watches our kids?

if the tax laws were changed Along with status questions, the green card ones, not the get laid ones, a lot of industries would look healthier then they do.

But it is hard to run as a politician if there is no problem to poke at…so why try and solve stuff.. Just as it is hard to advertise/consult new solutions when a problem is fixed, so why bother thinking about one.

Comment by Niko

are you suggesting immigrants are made for blue collar jobs? i guess thats not what you are saying. but then, thats where its much easier (i.e. very likely) for them to end up thanks to discrimination. in some countries… oh well…

and dont get me started on politicians niko… if i think about it… they dont make that much of a difference to white collars? lol

Comment by peggy

blue collars are what keeps societies going. a nurse, a police man, a waiter, a sanitation worker… the rest is overhead. bit drastic. but in essence… and they neither get paid enough nor do they get the respect they deserve (which pay is a part of)… i remember this study i cant remmeber the name or source for the life of me… it outlined the costs and benefits of certain professions. result was that a banker did destroy immense amounts of value (especially looking at the financial crisis), while a cleaner created much more than they earned, so benefitting society instead of playing a part in destroying it. i guess its got much to do with externalisation and internalisation of costs… which we are not really considering. may it be blue collar / white collar, or the real costs of a cheap product produced somewhere…

Comment by peggy

The ads from the late 90’s were great at this. “I couldn’t, could you?”

They made being a copper feel like a noble respected career choice.

Even worse is the demise of The Bill, it was very inspirational for future policemen and women.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

the fucking bill? inspirational? fuck me how the mighty bobbies have fallen. does everyone know campbell once went on a bill tour. not even an official one. the sad fuck handed over some crumpled notes to some cockney chancer to be taken round south london and shown council estates that were featured on the show. that is the head of planning at wieden and fucking kennedy im talking about. run for your fucking lives.

Comment by andy@cynic

no disrespect to your dad, pete, but can i question the ‘blue collar’ nature of police work?

aside from it being unionised, it’s pretty much unlike most of the other examples given, insofar as all others have a lack of (perceived) power. but no-one (apart from andy) feels guilty around/fears/avoids/assiduously obeys plumbers, nurses or electricians. whereas those in the police force are employed specifically to exert political power. that amount of power i think is also unattractive to a lot of kids watching at home. or at least their parents.

i know i’m nitpicking, but in terms of attracting people to the ‘force’ these are major issues that have to be tackled and i haven’t ever seen an approach that deals well with the place of power in those careers.

and maybe the (perceived) lack of power in the other trades is also not being addressed – hence the lack of attraction to the kids back home. [ i have other, boring, gender-based reasons why i think these professions are lacking junior leagues, but i fear i’ve said enough already].

Comment by lauren

yeah pete, answer that and still look trendy fucking wendy though i sure as shit do what plumbers and nurses tell me what to do. cops? no fucking chance, dont take orders from people who wear shit hats.

Comment by andy@cynic

so i thought i stop and listen before i further collaborate. coincidence? lol but since i hear nothing from pete… maybe some people feel guilty around / fear / avoid / assiduously obey the police. i dont. thats due to the state i live in i guess. not enough overwhelming and ubiquitous arbitrariness or corruption here. they seem to be fairly law-abiding themselves. in fact, some cops are afraid to go into certain areas, because no one respects them, let alone fears them there. which might have something to do with the police being a part of the states executive branch.

and maybe its just me, but i do get nervous when people who are dear to me are around nurses (and doctors, in hospitals, for that matter). because nurses around here are overworked (and underpaid). that can lead to fatal mistakes. and it does. i also sometimes fear that waiters spitting in my food or drink when they are out of sight. okay, not really lol. but sanitation workers going on strike, thats a nightmare. if others dont perceive the power these people got… maybe… politicians, possibly. though i have the sneaking suspicion they are becoming increasingly aware of the populus… i, for one, did assume we were talking about blue collar in terms of everyone not white collar…

Comment by peggy

Interesting point Lauren – and while I can see your perspective – I don’t know if the general public would be able to make such a separation, at least without much thought.

That doesn’t mean it’s wrong, however the reason for this post was that people we turn to in times of personal trouble – be that crime, health or general ‘life inconvenience’ – tend to be the very people society dismisses as not being so important when times are good.

Huge generalisation there and not quite saying what I actually am trying to convey, but you’re all smarter than me so I hope you get what I’m trying to say.

Comment by Rob

aha – no, i totally get what you’re saying. it was the ‘people we turn to in times of trouble’ that did it.

Comment by lauren

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