Hello everyone! Welcome back to MaoMi Chinese!
Recently, I saw some thought-provoking news. Thought-provoking means that it makes people think seriously. What news made me think deeply? In China, many older workers are unemployed. Unemployed means they lost their jobs and have no work. The reason they lost their jobs is that the factories do not need them anymore since many young people are willing to work in the factories. I was surprised because a few years ago, people did not think that working in a factory was a good job, and even looked down upon it. Why did this change happen? Today, let's discuss this together.
In Chinese, people who do physical work are called blue-collar workers, such as factory workers, construction workers, repair workers, delivery drivers, supermarket clerks, and so on. People who do mental work are called white-collar workers because they often wear suits, such as computer engineers, lawyers, bank employees, and many office workers. For a long time, people thought that being a white-collar worker was better and more prestigious than being a blue-collar worker. For the past few decades, people have had an idea that mental work is more prestigious than physical work because only educated people can do mental work. Because of this, young people used to despise working in factories. If you argue with someone online and want to say that they are annoying, you might say a bad thing like, "You are so idle, why not find a job in a factory?" The work in the factory is tiring and boring, and no one wants to do it except for older workers and migrant workers. However, in recent years, a change has occurred, and some factory jobs have become in high demand. Why did this happen? I think there are a few reasons.
The first reason is that the recent economic downturn, meaning the recent economy is not good, many companies have laid off employees. Layoff means some companies fired employees. Many people have lost their jobs, and many people's incomes have decreased. Some white-collar workers even have lower incomes than factory workers or delivery workers. Some young people cannot find jobs and can only work in factories, doing some physical work. These young people are forced to do so. Forced to do means that we don't want to do this thing at all, but for many reasons, we have to do it.
The second reason is that the mental pressure of many white-collar workers is too great, so they give up their white-collar jobs and prefer to do physical work. In some companies, many people can only work from nine to nine, which means they work from nine in the morning to nine at night, six days a week, or even longer. At work, they also have various pressures, such as bad relationships with leaders and colleagues, troublesome clients, and so on. In contrast, doing physical work has no such pressure, as long as they use their bodies to work.
The third reason is the Chinese government's propaganda. Because more and more college graduates are coming out, many college students cannot find white-collar jobs in companies. On the other hand, many factories do not have enough workers. The government promotes that factory work is also essential, and the salary is good, so some college graduates who cannot find jobs decide to work in factories.
Actually, whether it's mental work or physical work, we should all respect anyone who works hard. What about you? What is your current job? Do you prefer mental or physical work? Feel free to leave your comments
and share with us!
2 thoughts on “#116 Do you prefer physical work or mental work? 你更喜欢体力活还是脑力活？”
It is the same in the UK. For many years the government encouraged children to go to university and train for white collar work but now we are left with very few manually skilled workers. We have very few plumbers, electricians and manufacturers. The UK government is trying to promote manual apprenticeships to address this problem and change people’s snobbish attitudes towards manual work. My father was a chemical engineer all his life but when he retired he became a train guard on a steam railway. He is so much happier in this more physically demanding and friendly job than he was working on computers all day. He’s in his late seventies now and healthier than ever
It seems like blue collar workers earns a lot more in UK too!