Friday, May 29, 2009

RBO --Thoughts from the pool...

  • Ladies -- if you are on the large side, please, please, please be considerate and keep your legs together. I'm in the pool, in the deep end, and your open legs are at eye level. The others can do it -- you can too.
  • 19 year old boys aren't nearly as attractive as they seem to think they are. The occasion of your barbecue isn't a big deal to us -- please mind your manners.
  • When guys talk about being too drunk to a) 'bang the skank', and b) drive her home, but you did it anyway - it isn't attractive. Look around the pool -- there are about 8 or so women hanging out and getting a tan. These ladies are attractive and there are no men around them... and they hear you talking. News flash, they think you're asshats.
And -- because I was listening to an NPR program about Muncie IN and poverty.. I have a lot of compassion for the folks they interviewed, but careful listening to the program made me ask the following questions --
  • How is money for cigarettes more important than paying your electric bill?
  • Why does your cell phone work, but the gas in your home gets shut off?
  • How is it a good idea to have your boyfriend with a suspended driver's license pick up your kids -- when you aren't doing something more important, like giving birth?
  • If you have enough in your 401K to pay off your house, why didn't that occur to you before it went into foreclosure?
  • A woman 2 years younger than me is the only one in her immediate family to have a job -- She's functionally supporting her spouse, her daughter and son-in-law, and their three kids... She's 38 and has 3 grandchildren.
I suppose the thing that caught my attention most readily was that several of these folks said they made $100,000 with overtime in some years past years -- and they're completely uneducated. The program followed them to a job re-training center where they were taking assessment tests similar to the ones my CC students have to pass in order to get into my class. Yes -- these folks had a LOWER literacy level than my students -- really -- and they made $100,000, with overtime, in prior years.

I know couples with four to six degrees between them (BA, MA, Ph.D x 2) who would be happy with $100,000 between their TWO jobs. I know for certain that two professors work more hours together than this one person worked by himself. When a dude assembling transmissions is making more per hour than a college professor -- and that situation resolves itself -- I have to wonder if that's not an OK thing in the long run.

Folks, you decided to go to work in an industry that didn't require you to be competent at reading, writing or math. The world moved beyond you -- you didn't bother to actually do well in school -- or, even try.

I have compassion for you -- but not for the reasons NPR wants me too... I feel sorry for you that you chose not to get an education. It isn't too late, but it is more difficult and expensive now than it would have been if you'd done it 20 years ago. I feel really bad that you're having a hard time paying your bills -- and that things are more difficult now than they were before. I do wish you well, that you'll find a new career or an educational opportunity that appeals to you. Welcome to 2009... it's rough out here.


Md90875 said...

Can you post the name of the NPR show you were listening too? I would like to listen to it.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I'm pretty sure it was Midday with Gary Eichten. I listen to Minnesota public radio, and that's what's on their weekday schedule for noon, which was when I was in the pool. They were doing a special report from Muncie.

Seeking Solace said...

Damn straight!!!

Re: the pool ladies...EWWWW!!!

Re: 19 year old "boys": Get some man training...ASAP.

Re: the rest...We have the same mentality in Lake Effect Snow Central. When I worked at a large law firm that represented UAW employee, it amazed me how much money they made. They were pulling 100K without a degree, and I was only make 45K with my law degree. WTF???

We are told to get an eduation and it will lead to a good paying job. Yeah, right.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

The general idea behind the story was that there are jobs in the region, but the folks who worked in the factories aren't qualified for them -- so maybe that's changing?

I do think that in this case the unions' success has lead to the downfall of their members. The reason the car companies can't be competitive is that their costs are so much higher -- but, they aren't able to increase prices, so they decrease quality/features to compete with non-union companies.

Further, their retirement & health care plans are so expensive and cover so many folks that they substantially increase the cost of production.

But -- since union leadership got their position by getting more and more for their membership, they eventually squeezed the last blood from the automaker's stone... so an economic stumble = bankruptcy.

Really, is the 'I put that bolt on the car' dude WORTH $100,000 -- even with overtime?