I’m Just a Blue Collar Guy…..

November 16, 2012


I don’t know if everyone who reads my blog knows what a “blue-collar guy” is (or at least my definition of it)? In my middle years in the 1960s, 70s, and early 80’s that meant the guy who got out of high school and managed to get a good paying job in a factory.  He could count of the company to payed pretty well for his work and to be there when he or his family had medical emergencies. He could count on being employed for years to come and then retiring with a manageable pension.

I know to many of you younger guys and gals this seems almost like a dream world. I was the first in my family to go to college, everyone in the Walters clan up until then were mostly farmers or blue collar workers.  Eli Lilly is a big deal in this part of the country.  I had an uncle who worked the line for thirty years there. When he went into retirement he found out that he was a millionaire. He took advantage of all the profit-sharing plans offered by the company and they proved to be worth much more than he imagined when it came time to cash them in. Back in those days companies actually thought of their employees as assets. Can you even imagine that!

I chose to go the college route instead of to the factory floor. I guess I had a pretty high IQ so I must have needed more stimulation than other in my clan. I did work in a machine shop during a couple of summers while in college. During that time I was one of Jimmy Hoffa’s guys in that I paid dues to the Teamsters Union. But that was the only time I was  “union” or a real blue-collar guy. It was good paying work but it sure was boring at least to me.

Blue collar guys just didn’t have much respect for those office people. A blue-collar guy knew that he were on the line day after day making products; he really didn’t know what those guys in the white shirts and ties did other than to bug him once in a while. Blue-collar guys especially didn’t think much of rich people. They thought most of them were just spoiled brats who were given everything! The blue-collar guys had to work hard to feed their families; those rich guys spent their time with their Cadillacs, yachts, and airplanes.

I’m just a blue-collar guy in my heart.  As I have mentioned before I am now into the auto type shows on satellite TV.  I watch builders like Boyd Cottington, Orange County Choppers, and Barry White Hot Rods. Most of their customers are old rich white guys trying to re-live their teenage years. They all seem to have a trophy wife half their age hanging on their sleeves. The blue-collar guys on these shows have to work long hours often through holidays just to make sure the rich guy gets his new toy on his birthday. Making the blue-collar guys slave over the holidays is just not fair in my mind!!!
Even though I was actually only a blue-collar guy for a couple of summers I continue to be a blue-collar guy in my heart….

10 responses to I’m Just a Blue Collar Guy…..

  1. 

    To Sluggy:
    It looks like you have an awfully lot to say about this general topic. I have a general rule for this blog and that is when the comment exceeds the length of the post and is only vaguely related to it then it needs a blog of its own.

    Sorry I couldn’t post your “comment”. Try to keep on the point the next time.

    Like

  2. 

    Ok RJ–your blog your rules. So I’ll take my opposing viewpoint elsewhere.

    Like

    • 

      Sluggy, I certainly welcome an “opposing viewpoint” but what I don’t welcome is going so far off the focus of the post just to make a point. To me comments should be about the post itself; yours drifted pretty far astray and got pretty long winded ;)

      Like

  3. 

    I’ve noticed that “sometimes” the stuffed shirts become more like blue-collar guys after they retire. More down to earth, more friendly, more casual….I like them much better then. I suppose the same could be said for women…altho it doesn’t seem like the divide was as great as for men. Aging can be a great equalizer sometimes, I guess.

    Like

    • 

      Hi Jane. Yeah I think you are right that “stuffed shirts” due tend to mellow out when they reach retirement years. I think it is getting the monkey off your back that helps.

      Like

  4. 

    I agree with Jane. I was one of the “white collar” guys for a good part of my working career. My only interaction with blue collars workers was when I hired them to do some work at my home.

    After retirement I discovered that I enjoy the company of the “blue collar” folks. They are down to earth, interesting, and much more open to sharing themselves. I was probably a white collar snob that needed a serious attitude adjustment.

    Like

    • 

      Interesting comments Bob. I was a white collar guy most of my life too but I always aligned more with my blue collar roots. In my early career I was one of handful of engineers responsible for the design of the Trimline telephone. (I bet you remember that one??) I got along with the line-workers much better than many of my cohorts because I related to them.

      Thanks for the admission of being a white collar snob ;) who has since reformed.

      Like

      • 

        Oh my gosh! We still have a Trimline phone. We always want to keep a corded phone for use in power outages and we’ve had this one for decades. My daughters roll their eyes at it’s “antiquity”. It is yellowing with age but still works!
        So here’s a belated thank you dor bringing us that design!

        Like

  5. 

    I’m afraid I must confess to always having feeling more comfortable with the white collar folk than the blue collar folk. I think of it as more of a difference in interests, than a difference in income though. I enjoy the type of mind that seems to develop after someone has spent time in college, traveled and therefore developed a broader perspective of the world, and pursued what I would probably term as intellectual pursuits.

    Like

    • 

      Thanks for giving us a different perspective Tamara. Yes, white collar guys are generally more intellectually stimulating; although I have known some pretty boring college grads. But as Bob says the blue collar guys are generally more down to earth and more sharing of their experiences. I am more like them that than most white collar guys; I wouldn’t be blogging here if I weren’t. :)

      Like