Working with the public for ten years sheds light on a topic not discussed regularly, the under-appreciation of blue-collar workers. These members of the working class fly under the radar the majority of the time. They often work long hours under all types of weather conditions and more often than not work during holidays.

Blue-collar workers operate in a variety of environments that includes anywhere from farms to factories. These are skilled workers who, although may not hold a college degree, have put in the time either as an apprentice or taken years to acquire and perfect a skill. It is important to note that most workers are often overworked. It takes only a few minutes for us to be patient when coming in contact with an employee. A small thanks for what you do goes a long way.

In today’s society, everyone is rushing; everyone wants things done the “right away,” but good work takes time. While you may come into contact with an employee who does not have the best people skills, take into consideration that we all have bad days.

I have worked in the automotive industry along with retail and public service for ten years, and I can say I’ve had first-hand experience in dealing with unkind and rude people. Over time you learn to overlook and continue to provide the customer with the best possible service you may be able to. The customer may not be aware we may be shorthanded, tired and overworked, while it’s not their responsibility to know as a decent human being understanding and patience is much appreciated.

I challenge you to be a more appreciative person next time you are dealing with not only a blue-collar worker but with an employee helping you. You may be the only kindhearted soul they come in contact with that whole day, it will make a difference.

— Cinthia Rico is a staff writer for the Times-Journal. Her email is

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