Thursday, August 21, 2014

Drunken rantings...

LOL...  I notice that when I listen to music, I get in the mood to drink.  I can watch TV, work on my computer, talk to Bill, or whatever.  But if I turn on music and listen for long enough, it makes me want to drink booze.  And that's what I did on Tuesday night.  I drank beer and wine, even though Bill is in Chad and I usually try not to drink alcohol when he's not around.

Nothing bad happened, really, other than my waking up dehydrated and with a whanging headache yesterday.  I did post one status update on Facebook lamenting the economy and how it is that we were kind of forced to move abroad to stay financially solvent.  Don't get me wrong.  I love Germany very much and once we are settled again, I'm sure things will be fine.  I just think it's sad that we had to move so soon after getting to Texas.  I also marvel at the fact that we were able to make this move, given how little Bill's company was willing to give us to do it.

Anyway, there's a guy on my friends list who loves to take any opportunity he can to bash college and college graduates.  And any time I make a comment about how odd it is to be an overeducated housewife who is probably permanently fucked when it comes to job hunting, he tells me that college doesn't matter and all it takes is hard work and ambition.  Frankly, it pisses me off when he does that because while I don't disagree that college is overrated, I do think it's shitty to presume that people who don't have adequate work just aren't working hard enough.  And when I write this, I'm not necessarily writing of myself.  I know I don't work that hard.  But I also know other people work very hard to be gainfully employed and too many of them are failing.

Take Bill, for instance.  Here's a guy who's 50 years old, looks youthful, has had a long, prosperous, excellent career in the Army, and a master's degree.  He's about to earn a second master's degree in a very hot field.  We are very lucky because he only spent one month out of work.  But he sent out shitloads of resumes and got lots of rejections.  And he has a lot of colleagues, some of them retired colonels, who are still looking for work many months after they retired.  These are folks who have strong work ethics and great leadership skills.  Some of them will probably start their own businesses and will hopefully succeed.  Some of them may end up living out of their cars.

Had Bill and I not lived in Germany before and had he not had some lucky connections here, we might be in a world of hurt right now.  Actually, I do think Bill probably would have been hired to work where he was working before.  They did call him for an interview.  But the job was at a significant pay cut and was only for a year.

My point is that it's shitty that so many people who have taken the time and the initiative to better themselves are finding themselves locked out of the job market.  Sometimes it's because they are deemed overqualified.  Sometimes, it's because they are under qualified.  Really, it's because they're weeded out.  I think employers either can't or don't want to pay for people to work... and then when people end up with no money and need help from the government, they lament about how lazy they are, using taxpayer funds to stay afloat.

Another friend, about to earn her BSW, wrote that she's experienced the opposite of what I have.  She gets passed over for jobs because she doesn't have a master's degree in social work and won't be able to afford to get one for some time.  Here I have the degree, but I don't have the experience and it's been awhile since I last practiced.  And even if I could practice, I don't think I want to.  What I want to do is create stuff, which I am able to do.  But it sort of ends up being a hobby rather than a real profession.  I think a lot of people are in that situation.

Nobody likes a whiner and I know I do my fair share, especially when I've had too much wine.  I think this particular whining is legitimate, though.  People wonder why some folks get depressed and driven to suicide.  Well, part of that desperation comes from not being able to make one's life work.  If you can't find adequate work and are drowning in debt, you can quickly end up being depressed.  When depression goes on for a long time, you can end up feeling hopeless.  If you feel hopeless for too long, you start wishing you would just die.

There's no question that job searching is hard work and that you have to do your best to present yourself in the best light.  Job searching is a job in and of itself-- which my holier-than-thou, college bashing friend pointed out to me.  But the fact is, the economy sucks and a lot of good people are struggling.  In our case, things have worked out really well and we're actually in a place we thought we'd never get to be in again.  Getting here was not without significant cost or effort, but I think it will pay off handsomely.  Too many people are not as lucky as we are.

I think Americans need to get over the idea that a people are so expendable.  Someone like me should not have to worry about being able to work.  Someone like Bill should not have to worry that he might have to live in a van down by the river.  There should be room for everyone who wants to do something productive, but I know that's easier said than done.  Our priorities are fucked up, though... we pay reality TV stars like Honey Boo Boo and The Duggar Family big bucks to be on TV.  We pay athletes obscene amounts of money to play games.  Then we have a lot of hardworking, intelligent, talented people who have to worry about keeping the lights on.  I don't mean to sound like a socialist, but it does seem to me like we need to share the wealth a bit more.      

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