I hear many people in my neck of the woods complain incessantly about jobs. There are simply no jobs and no work. Next follows the blame game. It’s the democrat’s fault (or republican’s depending where you live) the economic recovery is slow, it’s the Mexican’s fault for stealing jobs; it’s the greedy corporation’s fault for off shoring and outsourcing.
Blah, blah, blah… whatever you complainey pants babies. I lost my job a while back and it took me a good 2 months to get back to work. But while I was unemployed, I STILL WORKED! I mowed grass, cut tree limbs and raked leaves. I built web pages and did some freelance graphic design. I even picked up a sizable contract for some GIS work (the field I worked in prior to being fired).
My point being, I took odd jobs I normally would not do, I took on the role of an entrepreneur a bit more, and I worked on building up my skill sets and learning a few new tricks along the way.
The real reason most complainey pants babies can’t find work is probably because they don’t know how to do much and they’re not very interested in changing that. Even in a slow economy, the skilled work force is finding work. In fact, the only groups of skilled laborers I’ll give a pass to in this situation are the carpenters, electricians and plumbers who are facing an outright depression in their given fields. However, even they get only limited sympathy from me.
I remember the days of working for a local government and seeing all the fat cats hanging around community development who were raking in bags of money from the housing boom. How much did these guys squirrel away for a rainy day? They should have had their houses and cars practically paid off and sitting on enough cash to allow them the time to learn to do something new and find a new path to forge in life. Instead, they overextended themselves and lived beyond their means more times than not- the true, American way.
We have lost much of what made us great in America to begin with. We have become a nation soft baby’s bottoms who are more interested in complaining and waiting for The Man to fix everything for us than actually learning to do something of value and helping ourselves.
At the same time we are experiencing high levels of unemployment, we continue to experience an abysmally low high school graduation rate. In this country more than 35% of students drop out of high school and the sad fact of the matter is, you don’t have to do much to graduate from high school in many of our public school systems. I graduated alongside some peers who could barely read or do basic algebra.
In the face of this statistic, many of us will PLAY THE BLAME GAME! “George Bush ruined public education with the No Child Left Behind act” or “teachers and school systems are underfunded”. BULL SHIT! How many hours a week do you spend with your child reviewing schoolwork and helping them comprehend? How much do you push your child to go beyond the curriculum? Over summer and winter break, do you assign your children reading assignments? Do you read with them? Do you at least get them extra tutoring?
I have a teacher friend who endlessly complains about the school system she works in and how dumb all the kids are. I put the questions above to her and her response was, “That’s easier said than done, there isn’t enough time for all that.” THERE ISN’T ENOUGH TIME! If you have time for nail salons, tanning beds, multiple hour-long work out sessions a week, cheesy prime time television and a few hours a day to sit in front of the pool, you have time to go above and beyond for your children and their education. Quit bitching.
The problems we face are social. Change begins at home and in the community. You are in charge of your child’s and your own education. Do you want financial and economic success for you and your offspring? Then watch a little less Bravo and HBO and spend a little more time reading, learning to do something of value and challenging yourselves. Replace endless hours spent watching sports, ESPN and reality TV with a useful hobby like programming, finish carpentry and wood working, sewing, or maybe even finding cool ways to use Arduino boards- meaning, take up hobbies that result in SOMETHING YOU CAN SELL.
And please, spare me all the complaining about Mexicans and immigrants taking our jobs or big corporations off shoring work. There is actually a skill discrepancy in this country for the time being. Companies are being forced to offshore work because there are not enough highly skilled/educated applicants to fill highly technical positions, which is surely the soured result of our overall Laissez-faire attitude towards our children’s education.
Life is not fair and all you can do is react to the environment and try to change it for the better in time. If you lost your job in the carpet mill to a factory in China, maybe it is time to learn to do something new. If an illegal immigrant is willing to work for less than you are, start your own company or find another way to compete.
My point being, find ways to solve problems and be productive and don’t expect your congress person or the president to fix these problems for you. Think economically and strategically. Think in terms of incentives, supply and demand. Which skill sets are in demand and what can you supply in the workforce. What incentivizes an employer or client to hire you over the competition?
Be proactive and forward thinking. Never stop learning, regardless of how old you are. Take responsibility for you and your children’s futures. And for God’s sake, quit being a little complainey pants bitch. I’m tired of hearing it and frankly, you’re all making me grumpy.
</RANT> [end rant]