The Biggest Myths About Blue Collar Work

Blue collar industries and their workforces make up one half of the traditional “blue/white” work types that encompass millions of people and businesses right across the globe. Their work is invaluable in ensuring society remains upright and functioning, though the connotations and pre-judgements surrounding this type of work are not always so noble…

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#1 Academic Readers


I was at our local library one day, and the receptionist at our local medical center made conversation with me as we were both picking out books. She recommended a book to me and I said, "Oh, I'm not picking out something for me, I'm picking out a book for Dov" (my husband). The woman, who has hired my husband on many occasions and knows us quite well said: "Dov reads?"

This has become something of a family joke. I didn't tell my husband the identity of the woman who said it. But my husband is a college graduate and a history buff who enjoys working with his hands and finding practical solutions for making things work. He loves having something different to work on each day, getting to know new people all the time, and being his own boss. Being a handyman is a choice and he's darned good at it.

Contributor: Varda Meyers Epstein from kars4kids

#2 Uneducated?

Blue collar workers are uneducated. Absolutely false. I worked as a server and bartender in NYC for many years while pursuing an acting career (I had a BA in Philosophy/Literature), then I put myself through grad school in social work (MSW) while bartending. In addition, workers from other countries often have advanced degrees- engineering, architecture, medicine.

Contributor: Laura MacLeod from The Inside Out Project®

#3 The Lazy Workforce?

Like any profession, there are those who do just the minimum, but for the most part I found my co-workers to be responsible and considerate-both to each other and the customers. Customers may see the worker as lazy, because they are looking for special treatment, pampering and/or favors.

For example, when I bartended, customers often asked for 'more liquor or wine'(no extra charge)  or a free drink. When I politely said NO (this would be a violation that could end in me getting fired) they often turned nasty and/or found me to be a 'bad employee.' Playing by the rules and doing exactly what the job entails- not lazy- just responsible.

Contributor: Laura MacLeod from The Inside Out Project®

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Written by James Metcalfe

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