You and Your Work Part 1: Babysitting Cousin

  • What are the practices/processes/activities of my work? The practices of my work involves watching a child’s every move at all costs. I have to be a robin that would nurture and take care of her chicks as she sits in her nest 24/7. There things that I might have to do like feeding him, watching preschool shows with him, making sure he stays out of trouble, and keeping him away from the outside at all times. Personally, I don’t have the patience to deal with kids that whine if they don’t get their way or won’t obey any order that I give. It’s a tedious process that would leech my brain cells if I endure it every now and then. I put up with it because it prepares me for things like having a career and being a parent in the near future. Babysitting a kid is a great way of preparing you for such responsibilities, especially if a little one that can or cannot be related to you can test your intelligence. He can be your friend if you be nice to him like a father would to his son, but not give him too much freedom when he’s in your sight. It’s something that I chose to do since it’s the first step to adulthood and prepares you for something similar when you actually have a spouse.
  • What are the tools and places where I work? There aren’t really that many tools I need for this job, though there are a few honorable mentions for babysitting. Since Jaden is a really young child, I can play some games with him like flash cards or anything that he like to do. The TV remote is in my control, which means I dictate what’s appropriate for him and what his parents wouldn’t want him to watch. Watching preschool channels like Nick Jr. or Disney Clubhouse would be a good start if he’s that young. Since they are growing sprouts that can be damaged easily, I give them food that they would normally eat that isn’t too salty or sugary like junk food. If they beg for it, I hide so that he won’t be able to sneak a morsel of it in his mouth like a weasel would to a chicken egg. The place I where I work would obviously be wherever the subject lives, like my cousin Jaden would live in my aunt’s house for example. The house is huge with two floors, the bottom room having the kitchen and living room and the top having both the parents’ and kids’ rooms (where I watch TV with my cousin).
  • What are the products of my work? There really is no product for my work per se, but the child I take care of  for the period (Jaden) is considered the product. Children are like plants, in which you have to watch over them overtime and raise it the right way without any trouble. Taking on this metaphor, this plant belongs to someone else and she has entrusted you to take care of it while she’s gone. Like I would  do to anything I own, I make sure that he doesn’t get seriously hurt and keep my eyes on it as long as possible. I do feed him when he’s hungry like a gardener would to his plant, but not o the point of being overfed. I play with Jaden when he asks for it so that whole babysit won’t be too boring or if there’s nothing for him to watch. I’m not the type of guy who watch or play things that aren’t for my age, but I’d put up with it for the sake of getting the job done.  Even show that would think of their viewers as goldfish with low attention spans like Dora the Explorer wouldn’t bother me to the pint of insanity.
  • Who do I work for? Who consumes my work? Where does my work end up? My aunt Yvonne is the mother of Jaden, making her my client and consumer for this job. She’s a woman who’ is infamous for her tight working schedule and lack of time to keep him entertained when he wants to, which I where I come into play. She’s the one who hired me to take care of and watch over Jaden while she’s at work over the night. She consumes my work since since she wants someone for the job and will pay me if I get it right. Normally, I’m the determined man who would do things no matter how annoying or impossible it is unlike my more lazier siblings. I know what it’s like to watch over something since I have a few pets and would tend my mini garden in the past, which had prepared me for such a task. My work does end up gig ing me the responsibility and patience for any other job or career in the near future. Not to mention showing what it’s like to raise a child or family in general as an adult like most Americans would do. This is my work and I am proud to do it since it helps me become a more efficient worker and a possible parent for my future.

Response to Terkel’s Working

One worker from Terkel’s Working that talk about his work in ways that most resemble my own work was Nick Salerno because how he describes being a garbageman is like my job as a baby sitter. “Some days it’s real nice. Other days, when you get off that truck you’re tired, that’s it! You say all you do is drive all day, but driving can be pretty tiresome–especially when the kids are out of school. They’ll run through a gangway into the alley. This is what you have to watch for.” (Pg. 103 Paragraph 5) When he describes how tedious it it when driving around in a truck all day and looking out for obstacles around him it, it reminds of how babysitting is in general. Not only you have to look out for everything that the kid you have to watch do, but it grows tiresome the more you have to do it because of how repetitive a child’s disobedience is.  Another worker from Terkel’s Working that talk about his work in ways that most resemble my own work was Roy Schmidt because how he describes being a grocery box boy is as tiresome as being a babysitter. “You’d go up and say, “Jim, can I have a break?” He’d say, “A break? You want a break? Make it a quick one, nine and a half minutes.” Ha ha ha. One time I asked the assistant manager, Henry. He was even older than Jim. “00 you think I can have a break?” He’d say, “You got a break when you were hired.” Ha ha ha. Even when they joked it was a put-down.” (Pg. 281 Paragraph 5) When you have to collect boxes for a supermarket, you have to organize them for hours due to large amount of products in stock for sales, which means the chances of having a break during work is low. When I babysit someone, I have to be with him/her at all times and not leave the house since it’s my responsibility to make sure that the child does cause trouble in the house.

