You enter your favorite book store, coffee shop, or restaurant and someone rings you up. Are you talking on your cell phone? Do you ask them how their day was? Do you see a person standing before you or do you see a worker bee sent from the cosmos to wait on you? Our tendency is to look down on those serving us, but one thing I picked up from my host family in Germany is that every job is important, therefore every person who performs a job is important. Imagine if all of the janitorial staff vanished overnight. Sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have.
Thankfully, society seems to agree with my host family. People who disregard the help are seen as snobby rather than admired. Take these examples from the TV show Gilmore Girls and novel Single in Suburbia…
The Gilmore family sits around discussing the staggering pace Mrs. Gilmore fires the help.
“…and after Sophia we had Anton,” Mrs. Gilmore says after reminding her husband that he hated Sophia.
“Oh that’s right, Anton was the one I liked,” Mr. Gilmore confirms.
Lorelai, their daughter chimes in, wondering how he could confuse Anton and Sophia. “One is a man, one is a woman,” she explains.
“And your point being?… I have alot to do in a day Lorelai; I don’t have time to keep up with the multitudes of people your mother employs.”
“But one is a man and one is a woman.”
The discussion is cut short when the newest maid comes in and Mrs. Gilmore calls her by the wrong name… twice. “I thought she said Mira,” she says with a shrug, not remembering the name “Sara” even a minute after she’s corrected.
(Gilmore Girls S1E3 “Kill me Now”)
When [Susie’s] gaze flickered over her, Amanda braced for the gasp of recognition… but Susie was already turning to lead her into the house, yakking away as if Solange was exactly who she appeared to be. Either her disguise was even better than she’d planed or being a maid was the equivalent of donning Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.
(Single in Suburbia by Wendy Wax)
Have you ever felt invisible at a job? Post your experiences.