Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Rabbit Hole Isn't What It Used To Be

What a time to be looking for work. They won't call it a depression (or even a recession) because the Masters of the Universe (the thieves on Wall St, not the homoerotic toy line) are making money. I guess we need a new word to reflect the situation where the Kings of Capital are making money and everyone else is eating dirt and wandering around in a daze.

How about we call it The Great Oppression?

Look, it's obvious things are screwed up, bread and circuses on the TV notwithstanding. Bill O'Reilly thinks everything is fine, so I guess I should shut up and get a job, right?

Except I've been looking for work pretty much since I graduated (I did get a road trip vacation as a graduation gift from my parents, so I guess that makes me a dirty hippie), and there just isn't a whole lot of anything these days. Entry level jobs for college graduates simply don't exist anymore (unless you're a R.N. or an engineer). If you don't have your first year of experience, don't expect to ever get it in this climate. There are too many overqualified people flooding the market, no one wants to hire an unknown quantity.

It's funny to me, in a way. A lot of Baby Boomers like to complain that the young generation has a sense of entitlement, that they're a spoiled bunch of idiots. And yet these same people, when faced with hiring someone, expect that someone else somewhere else will hire the new people. They want good employees, but they want someone else to have taken the risk of hiring them on and vetting them (thus, minimum one year of experience).

Most of the ones who engage in this behavior are totally oblivious to their own hypocrisy. But then, isn't that always the way?

The legacy of the 80's was the idea of "greed is good." We all gave each other permission to be selfish and screw each other over. Civilization can't survive without cooperation, and we relegated cooperation to the kid table. Now, like all cancers, this meme has spread and mutated into its latest strain, "Not my problem."

You need a job but you don't have experience? Not my problem.

You need help paying for overpriced health care so you can get back to being productive? Not my problem.

You got screwed by a banker who walked away with the keys to the treasury? Not my problem.

I could go on, but you get the point.

Of course, the central problem with this is that it is wrong. We live together, in increasingly crowded and interdependent systems. When one of us falls, all of us suffer, even if it is a third, fourth, even fifth order effect. Being six degrees from Kevin Bacon means you're seven degrees from everyone in the world. Six and a half billion neighbors, and some of them didn't eat today.

Spider Robinson has a saying, "Shared pain is lessened, shared joy is magnified." This, at its core, is what civilization is all about. The writers on the TV show Lost said something similar, "Stand together, die alone."

As many problems as we have, the alternative is worse. I want a job where I can help us hold together as much of this civilization as we can, for as long as we can. I guess those jobs don't exist anymore.


Blogger #7 said...

Words of Wisdom. Sadly, society has progressed so far into this state of mind that soon, its going to implode on itself.

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well written as per usual, (especially: "When one of us falls, all of us suffer, even if it is a third, fourth, even fifth order effect. Being six degrees from Kevin Bacon means you're seven degrees from everyone in the world. Six and a half billion neighbors, and some of them didn't eat today"), but you need to update this young man. =)

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, I thought these two quotes were worth sharing:
"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death." -Thomas Paine

"Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it's not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. It's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere." -Barack Obama*

*and yes, one of his biggest mistakes thus far is indulging in this "let's everyone just get along" attitude to the point that it has become incredibly counterproductive; but you know what? He's still one of the best fucking presidents we've had, and I believe he's paving the way for better things to come, even if he himself can't get those things done.

If that makes me a naive fool, so be it.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Peach Punch said...

Very interesting article, and you have a good point!
xoxo Dia!

1:00 PM  

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