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Wednesday, Feb. 02, 2005
Jobs. They’re like opinions, everybody gots one.

Well, not everybody. In fact, it’s becoming a reoccurring theme from a lot of my online writing favorites, this thing about jobs and working. It’s bad enough that The Good Captain is still looking, but I’m running into sites and people all the time that are just getting pounded with unemployment. Hell, I’m not exactly flush with activity myself so far this year.

I don’t know what the problem is, or why. There’s a heck of a lot of very capable and mature people out there who are either unemployed or hugely underemployed. All this whining from the corporate powers that be about how there is a lack of qualified workers out there? I call bullshit on ‘em, there’s plenty, they want to earn their keep and be productive. They want to be paid what they’re worth too, and I see a trend among employers (and I’ll include companies accepting bids for subcontractor work among them) to basically ignore the need for people to be paid well for stellar performance.

I ran into this again last week, I bid a job and used pricing that has worked relatively well for years. The contractor called and basically couldn’t believe how high the rates were, he could get it done for half of that and blah blah. I wasn’t about to cut my price in half, or even by 10%. I can stay home and lose money. Going out and busting my ass for nothing? I don’t do it. Not even covering costs on a job is just stupid.

On the flip side I have to comment on my wife’s job. Some of you who’ve been with me for a while may recall that she “retired” back in the summer of ‘02, we threw her a party and everything. She’d been slogging away for years at a position that advanced her along pretty darn well, she was well paid and very secure at her company. But it was stressful, she was tired of it, and I was fool enough to think that the coming years were going to pan out with huge monetary gains for the Outfoxed Crew, gains that would mean she could stay home and work on her tan and enjoy life a little.

Well that didn’t work out quite as planned, did it now?

Just about a year later we came to the gloomy conclusion that the bills weren’t getting paid as well as they might, and she went back to the job market. Not back to her old company. She got a job making just about half what she made before, nowhere near the stress level and conflicts, but still half the income at a job she is way overqualified for. There just wasn’t anything else out there.

She’s working and it’s steady and they love her there because she works her tail off and has improved their organization to a level they scarcely can believe. So had her income increased proportionately? Heh. Not hardly. Being way overqualified never means you’re going to be way overpaid as well.

I have no idea why I’m bitching about this, other than the fact that it just sucks, and I deal with it all the time. And I know a lot of other people are too.

But it is Groundhog Day. Which means only one thing. In six weeks, I’ll have no reason to be moaning about a bleak mid-winter. I love G-hog day. It serves as a little reminder that we’ve made it this far, and this far happens to be well over half of a pretty nasty winter. It’s an optimist’s day, a glass more than half filled day. Those are always good ones.

But there’s more. In a few short days I’ll be having my 83rd birthday as a good friend reminded me just a while ago. Lord I’d almost forgot.

And . . .as CaptainRon reminded me, there’s this whole issue about toasting the end of something, a bad year or a bad set of months or just burying a lot of unpleasant times with the clinking of swanky glassware. This shall happen, I feel sure of it. I don’t think we’ve quite finished the bad times but we’re close, we’re close and getting closer. Batt? Six? And a host of other east coasters? Listen to the Groundhog. The corner has been turned and we’re sliding down the slope into a pool of Margaritas. Keep it in mind.

That ought to satiate my daily vision for a satisfying life today. A pool of Margaritas? Always does the trick.

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