Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Working by Studs Terkel and Gig, by Bowe, et. al., can be really fascinating books to read. I've not read either book cover-to-cover, but I'm working on it in a piecemeal fashion. To that end, I'd like to get your recommendations for the best (i.e., most interesting) entries to read. Leave your vote in the comments section and tell me why you think it's worth my time.

My votes (so far):

Pretzel Vendor Isabelle Quinones in Gig: I was fascinated by the way she speaks so casually about both stealing from her employer -- about whom she also speaks quite highly, saying "he is a really good man - truly benevolent" -- and starting an affair with a co-worker, which (of course) ends badly.

Garbarge Man Roy Schmidt in Working: I was intrigued by how he found meaning in his work and enjoyed it much more than the "office job" he'd previously worked. In addition, I appreciated the way he described the physicality of the back-breaking work he does.


Blogger Ginger Tieman said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:09 PM  
Blogger Ginger Tieman said...

Two entries I found to be really intriguing are:

Neal Smither, Crime Scene Cleaner from Gig: I just found it amazing that there were people out there could stomach (no pun intended) a job like this. But Smither just loves this job; he willingly sacrifices his marriage for his “baby, [his] dope.” The stories he tells are really interesting, albeit disgusting. Let’s just say, I’ll never eat at a Denny’s, stay at a Motel 6, or have a Hide-a-bed anytime soon.


Johnny Bosworth, car salesman from Working: I started reading this entry with the expectation of really disliking Bosworth. In the end, however, I really actually admired him. He loved his job because it meant providing for his family, and he tried to be honest and sell not the most expensive car, but the most appropriate one. To him, selling is not about manipulation, it’s about knowing your customers inside and out. He uses psychology and acute observation to dissect numerous types of customers (i.e. the “Drecks,” the blue-collared workers, the bud professionals, etc.). His whole thought process and working approach was very interesting to me.

P.S. Sorry about the faulty post. I really suck at html.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

This post reminded me of a girl in one of my psychology classes. Her father worked as an attorney and then quit to become a trucker. He is so much happier now, as the trucking job offers good money without the stress and emotional turmoil he felt as an attorney.

It is interesting to note how much pride can often impact the career decisions that we make. The Garbage Man and the trucker were able to realize that even if their office jobs may garner greater respect from others, those careers were not really the right ones for them. What I take from this is that it is not necessary to always go for the glory, and further, that it is not so easy to judge someone's worth by their job description.

3:20 PM  

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