Living large in Fatopia.

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I’ve heard a lot about unemployment numbers lately, what with the midterm elections and all. Republicans blame Democrats, Democrats throw the blame back at the Republicans. Conservatives lob the blame grenade at the Liberals who drop the blame bomb on the Tea Partiers. It’s a never ending blame game.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying our elected officials are blameless or should be let off the hook, but I know several young people who are unemployed at the moment. (I‘m in my 40’s, which means if you’re the same age as one of my kids or younger, you are a “young people.” Since my oldest is almost 30, that covers a lot of ground.) None of them seem to be in a hurry to find a job. If this is the case with the majority of young people in the US, well, we can’t lay all the blame on Mr. Smith up in Washington. He can put any program or incentive or law in place to encourage, bribe, coerce, or force people to work and it won’t do any good if they just do not want a job.

I don’t know if young people don’t know how to look for a job properly or if they just have a streak of lazy running up their backs a mile wide. News flash: A person cannot stay up all night watching TV and playing video games and then lie in bed until ten or eleven o’clock the next day before turning over for the first time and hope to find a job. That just isn’t how this works. Finding a job is a job in and of itself and has to be treated like one.

I’m watching kids right out of high school and other young people who have little or no experience doing anything, certainly not something they are applying for at the time, ask for outrageous starting salaries, full benefits packages, even asking about paid vacation time right out of the gate. Now, I understand one has to be careful to know everything being offered before accepting a job these days, but come on, how many kids do you know straight out of high school who know enough about anything to ask for $10 an hour with full benefits when the minimum wage is $7.25?.

I can totally understand having a high sense of self-worth. I worked hard to instill it into my own kids, but have we created a generation of monsters who think the world owes them a living because we couldn’t or wouldn’t say no? Because we wanted everyone to feel like a winner and made sure all who participated got a trophy whether they deserved one or not? Because the hardest thing we asked little Johnny and Jenny to do was to clean their rooms and when they didn’t we stepped in and did it for them because it was easier than fighting with them over it? I’d say probably so from the looks of things.

When these young people finally decide to get out of bed and grace the world with their presence for the day, they can be very selective about where they are willing to work. In my day, we got up early, chose an area to go to and blanket with applications, hit every place we thought might hire us, and came home and made a plan to do the same thing in another area the next day. Not so with today’s young people. From what I’ve seen, they only put in one, maybe two applications a day or possibly a week, and that is if someone tells them a place is hiring and they already have a friend working there who can speak up for them.

I’m not stupid, I know it’s always better to have a reference already working for a company who can speak up for you when you’re trying to get a job, but waiting for a job to open up at the place where your buddy works while you’re selling off your stuff to pay the rent isn’t the best plan of action to find a job. This is what I’m seeing time and time again with young people today. Has being connected to the internet and cell phones 24/7 created a world where networking has now taken over? Where people can no longer think for themselves and must live and work in large groups whenever possible? A world where nothing can happen outside of your network because of constant attention to Facebook friends, likes, and pokes and Twitter followers, retweets, and shares? It certainly seems that way.

If you’re looking for some great information about landing a job, especially a part-time or first-time job, take a look at Adel Landman Steyn’s When Finding A Job Is Your Job (Part 1: The Part Time Job)

Yes, part of the unemployment problem lies at the feet of our elected officials for not creating new opportunities for work. But I’d say more of it lies at the feet of the people who simply do not want to work. Those who do not want to go out and do what it takes to find one of the jobs that is already out there. Those who want $20 an hour to work in a pie factory tasting pies. Those who want to start out at the top looking down at the bottom. Those living in a dream who need to wake up and smell the coffee before it’s too late and they’ have run their lives and this country off into a ditch no one can pull any of us out of.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

 

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Comments on: "Unemployment: Put the Blame Where It Belongs" (16)

  1. Why is asking for paid holiday so extreme?

    Like

    • It’s not that asking for a paid holiday or vacation is extreme in itself, but you add it to the fact that it’s a teenager or young twenty-something who is already asking for almost $3 more than minimum wage to start when they have no marketable skills to speak of and it can be a straw that broke the camel’s back kind of thing.

