Thursday, March 12, 2009

blue-collar people do not work in bethesda . . .

(Profanity ensues. Thanks to Ben Ross from ACT for the heads-up.)

Says Jim O'Brien, Chevy Chase resident and member of the Columbia Country Club, who wrote the Post today (representing himself) as to why the Purple Line makes no sense:
This is not a blue-collar town; Bethesda has no jobs for people with low-to-moderate skills. It was planned that way by the county in the 1960s, and it's what we have now: a town full of restaurants and condominiums and office buildings, housing college-educated workers and professionals . . . Where would you build a factory or even a warehouse? There is no reason to build a transitway to attract workers if there are no jobs for them in town.
Try telling that to the people who clean your office/clean your streets/serve you food/make your food/mow your lawn/mow your country club's lawn/deliver the fucking Washington Post to your house. I mean, if you have so much time to write letters about shit you clearly don't know what you're talking about, you certainly don't do anything yourself, so somebody has to. (I myself have spent three summers filing papers/making coffee/answering phones/scooping ice cream in and around Bethesda - and sat on buses for up to three hours a day to make it happen, so you can shove it even further, Mr. O'Brien.)

8 comments:

jen said...

What the fuck is wrong with people? That's all I have to say about Mr. Jim O'Brien.

Thomas Hardman said...

Now now, Dan, I realize that one can be almost instantly filled with an outpouring of pent-up outrage when confronted with our modern Marie Antoinettes who can thoughtlessly declare "then let them eat cake" when notified that the citizens have no bread.

Maybe if oyu wrote him a less strongly-worded letter and pointed out that you're about this close to a very fine degree in a valuable art/science which will inevitably have you working at a top-floor office in some place very much like Bethesda if not in Bethesda itself. Yet for all of the years before you can afford to live in Bethesda/Chevy-Chase, you'll be commuting there, and you should be commuting on the Purple Line rather than riding the bus for three hours.

And BTW if you ever wonder why I occasionally go a bit over-the-top, I've been dealing with this sort of clue-freeness online for about a dozen years now.

But what can you expect from people who have to wait for five minutes at the one traffic light between their Chevy Chase mansion and their Bethesda office -- and do so in the back of their chauffeured limo -- and bitch about congestion as they wait to cross over MD-355, and remain utterly clueless about the people stuck in the radial arterial traffic on 355 all of the way in from Germantown.

Rich said...

This is what kills me - that every time you raise a concern about the mind-blowing scale of disparity between the wealthy and everyone else in this country, they cry "class warfare" - like that's a bad thing. I say: damn right it's class warfare. It's been that the last eight years at least - and certainly as long as four major golf courses got zoned for this corner of montgomery county. Why do we put up with this? Why are we not protesting those little shits and their snotty sons at 14th hole on our land alongside the Crescent Trail right now?

Jenny said...

As a staunch defender of Marie-Antoinette, I have to point out that it has been proven that she never said "Let them eat cake."

Dave Murphy said...

For the record, I am a blue collar worker in Bethesda on my second job. For many of the people with whom I work, it is their first job. My boss does not own a car, and he commutes from the Lyttonsville area. Another guy who works there with me is a superintendent of one of those pretty little office buildings. Does he and his crew not count?

I don't know who Jim O'Brien thinks works in all those restaurants, but it's not a white collared job.

I am also disappointed to hear him characterize blue collar jobs as people with "low-to-moderate skills". I'm a college educated individual, and many people I know work physically demanding blue collar jobs in Bethesda. I suppose in O'Brien's eyes sitting at a desk pushing papers is a much higher skill than being a police officer or an EMT. Infuriating.

Betsy said...

I don't work there, but I interviewed for three or four jobs in Bethesda last fall that were all in the $10-$12/hour range. Now, Mr. O'Brien might call these white-collar jobs, as they were all about paper-pushing. Nonetheless, I wouldn't exactly call them swanky.

jen said...

I absolutely do not think a "less strongly worded" letter is in order. I know people just like Mr. Jim, in fact his doppelganger used to be my father-in-law, and I can tell you that men like this will not be persuaded. They see the world the way the want to see it, and because of their race and gender and class standing, they pretty much get away with it. They can stay in their twisted little world without too much problem, and no letter from Dan or anyone, strongly worded or not, is going to change that.

There are only two viable responses to men like Mr. Jim, which roughly correspond to Rich's comment(revolution) or mine (say "fuck them" and move on).

Meg said...

Mr. O'Brien - who keeps those restaurants running, works at the auto shops, cleans those "white collar" offices...
It takes a village (you idiot)