Last night I was talking with a passenger in my car and he mentioned the phrase ‘makers and takers’. This is something I’ve heard over the years from people who identify their ideology as conservative. Based on what I’ve heard about this ‘makers and takers’ ideology it’s thinking people are basically one or the other and that being a ‘taker’ is a bad thing with no regard for circumstances.
Insert my first thought here: bullshit.
And I call bullshit on this first because the people who use this ‘maker or taker’ thing are for the most part shall we say, in an upper-middle class socio-economic category money-wise. To them, because they had various advantages and opportunities and live in nice houses and nice areas and have a lot of money to spend, they’re makers. In reality, they’re mostly white-collar desk jockeys who don’t really do much that’s useful. I mean, how many twits do we need to market and promote products and services that most people don’t need, or need a lot of?
What this ‘maker or taker’ idea deserves is a good hard drive into the toilet bowl of shitty human philosophies. Why? Because I’ve begun to realize this bullshit categorization of either/or is a fear that if someone who is a ‘taker’ starts to get a tiny bit ahead in this world through an increase in wages and such that they’ll become a ‘maker’. That realization came to me when my passenger referred to his gated suburban cookie-cutter neighborhood as where ‘the help’ lives.
It’s a good thing I was driving, it was dark, and he was sitting in the back and couldn’t see my face. Because it took a lot of energy for me to keep a completely straight face and not burst out laughing at how fucking stupid that sounded.
The Help. Yeah, I’m sure he probably thought of me that way though he had tried to butter me up a little by saying he admired the hours I put into the job I do when I answered his question about that. I let him run his mouth because I smelled that condescending bullshit a mile off. And no, don’t even think I’m being too hard here. I know arrogance when I hear it because truly arrogant people don’t really hide it too well.
I will also freely admit here that a lot of my antagonistic feelings towards this ‘maker or taker’ arrogant bullshit is because of all the shit I took working the phones. A lot of people thought that was an easy gig but trust me, it wasn’t And if products and services were better designed and implemented, and also if some people in corporate America weren’t corrupt assholes, my job could have been made a hell of a lot easier. This is why I like ‘disruptor’ companies like the one I drive for. They’re not totally perfect either and they have their share of corrupt assholes, too, but they also know there is someone waiting to pounce all over their ass and shred them to pieces. It’s a form of cutthroat capitalism that I hope will actually be turned to become a force for good by defying corporate bullshit of low wages, shitty benefits, and Hawaiian-shirt wearing corporate loyalty (for the Hawaiian shirt reference see the movie ‘Office Space’).
Now, to get a little serious here: I don’t see people as either/or. I see every person as an individual with a story to tell and living. And deep down, I believe what my father used to say: there are only two kinds of people in this world, good guys and jerks. Then he’d say don’t let the jerks ruin it for you.
So I didn’t let this guy ruin my night last night though I didn’t get a tip or a five-star rating out of him like he said he was going to give me.
Instead, I got tipped on eight out of twelve rides last night with the biggest tip being ten dollars. I’ll take the tips over any ratings any day of the week and if that makes me a ‘taker’ instead of a ‘maker’, so be it.
Because I’ll make my way in the world how I can and want to, and I’ll take the money and keep my mouth shut because as my late father also used to say to me, too: money talks and bullshit walks. And I can walk away from bullshit if I have to and have no regrets in doing so.