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Saturday, September 29, 2001

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Poverty and rooftops

I had more thoughts on "Nickel and Dimed" by Barbara Ehrenreich, today. One thing about all the jobs she took were that you were on your feet and the work didn't really require much literacy. One of the real crimes that the women's movement has perpetrated is telling women they shouldn't be secretaries. I don't get paid as much as a boss or an entrepeneur, but I can always find a job because I can type and I am capable figuring out most office systems, and I am very good at it.

I also wear my absolutely best clothes to any interview, which is not all that great but at least it shows I'm trying. That's professional clothes. On the few occasions I've owned any evening wear I have not worn it to an interview. Once I get a job my sartorial excellence goes down hill fast but by then I've shown I can do the job.

It's not just being able to type but being able to read and I feel that allowing kids to get their highschool diploma without being able to read well is child abuse. Anytime a child is allowed to finish school without being a decent reader they are being condemned to a lifetime of poor jobs. I'm not talking about being able to read russian novels (I find that a problem) but being able to read job applications, instructions, etc.

And basic math is important too. Math is what kept me out of the typing pool. An account clerk doesn't make much more, often less, but at least it was more interesting. I know everyone doesn't like math but everyone can learn math and without it you can't balance your checkbook, or understand financing or figure out why something is a good or bad deal. My personal finances are usually a disaster because of ADD, I have probems with putting things off, but at least I know how bad they are and I can control them.

I finished reading "Grasshopper" by Barbara Vine. In fact, I spent all afternoon and evening finishing it because it was engrossing. It's about a girl (20s) who loves heights and the group she gets in with that wander across the roofs of London. It's not a happy go lucky like the chimneysweep and children in Mary Poppins as they wander across the rooftops of London, but about the obsessions and decisions that push and pull us into ways we never intended. It is good.

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Rachel Aschmann 2001.
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