Monday, October 15, 2007

Low-Paying, Dead-End Job

I ran into a girl that I knew from high school. She's one of the smartest people I've ever known, intellectually speaking. So it was fun to see her and her three kids while we were on an outing today.

As we were catching up on what we've both been doing over the last 8-10 years, she eventually asked where my husband worked.

"He's a finance manager at the Honda store in Orem," I told her proudly.

And she looked at me with such incredible pity. Her eyes said, I'm so sorry your husband is stuck in a low-paying, dead-end job.

I couldn't have been more shocked. It suddenly brought me back to my high school reunion. I remember meeting doctors and lawyers and lots of people in grad school to become doctors and lawyers. Their reaction, when I told them my husband was selling cars, was one of such withering pity. I remember talking later, to a friend who I visit taught, and telling her about this experience. She nodded as I talked with tremendous understanding.

I wondered how she could understand me? Her husband was an entrepreneur. They have a large beautiful home, eight kids who are never wanting, nice vehicles, and he has lots of workers, trucks and machinery all associated with his business. How could someone, so obviously successful ever understand me?

"You think that's bad," she said when I finished my sob story, " just imagine telling those people that your husband fixes cracks in the road."

I'd never thought of her husband's job like that. He probably makes as much money as some doctors and lawyers, yet Angie and Shaun might, too, be at the receiving end of pitiful looks from doctors and lawyers, because he works and employs people in a blue collar field.

I go back to my friend and her pity. I wish I had gushed about how much Wendell loves his job. And I wish that I could educate this woman, in some way, that just 'cause her husband works in a high-tech field and mine in retail doesn't make her superior. And maybe, now that I think about it, she's not as smart as I thought she was.


Julie said...

AMEN to your last sentence! Is your husband happy? Is there a roof over your heads? Kids fed? That = SUCCESS. No matter how you get there. (people like her really burn me)

Tigersue said...

Is it not sad how we place so much emphasis on "Money" and "Education".
I encourage my children to plan for a degree, but only because I think learning is important. If life leads them to other careers, they can be happy, and support their family, wonderful.
We all are not designed to be doctors or Lawyers. Nor are we all capable of being in sales. Where would those doctors or Lawyers be with out the plumber, or landscaper, or the person that will sell them their next Lexus?

Tigersue said...

OH you are added to the calling all LDS Women Blog.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

Hi. Found you on LDS Blogging Women. People just don't understand. Your husband loves his job, he's good at it and your family is happy. That's more important than what people (whose opinions aren't important) think. And that girl? You're right, she's not as smart as you thought!

Laurie said...

It's hard to keep things in perspective when the whole world constantly makes you feel judged. You should see the looks we get when we tell people that Ken is into drugs!!! Keep smiling! You're doing your best and you have a beautiful, happy family and marriage. What more to life is there, really. Sometimes, looking around at others though, it's seems easier to say then believe.

Jennifer @ Fruit of My Hands said...

Wow, ouch. Why are people like that? I don't get it.