Blue Collar.

They sat around the glass table in crisp white shirts and streamlined suits. The meeting room offered an impressive panoramic view of the city below; a silent monolithic landscape where the sluggish movement of people and cars paled in insignificance to the towering buildings which surrounded them.

“The work’s boring, but it’s easy.”

The fat pay packet gleamed at her like a Cheshire Cat.

An ambulance rounded the corner, sirens blaring, but the lack of auditory reception caused her to be struck by a sense of emotional detachment. She instead felt a sense of curious indifference similar to the amateur scientist observing cultures on a petri dish.

“You won’t have to think much.”

This was irrevocably an alias for “let me rob you of the facility to think.”

“You’ll get hired anywhere after this!”

An illusory light-bulb moment where she thought she could hold up the year-long façade.

They key was to breathe. She realised this after a week where she mistakenly superimposed the feeling experienced when trying something new onto the monotony of the task itself.

Flipping a burger for the first time was exciting.

Flipping a thousand burgers was a form of drudgery.

Her views had changed.

Just like a crumbling Eiffel tower needed a solid base, she recognized that the garbage collectors, labourers, and janitors were all integral components of the food chain.

We need someone to maintain our infrastructure, she thought, propagating her romanticized blue collar views onto a disapproving society which operated on accolades and self-important prestige.

I can observe you, respect you, but I simply cannot be one of you.

She felt that confining a human brain to operate in a domain defined by repetitive, menial tasks was an insult to the diversity of the human mind.

Humans could entertain the notion of possibility. The ability to say no. The ability to innovate. The ability to formulate new responses to situations unheard of.

Every person had the capability to think on their feet.

I was not born to be a robot, she thought sullenly as she untangled a box of cables which were like a nest of poisonous snakes, choking each other.

She sat down on a seat overlooking the harbour on her lunch break, and tried to dispel the growing lump in her throat which threatened to cut off her air supply. As she munched on her salad, she thought of the one building which always caught her eye as she drove into the city.

It could be two, three or even five years.

Wait for me, she said. I’ll wait for you.

 

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7 thoughts on “Blue Collar.

  1. You do have a way with words ~ “Flipping a burger for the first time was exciting. Flipping a thousand burgers was a form of drudgery.” I remember working harvest as a kid, and how always loved the first week but after that, it was drudgery. However, I still enjoyed it all because “it” was always knowing that it will end and it will be back to school and/or a different future ahead. Even today, I always see work as this path that if I excel, will lead to another path…

    “Wait for me, she said. I’ll wait for you.” Those are the dreams to have.

  2. That’s true, we all dislike monotony and irrevocably gravitate towards change. That sounds like a lovely, rustic upbringing – to be amongst nature affords the greatest pleasure whose whims are the only factor to contend with.

  3. Doing the dishes, and nothing else, without a thought, can be very liberating. But we first need to climb the ladder of knowledge and thought, before we realize that thought can be as robotic, as any monotonous task done without a soul. However I realize that everyone should have the chance first to realize a life within thoughtful creativity and without the monotonous tasks, … which is the first step.

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