      I didn’t mention that they’re worried about getting every calendar holiday off with pay and moan and groan like old men eaten up with arthritis in the middle of a winter blizzard if they don’t get one of them off. I just want young people to understand that life is supposed to be hard. The world doesn’t owe you anything. It didn’t owe it to us or our parents. It won’t owe anything to their kids or grandkids. The world will kick you square in the rear end and make you like it. You just have to suck it up, take what you can find, and keep on going. Worry about your dream career later. Right now, you need a J.O.B.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. well written! Intended message received.! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ok so first off… I absolutely love your blog title and tagline. I think it’s hysterical.
    Second, It is brilliant that someone has actually made this statement publicly available. I am 25 years old and live in South Africa and just about every point that you made here rings disastrously true here too! Young adults my age and some even older are all living the same life you’ve described here. They all want fantastic cars and make stupidly high salary demands with, as you say, absolutely no marketable skills outside of the Degree or Diploma they managed to scrape through whilst moderately intoxicated. And on this side I find that it is also down to massive amounts of spoiling from parents as well as the new policies that have been put in place in our schools lately. Almost everything students do now are group work assignments which never work out because the lazy hang back and do nothing while the few children that actually want to do well, pick up the slack and do the work themselves. Which means that most children get lazy and ride off of marks they have provided no input to attain. That and the fact that the pass rate here is a measly 35%, you hardly have to rock up at school to get through. I don’t know about anyone else but I do not look forward to the day I require an operation and the “Doctor” scheduled to open me up has only scraped through his qualifications by learning 35% of how to perform the procedure.

    Amazing blog and very well written. I definitely look forward to hearing more about life from your perspective.

    Have a wonderful day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! You just made my morning with our kind words. I figure if you can’t laugh at yourself, then who can you laugh at and what right do you have to laugh at anybody else? Everybody can do with a little giggle in their day. I like to think I might be able to give somebody somewhere one.

      It’s nice to hear about life in other places even if it sounds about like how life is going around here. I kind of feel bad for these kids in a way. I mean, I didn’t know what I was doing when I was that age any more than my parents did or their parents before them. But my parents were right there for me to turn to and ask advice. I try to make myself as accessible as I can to my kids and all the young people around me, but either I’m not doing that great a job of it or they’re not taking advantage of it. Either way, there isn’t the same communication of wisdom and experience from one generation down to the next taking place.

      Now I realize this kind of communication has been on the decline for a long time. It’s been slowly dying out through the generations, and it’s a good thing when young people are independent and want to stand on their own two feet, but there’s a difference between being independent and just being stubborn and pigheaded. I also understand everyone has their own way of doing things in this world, but if your way isn’t working it might be time to try something a little different and see if that works. So what if the idea comes from a parent or grandparent, aunt or uncle? Young people need to remember that the authority they’re fighting so hard against is most often attached to the same hand that is handing them money to pay their bills and buy their groceries while they’re not working.

      Ah yes, the group assignment. I remember those well. A group of maybe 10 people meets to plan the assignment, maybe 3 actually work on it, and 12 show up in class to take credit for the work. This is why I’m against giving grades to students, but that’s a completely different blog post, lol.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Actually, Universities set their own acceptance tests for their medical programs (currently administered by UCT) – they don’t accept your grade 12 results 🙂

      Additionally, the minimum required marks are 60% for maths and 60% for physical science, plus a minimum of a 55% average overall. However, due to limited space in the Universities’ medical programs, I personally know a student who received seven distinctions, with marks exceeding 90% for both maths and science, as well as an overall average of 98%, who was not accepted into any South African school of medicine during the first round of selection. She was accepted to one program after the second round. She was also ranked within the top 100 students within her province.

      Admittedly, the Universities do consider other factors, two of which is previously disadvantaged empowerment and sports and “leadership achievements” (basically if you were a prefect). Interestingly enough, community service and previous medical training is not included on the scoring rubric – but that is a topic for another day 🙂

      So, for the record, you will never get a South African trained doctor who scraped by on 35% 🙂

      Like

  4. I appreciate a lot of what you are saying, although there are many things I don’t agree with.

    I have a few blogs, some of them are business related, others focus on other things, including personal finances. All of my sites, advocate for personal ACCOUNTABILITY and intellectual awareness.

    I know there are lots of sites out there who post CV and “how to find a job” tips, but it is actually somewhere in my long list of planned posts. While typing this comment to you, I actually copied a few things into my draft for it.

