Jobs To Run In Hidden America By Jeanne Laskas

776 Words4 Pages

As Americans, we don’t spend much time thinking about what makes our country run and how we keep it running. We carry on our days with little thought to any of it. In Hidden America, Jeanne Laskas takes readers into the world of the unknown, the workers who make America run. From cowboys to truck drivers, the list is very diverse. As readers learn about these jobs, they learn about the dangers that come with them as well. Jobs such as coal mining, air traffic controls, and oil rigs are very vital to America, but are very, very dangerous not only to the workers, but also to the consumers. Starting with the very first chapter, Underworld, the reader is immediately introduced to a very crummy job that is vital to America’s survival. The coal …show more content…

The possibility of causing an explosion is so high that Laskas was forbidden from bringing her tape recorder down into the mines where any coal was exposed or any methane was leaking. Laskas states that you’re constantly aware of the “confinement, the lack of light, the very real worry about the roof caving in or the air supply shutting off or something blowing up” (Laskas 19). These coal miners risk the possibility of something malfunctioning, acting up, and ending their lives completely just so us Americans can turn on our TVs and hair dryers every day. Further into the novel, there is Traffic, the chapter regarding air traffic controllers. This introduces a whole different level of danger, because it has the potential of harming not the workers, but thousands of regular civilians. There has been a huge decline in hiring new workers into air traffic control and current employees are forced into working long, tedious hours in not very good conditions. They’re worn out from the lack of sleep from working and it’s causing them to care less and less about their productivity. Regardless of the fact that these employees work in “a tower serving 23 million passengers a …show more content…

In The Rig, the reader is given a glance into the life of an oil rig in the cold depths of Alaska. Off on a man built island off the coast of Alaska, lies an isolated oil rig with the few workers that control it. With the cold hitting a frigid 45 degrees below zero, it’s a difficult place to work in. These employees work on average two weeks on and then get a two week break at home. During their off time, they typically spent it all drunk since alcohol is forbidden on the oil rig because “everything here is flammable. One mistake and you could blow the place up” (Laskas 220). Along with the possibility of the place bowing up, the rig itself is a very dangerous machine. The rig is an “unforgiving steel tower, rife with peril: stuff turns, fingers get lopped off, arms, a couple of years ago a leg” (Laskas 222). Similar to the coal mine, these workers at the oil rig risk their very own lives to steal from the depths of the earth for the simple fact of fueling America further, and keeping our country up and

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