Response to This American Life’s “Nice Work If You Can Get It”

Here’s why I got out of This American Life’s “Nice Work If You Can Get It”. Most astronauts that assign for the job do mini jobs like practice flights in a plane, gravitational tests, and tests based on astrology. The ones that do the best in the test results manage to get into space, which happens on rare occasions, or go home for not being astronaut material. John Hogman was dragged into a series of high profile Apple Computers commercial due to his embarrassing androgynous appearance. He was stressed out by his new found fame and gained weight throughout the course of his life, keeping himself hidden from the paparazzi at all costs. This is considered the downside of being famous or involved in medias that would eventually make you look bad.  Ed Ugel had a very unusual dream job that involved buying jackpots from lottery winners. When you win the lottery, your prize is often paid out in yearly installments and Ed would offer winners a lump sum in exchange for their yearly checks. He’s talked with thousands of lottery winners, and the vast majority, he says, wish they’d never won. Ed wrote a book about his years in the “lump sum industry” called Money for Nothing: One Man’s Journey Through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions. Sarah Vowell tells the story of a mapmaker named Charles Preuss who charted the Western Territories with two of American history’s legendary explorers—John Charles Fremont and Kit Carson. The maps Preuss made were best sellers and helped open the Western frontier to settlement. But, as he wrote in the diary he kept while in the wilderness, he hated pretty much every minute of the expedition due to how tedious it was. Reporter Douglas McGray interviews a college student in California with good grades, an excellent work ethic, but no possible way to get a legal job. She’s lived in the U.S. since she was little, but her parents are undocumented; and she is, too. She had really wanted to be a waitress, but felt that many people didn’t want to see her potential and rejected her from the job. This talks about how getting a job isn’t easy as it seems since they expect a lot from a high school/college student in terms of how efficient of a  worker they want you to be.

Response to Rose’s “The Working Life of a Waitress” and “Reflective Technique: Electrical Wiring and Construction”

On page 26 (third full paragraph), Rose explains that “the work required that she tolerate rude behavior and insults, smile when hurt or angry. Though she did not see herself as a servant, she was economically beholden of others, and, in some ways- particularity in public display-had to be emotionally subservient.” But in the same paragraph he also offers and abstract commentary or analysis of what he’s describing when he writes: “Yet, although she could certainly feel the sting of insult, my mother saw “meanness” and “ignorance” as part of the work, and that provided for her degree of emotional distance.”

Another example is on page 24 (second full paragraph), he explains that “Attention to detail .. keeping water glasses full, keeping extra stuff on the table, just the little things to make it a more pleasant sensory experience…” But in the same paragraph he also offers and abstract commentary or analysis of what he’s describing when he writes: “Memory, attention, the creation of service, and a waitress’s personal satisfactions are all of a piece in the busy restaurant.” This does make me think of the time when I had to babysit my cousins back in Rockford in the past.

I have to be in my aunt’s massive suburban house with my younger cousin with large TV in the parents’ room for him to watch, plenty of food for me and him to eat, and enough room for us to fit and sit on the bed to enjoy certain shows with him. He would have emotions ranging from anger to confusion to sadness when it comes to not getting his way or wanting to look for his mother. This is a test of patience to see if I can stand being around a younger individual and guide him without being too hard on him or lose patience overall, basically like preparation for being a parent. You have to meet the child’s needs without being too aggressive, give him as much attention as possible, be patient with him in terms of his pleas, watch whatever he wants that’s for his age without any complaints, and give him the type of food that’s good for him. That’s what it means to be a babysitter and you don’t necessarily have to love kids in order to do such a job/responsibility.

Response to Sanders’s “The Inheritance of Tools” and “Under the Influence”

“I tell these things not only from memory but also from my recent observation, because my own son now turns blocks of wood into nailed porcupines, dumps cans full of sawdust at my feet and sculpts highways on the  floor.” (Saunders pp 5).  I still notice every twitch of emotion in the faces around me, having learned as a child to read the weather in faces, and I blame myself for their least pang of unhappiness or anger.” (Saunders pp. 12).  These two sentences are in agreement with each other  because they share the same idea of how your life with your father will affect your own life.

