Fourth of July… meh

It’s 0815 on the Fourth of July, and I’m riding the subway, headed in to the office.

July 4 was always my least favorite holiday.  As a kid, its specialness was lost on me, because I was already on summer vacation.  When I moved into my own place, I was bothered by the firecrackers adding pointless noise to a stuffy, sultry night.  When I got divorced, I surprised both my own and my wife’s lawyer by proposing that we would share Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Labor Day (which is very close to our son’s birthday), but that I wanted the other winter holidays (Martin Luther King Day and Presidents’ Day), while she could have the summer holidays (Memorial Day and July 4).  (She agreed, and everything worked out reasonably well thereafter.)

Today, I’m heading into the office because I’m overstuffed with things to do.  I was teaching a class last week, which left very little time to keep up with the other deliverables.  Once upon a time, things actually slowed down during the summer; not anymore.

But the other reason that I’m down on July 4 this year is what has happened to our country.  We’re broke; we’ve turned into a police state; we’re involved in pointless wars and pointless policies at home.  I was never much for thumping my chest and being proud of being an American.  I was proud, once, of what we did and what we stood for.  But much of that is gone now.

And the next stop on the train is my office, so that will be it for now.

5 thoughts on “Fourth of July… meh”

  1. Also what’s happened to our world: security every where you go, thanks to what happened in Sandy Hook CT and other places.

    We are not only broke, we are out of jobs.

    Notice how threadbare and spotty the “help wanted” ads are, either on line or in hard copy. There is nothing there.

    The only thing that is there in the way of a “help wanted” advertisement:

    A second, third, fourth — or more — ad run for a job that’s already appeared in copy during the past couple weeks. This is what companies here do: they run an ad 4 and 5 times in the short space of a week and a half: my God — what are they LOOKING FOR?????

    A college education no long guarantees you a solid future.

    I no longer advise college to a high schooler anymore — nor do I advise college courses of any kind to adults who are interested in another career.

    I strongly suggest a trade school.

    We still need — and this is only a very short list:

    Plumbers
    Electricians
    Carpenters
    Masons
    Millworkers
    Woodworkers
    Iron works personnel/welders: welding is a lost art!
    Seamstresses/tailors
    Graphic artists….yes, New World: we still need them!!! We need all kinds of design people in general
    CAD/CAM
    Fire science
    Funeral Science — AA degree
    Printers
    Mechanics
    Culinary arts
    Anything agriculturally-related
    Glasswork personnel
    Lighting personnel (this would be for office buildings, houses of worship, performance areas, exterior of buildings and more)

    Forget the stupid shit jobs like “medical coding”, pharmacy tech, phlebotomist and “medical assistant” — garbage paying $15 an hour and you know what kind of dumb bells will be working in a job like that or anything offered by a proprietary school.

    Hospitals are not hiring any proprietary school grads.

    The one and only trade school that was the grand daddy of great careers and great money:

    DeVry Tech. They used to be known as Bell and Howell schools.

    Everybody I know who attended DVT got a fantastic job.

    There is a glasswoks company in my area that is a leader in the sacred glass industry. This is precision work.

    So is constructing mirrors that are used in crucial science applications — same goes for lenses used in science applications.

    You can’t be a dummy if you are involved in work like that.

    The other thing I suggest to anybody who is out of work:

    If you have a marketable talent GO INTO BUSINESS FOR YOURSELF.

    Face it; we are fooked. Totally and completely and one trillion percent fooked and done.

    I am not able to figure out what happened here. Never once did I hear “you are overqualified” and nobody said anything about age. I am stumped.

    And I will never get an answer to why nobody hired me.

    Instead of trying to figure this mess out, I went into business for myself. I have nothing to lose, everything to gain…

    And no choice in the matter.

    1. Take culinary arts off your list unless you can get your training at a vo-tech high school for free. The entry-level culinary arts job doesn’t pay much more than minimum wage, so it isn’t worth paying for training. You have to get into a kitchen that will train you.

      If you move to Florida, there are shipbuilding companies that will PAY for your welding training, so short are they on welders. The problem is supporting yourself while you are in school. A vo-tech model, where you go to class half the day and work as a trainee the rest of the day would provide enough income for a bare-bones living.

      Fire science is at least a community college certificate, if not an AA degree, as is being certified as a law enforcement officer, which includes jobs like parole or probation officer. It’s still cheaper than four years of college.

      Lots of people who are losing jobs are too old for many of the jobs that you listed. This is a whole different topic. Fire and police have maximum entry ages, and other jobs won’t hire an old newbie. Supporting yourself while you train for a new or different job is another question, particularly once you have a family or debts.

      If you have a decent background in math and the discipline to take ten exams, you can become an actuary.

  2. The simple fact we all see is the jobs that used to be a guaranteed job are no longer that. I wanted to be a teacher and checked into the program but the head of the department flat out told me that most of the recent graduates still haven’t found jobs. This was for special education and the other subjects are far worse (except perhaps math but am not good in math).

    1. The thing to investigate might be the level of math that one has to take to be certified. You’ll be teaching arithmetic, algebra, or geometry in most case, not differential equations.

      If you are seeking elementary school level employment, the math isn’t that hard. Of course, if you hate math, it would be a grim life to have to teach it daily. Things that can’t be quantified don’t really exist, from at least one point of view.

      1. I’m sure I could teach the basic math but the majority of teachers I see are actual high school math teachers and that I couldn’t teach. I’m not good at math and struggled with it throughout high school. In college I only had to take one semester of college math which was a combo of algebra, geometry and trig and got a B but also because I had a great teacher and she knew these were mostly art students (an art college).

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