You, Carter! You're Hired!
A note I made for this column:
Sitting in a bar. Watching television news. Guy next to me, guy with plaster dust on his boots, sees something about former President Jimmy Carter's habit of helping build houses for the poor.
"You know why Carter did that?" the guy says to me.
I brace myself. I brace myself when anyone says anything even slightly political.
"No," I say.
"He's the only one of 'em who knows how to DO anything. Guy was a farmer."
"One of who?" I ask.
"The presidents," he says.
The guy with plaster dust on his boots left. I wrote down what he said and stuck it in the inside pocket of the blue seersucker sport coat I was wearing, a coat that identifies me as someone who doesn't know how to DO anything.
Fair enough. I did blue-collar work until I got out of graduate school. Then, I went to work for newspapers. As a blue-collar worker, I was always hired for the "pick it up and move it over there" jobs at the bottom of the skill ladder.