Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

For information on partnering with AskDrJob.com, please contact us.

No such thing as a foolish question

Q.While we were staying in a motel during vacation, our very bright, seven-year-old son, whom we adopted from Guatemala, carefully observed the people working there. Then he asked, "Why do all the people who do cleaning in the hotel and restaurants and the yards talk Spanish?" I told him, "Many come from Mexico and they can't earn enough money there, so they come here to find work. Since they can't talk English, they take any jobs they can find, and those often are cleaning jobs other people don't want." I also told him that most of them work very hard and try to get better jobs later, and they work to help their children get educations and do better in life. Our son liked that. 

Ans. Thanks for sharing that. Another day you might tell your bright boy that there's no such thing as demeaning work as long as you keep your dignity. You might also emphasize that immigrants from countries other than Mexico often have that same experience. (There's also no such thing as a foolish question, only people too foolish to ask it.)

Real reasons why elderly don't retire

Time for teens to help parents