Dickies Recognizes American Worker

| 6/9/2009 1:42:00 PM

A photo of the author, Caleb ReganThe summer before my last semester of college, I worked a construction job pouring concrete footings (foundations) part of the time and basement walls part of the time. My time pouring walls was the toughest work I’ve ever done, and I liked working alongside some of the hardest workers, at least physically, that I’ve ever encountered. Workers like these are just what Dickies is looking for as it seeks out a winner of the Dickies 17th Annual American Worker of the Year award.

Americans value hard work, but only to an extent, which I find interesting.

In my family, hard work was highly valued, and you were scolded and made to feel less of a man if you ever exhibited laziness when there was work to be done. My dad, mom and brothers worked hard, whether it was cutting wood, working in the garden, training for sports, haying or working on the cars. It was ingrained in our psyche that this was what men and women did for their families, and that started (at least in my immediate family) with how hard Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Fred and Mom worked to eke out a living for their family and build a farm.

In other families, I’ve noticed it’s not always the same, especially in white collar professions. I’ve seen, both in TV shows and real life, the doctors who are too preoccupied with their work to be good parents for their families. But it seems to me that too much work, or the too much value placed on the profession, is far less common in blue collar jobs, and that’s probably because it is totally necessary, monetarily, for a blue collar worker to put in the hours that they do.

For doctors and lawyers, the work can become more about ego and legacy than about providing for their families. Wives or husbands and kids, at a certain point, have enough monetary means and need that time with that parent who is too busy building a fortune and reputation.

So there is something special about the American blue collar worker, and I think what is special is that, for some, there is no ceiling on how hard or how much one should work. You work as much as you can to give your family what you need, and no one will ever tell you to stop or give you a break until you can’t do it anymore.

6/30/2009 11:30:37 PM

I too think its a good idea to show off what the American Worker is all about. However the website to enter hasn't worked in over a week and Dickies still hasn't fixed it. There are workers out there who couldn't enter because no one bothered to get the website up and running.

6/10/2009 1:34:20 AM

I agree with you. Hard work is one of the most important elements of success. These days, finding a job is never easy. Unemployment surged to a higher rate unexpectedly this year resulting to thousands of job loss and financial breakdown. People that are thinking of giving up on job searching are called discouraged workers. Discouraged workers are often people that are overqualified for the jobs they apply for, or older veteran workers that would be too costly for many companies to hire, or people in areas where employment prospects are scant. A lot of people are unemployed, and looking for a pay day that doesn't come in the form of a government check. It's best to keep faith, and keep on keeping on looking for work. The economy is predicted to begin recovery later this year, so there may be cash today for discouraged workers before they know it. For more of this, visit: http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/2009/06/08/don/

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