One of the biggest issues I have with the perception of value, and particularly that of wealth and salary, is the notion that you can say one occupation is objectively more… shall we say complex or “special” than another.

Now it’s obvious that you can’t really run a company without an effective CEO, in the same way the effectiveness of a team depends on the effectiveness of the manager.

What I’m getting at is that, while the average requisite know-how of a given job might be less demanding than that of another — for example, the job of a line cook can be said to be less “intellectually” stimulating than that of a lawyer — that doesn’t mean it can’t be just as intellectually stimulating.

The problem with appearances is that it’s very easy for one to assume that it’s easy to pick up the skills necessary to perform a certain job well.

I once was given a try-out as a bike mechanic and learned embarrassingly just how hard it is to tune up a bike when you know absolutely nothing — but think you know enough.

Not only is it an insult to your own dignity once you realize the glaring gap between what you thought it would take to perform the job and what is actually required of you… it’s also an insult to those who have done that job thousands of times before you ever gave it a second thought.

There’s always more “behind the scenes” to whatever job you can think of. Always plenty of reps that you’ve never seen practiced that led to the facility with which a seasoned worker can perform a task. Always an infinite range of complexity that can be sprinkled into even the smallest detail of a particular project.

So when I hear people dismiss certain occupations with pity and contempt, simply because they don’t carry a minimum level of prestige… or because they don’t pay enough for a membership at that phony local social club… well it musters an equal degree of contempt for that individual.

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