    Number one:
    I don’t think that finding a job is necessarily the best option.
    Unless you are entering into a professional apprenticeship (accountant, lawyer, that sort of thing). The whole problem with the world economy (because the rest of us were stupid enough to copy you) is that the entrepreneurial spirit is dead.
    Waiting on big business, or posting 20 CVs a day, hitting the streets, finding a job that pays a few Dollars over minimum wage and gives some vacation time (which you probably spend entertaining your young children for the twin reasons that you cannot afford overtime for your nanny and that you never get to see them otherwise) stifles bright ideas.
    I realize that most people won’t become the next Zuckerberg, but they might actually be able to leave their children with an inheritance that is actually worth something – a viable business.

    Number two: Finding a job has changed a lot in the past decade or two. I am not suggesting only sending out one CV a month. And yes, one thing we COMPLETELY agree about, is that, if you don’t have a job, finding a job IS your job. But if you are competing with a thousand others who have exactly the same qualifications and experience you do, you have to differentiate yourself on other things. This does not mean a buddy who already works there (although I suppose that could be useful, provided the boss actually likes him). This means doing research, writing decent cover letters, making your “soft skill” section of your CV absolutely irresistible.

    So yes, we agree that young people should get their lazy arses away from the PS3 (or is there a new one now, I don’t know?)
    What we don’t agree on, is the method they should follow after they are up 🙂

    Like

    • We don’t agree on what they should do after they get up because we seem to be talking about two totally different sets of people here. I’m talking about young people who are fresh out of high school with no college education or specialized training or skills, the kind of kids who really shouldn’t expect to make much more than minimum wage on their first job. You seem to be talking about young people who have a college education or some kind of specialized training or work experience that would allow them to expect more walking out the door in the mornings.

      I live in a very rural part of the southern USA. When I say rural, I mean they pump in the sunshine on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and the water on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. (Now you know why folks in the south always used to make sure everybody got a bath on Saturday night no matter if the needed one or not!) The air catches a ride with both daily, but we still have to be careful about how we breathe, lol. So there aren’t many opportunities for kids coming fresh out of high school to jump into apprenticeships and such right off. Little Johnny and Jenny are basically taught the three R’s and run out the door by our education system in my area. The majority of kids don’t get or take advantage of the chance to go on to college or a technical school to further their education after high school graduation. They graduate, take the summer off, and want to go to work through a temporary staffing service making killer money with full benefits while doing as little work as possible.

      Don’t get me wrong, I remember what it was like to be that young. I remember what it was like looking for my first job. I had no marketable skills to speak of either. My first job was working as a cashier in a convenience store on 2nd/3rd shift split. I was in college full-time, working full-time, and a single mom. It wasn’t easy, but it was definitely worth it. And heaven help me, if I could do it as a youngster anyone can.

      I too am thinking of doing a kind of advice on looking for a job post. I think mine would be totally different from yours in that I wouldn’t even mention a CV. I mean a basic, bare bones, hit the streets and don’t come home till you have something to go and do to start earning a living for your family first thing in the morning kind of thing. I guess we’ll see if it pans out or not. I wish you luck writing yours 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I would enjoy reading your post, so I will keep an eye out for it.

        I think I may have been misunderstood though.

        I indicated that people with a university education who are eligible for apprenticeships, should make sure that they receive one – and complete it. This is not so easy, because candidate attorneys, accountants, etc. are treated like slave labour and paid like it as well, despite their university education. But it is worth being a slave for an average of three years if you get a professional designation afterwards.

        My comment was specifically referring to people WITHOUT training, experience or marketable technical skills.

        Here, most employers work via recruitment agencies. I do not know whether or not this is true in the USA.
        Recruitment agencies have dragon lady receptionists, capable of turning sugary sweet when someone with a university education, significant experience and marketable skills walks through the door. You see, the recruitment agency fee is determined as a percentage of the annual cost to company of the successful candidate – so the more high profile the placement, the friendlier they are to you. They are also quite friendly to those entering into apprenticeships – for the same reason banks are: They are hoping for future goodwill.

        These people are absolute experts at screening CVs. And you won’t get near the door without one.

        If you are fresh out of high school, you had better make sure to volunteer, or preferably get a holiday job before you graduate. Impeccable, contactable references (NOT family or friends) count for a great deal – as does good spelling and neat presentation.

        When they see hundreds of CVs every single day (and receive almost as many desperate telephone calls), you need to stand out from the crowd. Dogged persistence is not a trait appreciated by dragon ladies… There are a couple of ways that you can stand out, but you need to remember, you won’t get in to see the person with the authority to hire for a long while and you will probably never get to speak to the big boss.

