Low Skilled Workers? You Mean Low Value Mayor.
NYC has a well established pedigree of turning on its Mayor. However, when it comes to Eric Adams,
someone really needs to give the Guinness Book of Records a shout. He has somehow managed to
become even more unpopular than he previously was within a matter of days of getting into office.
As if our stop and frisk supremo wasn’t a dismal person enough, he’s now gone after essential NYC
workers as (drum roll) “low skilled workers.” Of course he has.
At a recent signing of a city executive order, Adams took questions from the press about white collar
workers making a return to their offices in an effort to further stimulate the economy. Showing as
much respect as a fox has for a hare, here’s his very early contender for most patronising quote of
“Many employees are saying, ’We don’t want to come back into the office… Now, that’s fine, if we
weren’t connected,” said Adams. “My low skill workers — my cooks, my dishwashers, my
messengers, my shoeshine people, those who work in Dunkin Donuts — they don’t have the
academic skills to sit in a corner office.” Eric Adams.
Where to begin? The appetizer here is the possessive use of “my low skill workers.” We really are
then only a hop, skip and a jump from an echo of “my plantation workers.” Another New Yorker has
such a bloated sense of self-importance and fake benevolent bluster, and that’s Donald Trump. And
at least he’s out of NYC. Adams continues to linger in the city like the smell of a bad drain.
Then there’s the main course – “low skilled workers.” Let’s start from a basic position and build
things up. It’s sometimes heard that “I’m just a janitor” or “I’m just a waitress.” Of course, we know
that is never the case. There is no such thing as “just a [insert job].” There either is a job or there is
not. Working from that premise, we can then home in on Adams’ hurtful words.
First, there is an inference that that low skilled somehow means “low intelligence.” Which is of
course both offensive and patently not the case.
Second, the term “low skilled worker” has long been the justification for low wages, regardless of
hard work being just that, hard work. It is often the veneer of exploitative working practices that
need to be eradicated. Period.
Third, on the back of that “low skilled worker” also has another set of connotations – racism, sexism
and xenophobia. The idea being that the historically lesser valued members of society are fit only to
perform “low skilled” positions. Meanwhile, the “high skilled” jobs naturally get gobbled up by
privileged and already affluent white males.
Fourth, has Adams any idea how hard it is, and what range of skills you need to tend to a busy bar or
to work on seven different meals at once, all while customers are expecting quality service? That is
a skill set that would elude many who had not done it before.
And fifth, how short memories have become, particularly so that of Mayor Adams. As the COVID
pandemic rapidly wrecked economies across the country and around the world, suddenly, janitors,
cleaners, and fast-food workers, to name but a few employment sectors, were deemed to be
“essential workers.” Despite the wheels of the economy spiralling off as the pandemic took hold,
New Yorkers ever more wanted the reassurance of their fast food as they languished under lock
down, so along came the likes of kerb-side pick-up. And as we know, all that food still needed to be
prepared behind the scenes. And that was all the time with New Yorkers wanting to know that the
venue that it was being made in was clean from top to bottom.
What exactly is this man doing and what purpose does he serve? The Queen has more in common
with regular New Yorkers than does Adams. At least she knows how to be diplomatic when needed.
And let’s not forget, in what can only be described as a rampant display of cronyism, Adams has
recently appointed his brother to a high-ranking NYPD position. In a babbling defense of the
undefensible, Adams made some bizarre reference to his “security” and that only his brother could
provide a level of that that was satisfactory to Adams. Go figure.
The best thing that Adams could do right now is what his fellow over-lord Trump did, and that is
disappear for good. Adams offers little good, reduced ability and above all else, is the city’s low
value Mayor. Recall ERIC ADAMS.