"They hire someone--this has happened several times--so they don't have to talk to me," he went on, growing more animated and reddening with amazement. "It's like they're afraid of me! So they hire a guy who's more comfortable dealing with a masculine-type person. I stand there and talk to the customer, and the customer doesn't talk to me or look at me, he talks to the intermediary, and the intermediary talks to me. It's the yuppie buffer." He wasn't slurring gay men--he described these customers as mainly "metrosexuals"--nor was the problem all yuppies, some of whom had been his customers for years. It was a new group who had moved from Manhattan in the past few years, and who could not detach themselves from their communications devices long enough to look someone in the eye or notice the source of a leak. This was a completely new phenomenon in the roofer's world: a mass upper class that was so immersed in symbolic and digital cerebration that it had become incapable of carrying out the most ordinary functions--had become, in effect, like small children with Asperger's symptoms. It was a ruling class that, out of sheer over-civilization, was quickly losing the ability to hold onto its power.
"What's going to happen if these people lose their jobs?" he said after we'd come down from the roof and were standing at the front door. "They can't do anything else. I'll tell you what they're going to do. They're going to look for help from the government. Socialism! And it's happening while we speak!"
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Roofer speaks like a prophet
The roofer in New York, speaking about yuppie customers. This is hilarious and disturbing. From the New Yorker.