        As such, my solution is that people without significant marketable skills should (perhaps) not be looking for a job at all, they should be creating their own.

        Like

        • You’re right, I did misunderstand you. I do apologize for that and plan to keep an eye out for your posts about how people can create their own jobs.

          That’s basically what I had to do. I have a specialized degree, or what I consider to be one. I have my Associate in Applied Science degree in Radio/TV Broadcasting, which for the most part has meant nothing in the real world, lol. I could have interviewed and most likely gotten a job about two weeks before graduating college that my parents thought would have taken me out of school, so my dad talked me out of interviewing for the job. I’ve never been able to find a job doing anything related to radio or broadcasting, although I’ve applied to many radio stations in the past. TV just does not flatter to the Original Fat Chick here, let me tell ya, lol.

          And I have totally lost my train of thought again. ARGH! I hate when that happens. I blame it on too many drugs in the 60s. Oh, wait, I wasn’t born till the 70s. Shhhh, we just won’t tell anybody that 😉

          Like

    • I agree with both Crystal and Adel. Crystal: young people should not be too picky on what jobs they get. They should worry about getting their foot through the door, get some experience while making a living along the way.
      Adel: I was talking to a friend a while back about how we are educated to get jobs and not be entrepreneurs. Seeing that jobs are difficult to come by, it would help if students are taught from a young age that they can be self-employed. However, it must be noted that some people do not have enterpreneurial spirits as others and may need to be employed by someone else.

      Like

      • Thank you for your comments. It’s just frustrating the heck out of me, especially with the holidays fast approaching, to see so many young people that I care about unemployed. And these young people have children and families to take care of. What is happening in the world that makes it seem like it’s this hard to work? Jobs are out there if you want one. It might not be doing what you want to do, but it will be something that pays you to do it.

        And I agree with that kids aren’t being taught that they can be successfully self-employed as they grow up these days. It’s a shame because I really believe if more were, there would be more young people with the entrepreneurial spirit you’re talking about. It may be that fear of the unknown that holds part of them back. I know that was a big stumbling block for me. Well, that and the fact that I’d never thought of working for myself before. Then again, it could be like one teacher told one of my sons after I took them out of public school and started homeschooling them. She asked him how school was going and he told her he was studying to get his GED. I think he expected her to be disappointed in him. Instead, she looked him in the eye and told him that school isn’t always for everyone and if he really felt it was best to go ahead and get his GED, then do it. Working for oneself may not be for everyone either. I believe there needs to be a balance struck that allows the option of both.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. stephenlwilson said:

    Crystal, I thoroughly enjoyed both the article and the comments. Your perspective is a welcome change to today’s PC world of mollycoddling and kid gloves. One challenge these days that we didn’t have coming up is that, at least where I live, it is virtually impossible to just “pound the pavement” like we used to. Now all applications and initial contact is handled online. It is nothing like having to put your best foot forward, except as a resume! There seems to be a lack of desire and motivation, as well as a lack of understanding of work ethics and related skill sets. What do you expect, though? They are products of a slacker generation; one that literally created the deadbeat dad laws. I believe that they are partially a direct result of a generation’s lack of proper parenting. Thanks for taking the time to write such a great article!

    Like

    • Thank you Stephen. I agree that young people today have been mollycoddled and petted and pampered way too much. Add to that the move of things toward the virtual world and out of the real world, and kids around where I live start out at a disadvantage because we still have a lower than average percentage of homes with internet access and/or wifi access at in the home. A lot of our kids that are active online are able to be so via their cell phones, which don’t really work that well for trying to surf the internet and put in job applications.

      There are excuses and there are reasons in this life. The things we’ve mentioned here are real reasons. What I keep getting most of the time from the young people around me are excuses, just more and more excuses. If one cannot “pound the pavement” as we did back in the day, can they not pound the virtual pavement by starting with their local employment office’s website, looking up job listings, and following links to possible job openings from there? Can they not look around them as they’re driving around and see the signs of businesses and look up their website and see if they allow one to apply online. Or even better, why can’t they stop by the business in person and ask if they accept job applications on-site or online?

      And I will stop now before this turns into another blog post, lol. Thanks again, Stephen 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. […] P.S. Have a look at Fat Chick’s article Unemployment, Put the Blame Where it Belongs. […]

    Liked by 1 person

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