Wednesday, January 10, 2007

On Raising the Minimum Wage

Here is a poem regarding wages and expectations from Ogden Nash (1902-1971). I think Nash is meant to be read aloud, and I love his creative spelling. My mother has contributed to my love of Nash's quirky humor with some wonderful editions over the years. I read Nash at bedtime so I can giggle in bed, as Nash consistantly makes me laugh.

So here are a few thoughts on people looking for cushy entry-level positions. Please keep in mind that this was written in the 1930's.


There here are words of radical advice for a young man looking for a job;

Young man, be a snob.
Yes, if you are in search of arguments against starting at the bottom,
Why I've gottem.
Let the personnel managers differ;
It's obvious that you will get on faster at the top than at the bottom because there are more people at the bottom than at the top so naturally the competition at the bottom is stiffer.
If you need any further proof that my theory works
Well, nobody can deny that presidents get paid more than vice-presidents and vice-presidents get paid more than clerks.

Stop looking at me quizzically;
I want to add that you will never achieve fortune in a job that makes you uncomfortable physically.
When anybody tells you that hard jobs are better for you than soft jobs be sure to repeat this text to them,
Postmen tramp around all day through rain and snow just to deliver other people's in cozy air-conditioned offices checks to them.
You don't need to interpret tea leaves stuck in a cup
To understand that people who work sitting down get paid more than people who work standing up.

Another thing about having a comfortable job is you not only accommodate more treasure;
You get more leisure.
So that when you find you have worked so comfortably that your waistline is a menace,
You correct it with golf or tennis.
Whereas is in an uncomfortable job like piano-moving or stevedoring you indulge,
You have no time to exercise, you just continue to bulge.
To sum it up, young man, there is every reason to refuse a job that will make heavy demands on you corporally or manually,
And the only intelligent way to start your career is to accept a sitting position paying at least twenty-five thousand dollars annually.

~Ogden Nash


  1. Cute little scipt. Can you imagine if people only made 12 grand a year in this day in age? What I want to know is what if you work a both a hard labor and sit down job? ie. a mother who chases her toddler only to have to sit patiently nursing the second one while the toddler continues to run. No one ever discusses the wages of a mother.

    Okay well that was my attempt at an intellectual comment. Silly really, but that is what happens when you spend the day watching the Wiggles & reading Dr. Suess. Love the blog. Have a fabouloso day!

  2. Well, the Wiggles will kill any braincells you have left!