Mike…You do not lead a normal life…

From the MRW Water Cooler

Q: Mike’s not going to read through 8 pages of thread.

Ya just never know, do you?

Amazing thread, great topic. The truth is, Lisa’s questions are best answered in a book, or perhaps, another venue, both of which I plan to undertake, in the unlikely event I find myself with several consecustive weeks off. Till then, a few brief comments to the original questions.

I am curious as to why you are considered the hero of the working man?

Obviously, that can only be answered by those who consider me as such. I certainly do not, and never have. However, Hard Work is in desperate need of a PR campaign. Historically, people with dirty jobs have been portrayed in predictable, unflattering ways. I try not to do that, without kissing up. Consequently, I am seen as different. My current notoriety speaks more to the problem at hand, than my own sparkling personality.

As an entertainer and I think a member of the Screen Actors Guild, you are paid to bring education, laughter and a new show to television each week.

My status as an “entertainer” generates no income, in and of itself. And members of SAG are not paid. In fact, I pay for the membership, which is mandatory.

But you are not really like me.

You have me at a disadvantage, as I have no idea what you are really like. And might I suggest, you might not really know me either.

You are kind and seem sincere in what you are doing, but you still do not have to go to any one of those dirty jobs day after day.(An illusion of Hollywood, a very good one)

I work every day Lisa. Every single day. And I like it. That is not an illusion.

In the beginning I think you may have been earnest, but now, you are everywhere and celebrity is your life.

Forgive me, but you have made three mischaracterizations in one short sentence. I was not earnest in the beginning. I am not everywhere. Celebrity is not my life.

You deserve what has come from your idea and still are working hard to bring more attention to the show. I realize that it is hard teamwork putting a show together from what you have explained to us, I am sure it is. But you get to cross that one off your list and move on. (I am brown with envy) I have been doing that most of my life and let me tell you, it is not looked upon as a good resume.

There’s more to life than a good resume. And crossing the days off as I go is something we all can do, if you’re inclined to do so, regardless of what you do for a living.

Mike, you’ve said that you never wanted to do that kind of work or perhaps that you did not have the “gene”. Why are you doing it now?

Because I’m interested. As I’ve always said, Dirty Jobs is a simple show with big themes presented around a very personal point of view. Now, after 200 jobs, I’m thinking it might be time to drill down a little more on what those themes are, and how they affect the shows popularity. I have no interest in becoming a “spokesman” for a group of people perfectly equipped to speak for themselves. However, I find myself with a unique claim, and a unique perspective. Moving forward, I think it’s worthwhile to talk about the lessons I’ve learned over the last few years. Not from a preachy standpoint, but from a personal perspective. The fact is, I’ve been wrong about a great many things I assumed to be true about the nature of work. I’ve personally seen a great many platitudes destroyed right in front of me. And I’ve seen the very real consequences of what can happen when a society demonizes dirt, and makes hard work the enemy.

Please do not take this as a hit and get mad at me. I am just questioning why I like Dirty Jobs and look forward to it each week. Is it because I like the show? Is it because I like you or how you bring attention to all of the crappy jobs that one has to do each day?

Good questions. I await your answers.

All of it I guess, you are pretty neat.

Thanks. All in all, I guess I’m pretty grateful.

I watched the show with my Nephew who is 11 years old and his Father came in the room. He said “Do good in school or you will have that job one day.

And that Lisa, is exactly how we make work the enemy. We separate blue from white collar, putting them at opposite ends of the spectrum. In truth, they are two sides of the same coin. One can not exist without the other. Separating them in this way has lead to real problems, and today, we are all paying the price for that kind of thinking, in a dozen different ways.

The attention you have brought to the working people is doing something good. But it is still an illusion.

You’re on the verge of depressing me. Why is it an illusion? The jobs are real. The people are real. Don’t despair. There is still much to be happy for.

Do you think you can change the minds of America about going to a dirty job each day or are they just laughing at us?

In my experience, the people who I have met on this show are the ones laughing. They are the ones who appear to be in on the joke. Not your nephews father. As for changing the way people think, I don’t know. But I believe I might be able to shift the conversation a bit. After that, who knows?

I am proud of all the things I do as a creative person and a hard working person. Thank you Mike.

You should be. And you’re welcome.


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