“Blue Collar Brilliance” by Mark Rose
In this article, the author tries to debunk the common perception that those who do the jobs considered to be ‘Blue collar’ are less intelligent as compared to those who do the ‘white collar’ jobs. The author begins with a narration of how his mother, Rose Meraglio worked in the coffee shops and the restaurants owned by the family in Los Angeles. Her work at the various departments of the restaurant shows that the work requires a high level of intelligence as well as awareness and understanding of human psychology.
There was an influx of activities in the restaurant during meal times. Things had to run properly to make the clients contented. The waiters and waitresses had to attend to the urgent needs of the clients, shout out appropriate orders and ensure that the utensils used by the customers are in order. To start with, all those who served clients had to be well-versed with the code of communication, take the orders from the clients fast and answer any questions the clients had efficiently. Moreover, they still had to carry the food properly. Apart from the intelligence to balance all the mental activities, one also had to be physically fit to do the work as expected.
At the same time, one had to be focused to make it in this area as during busy hours one had to remember the orders of up to nine clients without a mix-up. This means that one has to have a proper sequence of deliveries so that no customer waits for too long until they become impatient.
Also, one still has to understand the specific needs of the clients. For instance, comprehend the emotions that come with the hunger in the clients. In Rose’ view, the restaurant was a location to understand and learn the changes in human behavior on a daily basis.
Rose’ mother had to quit school in seventh grade to cater to her siblings who either learned through high school while others dropped out to seek other informal employment ventures. Rose’ father who left studies in primary school did not have an easy academic life either. He mostly worked harder after the realization that education is a path to earning money to make ends meet.
Mark Rose takes us through the notion in the world that the jobs that require a low level of education require less intelligence. In Rose’ view, this negative mentality started several years ago and had shaped the way people view the learning process. To further put the point across, Mark Rose describes how his mother’s brother Joe Meraglio competently worked at Pennsylvania Railroad despite leaving school in ninth grade. The author was able to understand the demanding nature of the job after visiting the company. The physical and mental needs of the job required that one had to learn on a daily basis. Joe kept all the activities in control while learning new ways to solve problems within the company. Even though he had no formal learning on how the various machines were operated, he had direct experience in their operations and how to make them run more efficiently. Moreover, Joe had to learn how to handle finances and work with people. Also, being the supervisor, he had to learn how to rotate the workers to different departments to enable them to work more efficiently.
The author began research to understand the brain behind the kind ‘Blue collar.’ The study involved studying the experienced workers and those who are just beginning work in this area. During the study, the author could not help but realize that people often assume that using tools does not require any intelligence. However, a close look at these experts tells us a very different story. For example, someone handling a given tool must have a firm grip and coordinated movements. The same learning is to grasp the skills expected from the hair stylist and the carpenters. The author notes that problem-solving skills are required for those in ‘white collar’ and ‘Blue collar’ jobs.
The jobs which are considered physical need proper planning, ability to negotiate and adequate use of gestures. All these capabilities can only be mastered by intelligent people. The physical jobs also need a grasp of mathematical skills as some measurements and tools use scales that one has to understand how they work. All these explanations are to affirm that even these jobs require intelligence as opposed to the popular belief held by many people.