A common 20th-21st century stereotype is that blue-collar work is meaningless which leaves those who work such jobs feeling hopelessly unappreciated and overworked. Blue-collar work is classified as a working class job that requires manual labor. In his essay “Blue-Collar Brilliance,” UCLA Education and Information Studies Professor Mike Rose uses personal experience and family stories about his mother Rosie Meraglio, and his Uncle Joe Meraglio, to combat the common misconstrued stereotype and effectively argue that in the adult world there are many different variables that define a person. While some believe a person is defined by their level of education or occupational status, Rose’s research on blue-collar workers indicates that all jobs require a great deal of intelligence and hard work to succeed in all aspects of work on the job and should not be undermined based a job title.
Rose illustrates through his mother Rosie, who was a waitress at a local diner, that jobs have specific skills to be learned, and they take time, intelligence, and experience to acquire, as well as have the respect and appreciation of everyday people. At the diner, Rosie must be friendly and personable and have a sense of how the restaurant world works—including a completely separate language known as “restaurant lingo.” There are many hacks and tricks of any kind of trade as Rose states, “A waitress acquires knowledge and intuition about the ways and rhythm of the restaurant business” (245). Through experience, workers can become accustomed to what the interactions or processes work the best. Besides knowledge, Rosie must also have a good memory, the ability to multitask well, navigation skills, coordination, and patience. All of these skills came to Rosie with on-the-job training. Everyday practice she became more intelligent and proficient on the procedures of her specific job. Throughout his entire essay, Mike calls his mother “Rosie,” and surprisingly only refers to her as...
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