Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Profound Wisdom About Unemployment

A week or so ago I posted a list of "odd jobs" that I would be able to do for people, needing the money as I do and such. Then I received the following comment from "Anonymous." On the surface it looks as if "Anonymous" was using my willingness to do almost anything as an example of a particular kind of "rags to riches" grit. I hate to be used however as a springboard into such a rant.

Before blogging I had never realized there were so many people named "Anonymous." The name sounds as if it must be of French derivation -" a-non-ney-mous." I think "mous" derives from an old French word for intelligence, and "ney" derives from a word meaning "gonad." Using both "a" and "non" does not create a double negation but rather is a doubling for emphasis, typical of French, with "a" meaning "without" and "non" meaning "none" or "zero." So the whole word means something like "without any brains or courage," or, framed in the positive, "stupid and cowardly." I'm glad I don't have a name that means that.

The comment I received however illustrates how the meaning of our names, even if we inherit them by adoption, often has a hidden power to shape us. I hope that you will read this comment over and consider the possible relation between the name and the content of the comment.

A formerly homeless guy was on talk radio this morning. He now is purchasing his 1st house by his sweat, blood and good hard honest days work. He said it makes him very angry to see people sitting around and complaining about no work out there. He said they are just sorry people. He said if anyone REALLY wants a job they can get one but most people who say they are looking for work are just too lazy to work. He said if you have a lawn mower you can make money. He went on to say you have to go after work it ain't coming looking for you. Your efforts indicates how badly you want work. This guy was mad! And rightly so. He proved it can be done.

The talk show host then added that he has a friend who is in the temp business. They can't get enough people to fill the jobs they have!!!!! People come in saying they don't want to do this and won't do that or they want better pay. They are not willing to do whatever it takes to make money.

And you wonder why hard working tax payers are sick and tired of paying the way for lazy a_____ people who are not willing to do whatever it takes to make a living. You see signs for help wanted in practically every fast food place. But some folks think that type of work is beneath them I guess. Let's hold people accountable - no work, no eat. Things would change real fast in this blood sucking society.

Revolt is on the way!
People are getting fed up with people who are takers not givers.

I don't know who is leading the revolt, or whether it will be headed up by the various dumb and cowardly people who write stuff like this or what. I think watching such a revolt will be kind of fun. Maybe it will be called the "lawn mower" revolt. I can see a million people pushing mowers up the mall in Washington.

Speaking of mowing lawns (and having mowed some 8.5 million lawns in my life), I was talking to a good friend the other day who is busting his butt working on lawns and such. It is certainly not a given that one can make a living mowing lawns. There are hundreds and hundreds of "mow and blow" crews out there who work on such volume that they can undercut almost any price. It is very competitive. And there is a point when the cost of mowing yards (equipment, vehicle, etc) requires a certain minimum price per yard and a decent volume. Even that very simple way of making money is not a given at all.

As for myself, I am sure there are lazy bums out there; I just haven't met many of them.



Sam said...

Thinking about this, Joel, I remember seeing a great Frontline piece a few weeks back that followed the customers at a Manhattan hair salon (including the owner/stylist), all of whom are struggling to survive. This is on the Upper East Side, too--hardly a bastion of poverty. Their stories were all too familiar and in a couple of cases heartbreaking. I recommend watching it; the whole thing is available online here:

Fec said...

I heard that guy. And Boortz agreed with him. What would Neal know about trying to survive?

Last winter when I was really struggling, I built a couple of compost bins for about $25 each. I could probably sold them for over $100, maybe even $250 in the right neighborhood.

Another idea is constructing raised beds for flowers and vegetables. Now's the time for folks to be thinking about those kind of things.

Don't let Boortz and his commenters get you down. You're made of good stuff. It's really tough out there. When I'm down, I tell myself I'm just one guy and it's a big world. If I keep trying, something's bound to work.

If nothing else, sell people on your integrity. There's not enough of that about.

Joel said...

Fec, I appreciate you writing. I am doing OK, well, between times when I'm not. I have known so many people struggle over the years through periods of unemployment and this is such an insult to them, to people I love and care about and have pastored. I just can't even believe this radio conversation happened. It's so lame. Hey, I may have a market for your compost bins - you know, "in the right neighborhoods." I know exactly what you mean. Seriously. We should talk.

Thank you for your kind words. It means a lot.


Joel said...

Sam, thanks, yes, that's a neat story.

Sam said...

Yeah, what Fec said. Neal Boortz is so disconnected from reality that he's not even worth listening to, even when I agree with him. I missed this little Horatio Alger bit; funny how the guy who gets lucky, who gets the breaks he needs in addition to the hard work and perseverance, never sees through his own delusions of grandeur (see "Armstrong, Lance").
I guess the Okies of the 1930s had no one to blame but themselves, then, by Boortz logic.

Inspector Clouseau said...

Nice. Very nice.