The Harvard Business Review has an article in the latest issue: How to teach pride in “Dirty Work.” This is not a joke!
Here is the essence of the article. Employees in stigmatized occupations can be helped with an array of techniques to cope with or even feel proud of their jobs,
including developing an occupational ideology to confer a more positive image on the work;
creating social buffers such as professional associations;
and avoiding specifics in conversation with outsiders.
Trust someone in Harvard to come up with this gem of false pride.
This has left Dr. Z wondering how many sewer workers sit down to craft an occupational ideology. For example, “you know Joe if we are dwelling within the existential zeitgeist approach to sewers we are the new proletariat of the masses.”
Creating social buffers would involve more detour signs around a work-site and the professional association would meet at Moe’s bar after work for beer and lively repartee. Of course when someone outside the city sewer department walks past the workers at the bar they would stop the sewer flow of conversation and pretend to be an Amway group.
Of course remember that pride cometh before the fall…now, back to the sewer and further discussion of Friedrich Nietzsche’s, Thus Spoke Zarathustra role in creating self-actualized workers.
Picture Credit: The Sewer’s View by http://flickr.com/photos/theotherdan/315312254/