“My father would let me lacerate the board until my arm gave out, and then he would wrap his hand around mine and help me finish the cut, showing me how to use my thumb to guide the blade, how to pull back on the saw to keep it from binding, how to let my shoulder do the work.” (Saunders pp. 4). “Like a torture victim who refuses to squeal, he would never admit that he had touched a drop, not even in his last year, when he seemed to be dissolving in alcohol before our very eyes.” (Saunders pp. 3). These two sentences contradicted each other because one father is affected by his object in a good way when around his family while the other father is affected by his object in a bad way.

Saunders could write two different essays with two very different perspectives on the character because he wants to give his readers a taste of the good and the bad. Basically, he’s letting us know the possibilities of what would happen if the character’s father had a different personality that would affect him in a different way. Many people have different tastes and may prefer one story to the other depending on which one is more interesting or believable when it comes to how work affects you in life. In the Inheritance of Tools, the father taught his son how to handle a hammer, a family hierloom, that would make him a hardworking man that loves to take care of his family. In Under the Inluence, the protagonist’s father had an unhealthy alchoholism problem that would eventually lead him to feel guilty about himself and consider his workaholic tendencies equally as bad. That way, it makes us look at both viewpoints in an interesting way instead of focusing  one setting when it comes to explaining the subject.

Response to Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

A classical understanding sees the world primarily as underlying form itself according to Pirsig’s and it is much different from a romantic understanding. It’s the type of understanding and revolves around facts or the scientific form when it comes anything in life. For example, someone has to appreciate something for the meaning of it’s form other than judging it’s appearance. I have once shown the specs of the PlayStation 3 to a fellow gamer and he was drawn by the luscious details about it.  Like the frame rates it could handle, the type of engine it could handle, and every other details that makes of console’s wonderful form. Most gamers wouldn’t care for such details and just buy the console for it’s appearance and the graphics of the compatible games alone.”But if you were to show the same blueprint or schematic or give the same description to a classical person he might look at it and then become fascinated by it because he sees that within the lines and shapes and symbols is a tremendous richness of underlying form” (Pirsig pg. 2).

The romantic undertsnading is primarily inspirational and is all about feelings rather than facts predominate compared to classical understanding. This is heavily liked to something that you’d want to admire on the outside, in which it’s name came from Romantic Era art. “It does not proceed by reason or by laws. It proceeds by feeling, intuition and esthetic conscience.” (Pirsig pg. 2). Though, it it usually associated with femininity since most women would have these type of thoughts towards. A great example would be the beauty of a flower being interpreted by the average human. Most men would feel awkward if they were to admit how beautiful it looks and focus on something more with a more manlier form.  Now if it were a woman witnessing the flowers form, she would observe the crisp petals of the flower’s head along with the soaked green stem that holds it up. There are differences between the two understandings (classical and romantic), though they could be used together when it comes to judging anything’s form regardless of type.



Introduction: Mind and Work

What Rose means by his mother and uncle’s work affecting their identity is that it establishes who they are as people and what type of interests they have. He had idolized these specific relatives so much, hence why they were an influence to what he should think of work in his future. He talked about how his mother wanted to work as a waitress because she knew that she was finding some work. She was described as a hard working woman that would gossip with the costumers, complain about the hard work, and pass out the food whenever it was needed. She had described herself as “being among the public” and loved her job no matter how busy her body had to be during each shift.

Rose also had spoken of his uncle named Frank who had worked very hard as a railroad worker. The conditions of his job were much worse than Rose’s mother, but he had enjoyed his work nonetheless. He had a high knowledge of the many conditions and objectives when it came to working on the railroad thanks to his high knowledge and strong body. Frank had endured busy schedules, blistering cold, burning wounds, and intense pain during his time as a railroad worker. After such hazardous conditions, he had managed to pull through and became known as railroad man that did something big for the Pennsylvania Railroad

Though limiting in so many ways, their work provided a means of doing something in the world. As described earlier, both relative shad their punishing hardships during their career, but provided something good to the world thanks to their hard work. Work expands your knowledge, in which Rose called the business of intelligence, in which it challenges both your body and mind once you start your career. He had described a few factors like the way we decide who’s the most intellectual and the effect such judgement would have on who we are as a worker. Though, the common theme of labor is that it’s a political and social force that requires high levels of analytic skill.