They Have It Easy: Job Dichotomies

     I would like to diverge from my usual scheme of picking dichotomous issues from the headlines and reflect on something that almost everyone is guilty of: accusing others of having an easy job (especially compared to us). This common practice stems from a empathy/observation dichotomy we experience (or more importantly do not experience) when at work, shopping, dining or receiving a service in the public sphere.
Empathy, or more accurately lack of, contributes greatly to a flippant attitude towards other peoples jobs.  In reality, we can only perform a certain number of jobs ourselves. We lack experience in a far greater range of employment and find it hard to comprehend the complexity of a unfamiliar situation.   For those who have performed the job they usually display a higher amounts of empathy but can also fall into a false sense of knowing what the current situation and duties truly entail.
What we observe of a person’s job Is most likely not a representative sample of their duties.  As experienced in our own careers,  the long list of responsibilities and nuances are rarely displayed to others. While it is easy to strawman, or criticize a simple portrayal of their job, and dismiss their difficulties as trivial for lack of effort or care.
The over simplification we make is common and is closely tied the rational of the ‘path of least resistance’ when exuding effort to understand others. It takes much less effort to assume a simple, easy situation for another than use time and energy to tease out the intricacies of their situation.  


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