As some of you may know, I am a huge fan of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple.
(I still respect him, but I’m no longer a fan of Apple’s products. Not since MacOS 10.4 in 2005. Just so you know I’m not a blinkered fanboy.)
Now, here’s one reason why I rate Jobs, which you can file under: “Insanely Great!” his most famous catchphrase.
When the Mac was produced in 1984, he insisted, at significant extra cost, in having the names of all the engineers who designed it engraved INSIDE the case, where almost nobody would ever see those names. I was lucky enough to see them, because I once watched an engineer remove the casing. (Oh yes, circuit boards can be beautiful, why are most of them ugly?)
You can also file under: respect for the dignity of the work of other human beings.
Which leads me on to my next couple of stories.
Studs Terkel has been described as a historian and a sociologist but he prefers to call himself a “guerrilla journalist with a tape recorder.” He created controversy we’re told when Tony Blair resigned and he asked: “Why was he such a house-boy for Bush?” Studs Terkel died in his Chicago home on 31st October, 2008 at the age of ninety-six. He asked that his epitaph should be: “Curiosity did not kill this cat.”
“When you become part of something, in some way you count. It could be a march; it could be a rally, even a brief one. You’re part of something, and you suddenly realize you count. To count is very important.”
Working (1974), is his account of people’s working lives. Terkel wrote:
“Work is about
a daily search for meaning
as well as daily bread,
as well as cash,
rather than torpor,
in short for a sort of life,
rather than a
sort of dying.”
This is an edited excerpt from the interview that opens the book:
(Mike LeFevre was thirty-seven in 1972). He works in a steel mill. On occasion, his wife Carol works as a waitress in a neighborhood restaurant; otherwise, she is at home, caring for their two small children, a girl and a boy...
“You don’t see where nothing goes. I got chewed out by my foreman once. He said, “Mike, you’re a good worker but you have a bad attitude.” My attitude is that I don’t get excited about my job. I do my work but I don’t say whoopee-doo.
The day I get excited about my job is the day I go to a head shrinker. How are you gonna get excited about pullin’ steel? How are you gonna get excited when you’re tired and want to sit down? It’s not just the work. Somebody built the pyramids. Somebody’s going to build something. Pyramids, Empire State Building-these things just don’t happen. There’s hard work behind it. I would like to see a building, say, the Empire State, I would like to see on one side of it a foot-wide strip from top to bottom with the name of every bricklayer, the name of every electrician, with all the names. So when a guy walked by, he could take his son and say, “See, that’s me over there on the forty-fifth floor. I put the steel beam in.” Picasso can point to a painting. What can I point to? A writer can point to a book. Everybody should have something to point to.”
taken from this PDF which I found on the net,
so you can too: StudyGuide-Working.pdf
A Study Guide Of WORKING
From the Book by Studs Terkel
Adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso
Original Production Directed By Stephen Schwartz
FORT WAYNE CIVIC THEATRE
IN THE WINGS Arts-In-Education Program
PERFORMANCES FOR SCHOOLS
AND SOCIAL SERVICES
Saturday, May 8, 2009 @ 2:00 p.m.