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From: email@example.com (Bill Sloman)
Subject: Re: Apology- Missile Paranoia
Date: 1 Jan 2003 05:57:19 -0800
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <%yfQ9.13397$jM5.email@example.com> <8DjQ9.182343$Db4.firstname.lastname@example.org>
NNTP-Posting-Date: 1 Jan 2003 13:57:19 GMT
"Sir Charles W. Shults III" wrote in message news:<8DjQ9.182343$Db4.email@example.com>...
> Well, the point is simple- in my senior year, I was already working in the
> computer center at city hall, and when I left that job, I went right into
> fixing video games and digital hardware (both of which were new on the
> consumer market). After a couple of years in electronics based jobs, I then > went directly into aerospace. I took my working future seriously.
Chip, you were lucky. I'm not denying that you were also skillful,
responsible and industrious, but you were lucky in getting into
electronics young, and lucky in that you had the sort of contacts that
let you work at the computer centtre at city hall while you were still
> I made certain that people could understand me and that I understood
> them. I made a rational choice about how I was going to earn a living.
So did I - and I got a Ph.D. in chemistry before I found out that I
was even better at electronics than at chemistry. If I'd grown up in a
working class family I could easily have failed to realise that I had
any talent in either field (both my parents had bachelors degrees in
> Most of my classmates were pumping gas or flipping hamburgers when they
> found work. Even ten years later they seemed to be right in the same
> places, but they spent their time partying and raising hell.
Pumping gas and flipping hamburgers are the easiest jobs to find - the
competition for anything better is fierce, and family connections are
one of the more effective weapons in the competition.
We nerds find electronics and high tech more fun than partying and
raising hell, but this is very much a minority opinion.
> My son went straight from high school to college, but he also went
> directly into a good job, building exhibits and museum quality hardware. It > was definitely due to the time I spent with him showing him how to gain
> satisfaction from honest work, and how to use tools and to think.
Sounds as if he also had good contacts at the museum before he got the
> If people had a little more direction then we would not see so many with > no jobs- there is always work for you if you know what to do.
I used to think that until we moved to the Netherlands - it took me
four years of steadily scanning the jobs ads and sending off
applications (at an avarage rate of about one per month) to get full
time work. My impression is that if you don't fit the personnel
department's expectations, you won't get the job
- in at least two cases I'm pretty sure that I had persuaded the
engineers that I'd be working with that I could do the work they were
desperate to get done, and personnel blocked the hire on grounds of
age and presumed inflexibility (which later had me chewng the carpet a
Women and minority group candidates have similar problems.
> And the lack of a job market will not stand in your way if you make your own > job. I have always managed to do it somehow, and have never drawn welfare.
I wish I could say the same - I was on Dutch welfare for about nine
months at one point.
> Training and ambition will win every time.
> Your mind is your most powerful tool and if you invest
> your time with your children when they are young, you will find that they
> have skills you did not imagine.
I'm watching my nieces and nephews for evidence of this - my two
brothers have rather different life-styles and their kids - now young
adults - are already interestingly different.
> My two daughters are now 8 and 13 and they are both excellent artists and
> interested in robotics, insects, chemistry, and other things too numerous to
> list. I will bet serious money that they will leave school and be right in > the job market, whether through a actual job or through a job that they
Seems likely, but to some extent they will be capitalising on their
> They will have the ability to make a living by providing goods or services
> that are in demand, and I will not have to worry about them being a burden
> on (or a threat to) society.
Being on welfare or becoming a criminal are not career paths that
people chose as the best of a range of possible choices - thye are
usually all that is actually available at the time. Being on welfare
is vile (it wasn't for me, but I was living on my wife's income -
quite justifiably, because I resigned from a good permanent job in
England so that she could take up an extraordinarily good job in the
Netherlands) but it is a much better choice than begging, prostitution
or petty crime, let alone serious crime, which come be the options if
you don't give unemployed high-school leavers access to welfare.
Bill Sloman, Nijmegen
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