Saturday, February 9, 2013

Observations, Reflections, Perspectives

 Several years ago when my son left home to attend university,
I gave  him only this advice:
“Tolerate Others and Respect Their Opinions!”

Until he began corresponding with me, I hadn't realized
his  “writing” talent.  He had a “gift of words”
and a flair for expressing his thoughts and experiences.
Upon returning home following graduation
he embarked on a job related to his Computer Science skills.

The ensuing couple articles, he has written this past year
and I happily share them with you, my readers.

About Summer Jobs

Even, just thirty years ago, (recent history for me; I was in Grade 12, then), the
average kid working a summer job, worked!  Most came in reasonably on time,
worked, had a little fun on the job, finished the shift, got paid and went home.  
Nobody had a cell phone and nobody had ever heard of “texting”.  
And you didn't use company telephones to call your friends
every 20 minutes when you were working.

My summer job in 1984 was counting cheques at a bank processing centre.  
It wasn't glamorous work; you looked at somebody's bank statement for the number
of cheques it should have, you counted the cheques to ensure they were all there;
and you folded the statement, put the cheques in the fold and stuffed an envelope.  
 This paid for my second year of University.

My summer job in 1985 was reading hydro-electric and water meters.  You got a
book and a few pencils, and maybe some keys and a flashlight; you were dropped
off in an area to walk around from house to house reading meters.  Many older
houses had no outside remote for the water meter; you had to then knock on the
door, enter the house, remove your shoes/boots, go down to the basement,
find the blessed water meter, and read the blessed thing.
(Oh, how I dreaded going in peoples' houses!)

I worked again for the hydro company in1986...this time doing commercial
meters.  Every business in town, from retail stores  in shopping malls to a
cookie factory, a popsicle  factory and two slaughter houses (one for pigs and
one for cows)...all had commercial meters.  Here they gave you a book and a
car, a pocket full of seals and wire-cutters to remove the old seals.  You learned
of all the interesting businesses in town.  That summer, all the hydro money
went into the bank for University;  every night I delivered pizzas to have
some spending  money.

They had a dress code.  I had long hair back then and was told to get it cut!

Granted, I was a University student in those days.  Today, would-be-summer
employers are frustrated with the supply of summer teenage workers.

One willing employer (in an article I recently read) handed a broom and dustpan
 to a teenage girl. She looked at her boss in bewilderment; she had never held
a broom a day in her life. She didn't know what to do with it. 
Most of us would regard this child as an idiot.  But blame the parents who have
allowed their child to grow up with such deplorable basic skills.

Back in the 80's, if your appearance was deplorable, you didn't get the job.
Or, if you had no job and then took on a deplorable appearance, you lost the job!
Today, they sue the business for employment equity.  And I, the consumer,
have to put up with some ugly slut cashing out my groceries???
It's not like I can boycott that store on the basis  that the appearance of some
of its staff makes me feel nauseated....for another grocery store may have
the same problem.

According to this article, summer employers find that only about 1 in10 teens
that they hire are able to perform the job productively, for many are addicted
to “texting” on the job.  And this is the future of the job market!

Can there be any doubt as to why the economy is tanking?

Parable of Today's Living

Suppose you have an old shed behind your house, that isn't really being used
for notice that some mice have taken up residence. They scrape
around for their own food outside, as there is nothing to eat in the shed itself.
The mouse population depends on their ability to find food for themselves.
When the food supply is high, they multiply, and when it is limited,
they die off naturally.

You feel sorry for the little mice, and being the generous person you are with
other people's property, you go into the pantry where there are kept 10 lb. sacks
of grain. There are dozens of these sacks, so you figure your family won't notice
one missing.  You carry it out to the shed in the late fall and pour it out in a
corner.  Now the mice have food to eat.  You have provided for the poor,
starving mice!

A month and a half later, you check on the mice and you find that many more
mice have now taken up residence;  and most of the grain is gone. 
So you get another bag of grain and pour it out in the shed for the mice to eat. 
There are many more to feed now, and you can't bear the thought of any of them
going hungry over winter's long cold months.

A few weeks later, you check on the situation again, and discover there are now
hundreds of  happy little mice...and once again...the grain is gone.  So you steal
another bag of grain and pour it out in the shed for the little mice to eat.

You now find that you're having to do this more frequently, and by the spring,
you are necessitated to pour out a bag of grain every week for the mice.
You realize that about a third of all the grain in your pantry has been given
to the mice. The mice are happy!  There are over a thousand of them now,
all scurrying around the shed, and excitingly anticipating the grain pour
at feeding time each week.

Now, your father confronts you about why so much grain is missing. 
This had been the “winter store” to feed the family.  There should have been
more than enough...but now, there's only one bag left. 
Finally, the truth gets out that you've been feeding the mice in the shed all winter. 
When you're told to stop doing this, you protest that they'll starve!

The family has a vote to decide if this feeding of mice should be continued.
Being the generous person you are, you argue that each of the mice deserves
a vote, too, because they live there and it affects them also.  This sounds like
a foolish idea, but you are able to persuade your family.  The election is held
and all of the mice vote to continue the food supply and all of your family
vote to cut it off.  Your family is out-voted 1,000 to 7.

So, the last bag of grain goes to the mice.  And now...there is no more grain!

Going forward, your family has to work extra hard to produce extra food for
the growing mouse population.  As you keep feeding them, their numbers
continue to multiply.  By the next fall, there are many thousands of mice;
and the demand is almost a bag a day.  This demand cannot be maintained
and is forcefully stopped.

The mice riot and invade the family home looking for food. 
They get into all “the food stores” and plunder everything...
until there is nothing left for anyone. 

Now, the family is left scraping for food in the wilderness
and the mice scatter and die off naturally.

It always sounds like a charming idea to give free food, shelter and
what-not to the poor.  And while some people are willing to accept a
“hand up” to get out of a rut, and then provide for themselves...
most  get used to living off “handouts”.  And as you maintain the welfare
state of providing handouts, you breed more welfare dependency. And the
more “welfare dependency” you have, the demand of handouts increases.

Eventually, you reach a critical state,
where the demand for handouts exceeds the supply...
and the state is incapable of meeting
the handout  demand that they have created.
Society breaks down into rioting
as the now-hungry-welfare dependents
demand food from the State.
And the State is now helpless to provide it.

“Words of Wisdom”

Choose the Behavior...
Accept the Consequence!
(unknown author)

Merle Baird-Kerr … written February 6, 2013
Comments welcome...scroll down...may sign in as “anonymous”


  1. Great article on motivating our knowledge of technology.
    Many times I have worked in an office where the staff are all on the internet playing games or emailing and texting their buddies. When you work in a profession such as nursing or such... It's not quite as pronounced as they are hands on workers and doers. What will the world become in the future. Even driving cars you notice people on their play machines where their minds should be on driving. The new technology does take up work productivity but I am sure it has saved many from melt downs for want of a better word to chill them out from the harsh realities of life as well. It's a double edged sword. The old adage comes to mind. USE WITH CAUTION :)

    1. A great observation, Sherrie!
      I was aware in real estate offices, sales reps (evenings) often engaged in "games" on Internet
      ...and whatever else...when few around to observe!