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Obsolete

 
 
Elmud
 
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2009 12:51 pm
I was remembering an old movie with Gregory Peck and Danny De vito. Can't recall the name, but, it was about an old factory that produced cable. The factory employed several people in the small town where it was. The company was owned by the old man,, Gregory Peck,,who's primary concern was to provide employment for his workers. Make a long story short, Danny De Vito played the heartless entrepreneur who was trying to buy the company out and eventually close it. The factory was simply,,obsolete. Cable just wasn't required anymore due to the advent of fiber optics. In the end,,,the company was bought,,and closed,,and an era of a way of life was at an end.

I've been a cabinetmaker for well over thirty years. Never made a whole lot of money but,,it payed the bills. There was always a certain satisfaction aside from the money. The opportunity to create something of quality for others. I think it was in the late seventies when "factory modular cabinetry" came into being. Huge companies that mass produced these particle board boxes with doors and drawers on them. Poor in quality but,,very inexpensive. They soon took over the tract home market. Then,,the semi custom market. And eventually,,the custom market. Custom residential cabinetry, with a few exceptions, became a thing of the past. Cost prohibitive due to the buying power of huge factories and cheap labor. It became,,obsolete. With the housing market the way it is these days,,it is simply out of the question. Many old time cabinetmakers are all tooled up,,with no place to go.

I guess the philosophical aspect of all of this is that quality products nowadays fall into an exclusive market. Applies to many things I suppose. If I was to suggest anything relative to a career choice for young folks, it would be to pursue more service oriented careers rather than get involved in something that will not be needed in the future. Something that will become,,obsolete. Healthcare and education will always be needed.

For all you old timers who spent most of your life learning a craft that is not needed anymore,,like me,,well,,we did a good job when we were needed and the quality of what we created was appreciated . That can never change.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 818 • Replies: 5
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melonkali
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2009 07:02 pm
@Elmud,
First the pessimistic comments:
Even for many who worked in jobs which required a resident human presence, the work environment changed. You, like my husband and I (both thankfully retired now), probably remember a time when mid-level supervisors and managers came from the rank and file, and/or at least were expected to be proficient at any job they supervised. In our later working years, we, along with most of our friends and same-age relatives, were affected by employers' change to the new "professional manager/consultant" style of management, resulting in new managers who knew absolutely nothing about the jobs or workers they supervised, except for a brief description in their "professional manuals" of job duties, average productivity, and salary.

"Seniority, experience and going-the-extra-mile" translated into "outdated dinosaurs who expect benefits and who are difficult to micromanage." These dinosaurs were to be replaced, whenever possible, by cheaper, less experienced, minimal-skills-required-for-the-job workers who would not require benefits (because of being long-time-temporaries from a service, or working part-time), and some jobs could be farmed out more cheaply to a service (for example, medical transcription).

Whatever the particulars, the overall general result was loss of workers' dignity, loss of company/worker mutual loyalty, and the loss of the self-satisfaction and respect earned for a job well done, and, of course, loss of jobs. Workers became little more than human automatons judged by quota and quantity, not skills or quality.

Hope for the future:
Even though the workplace climate has changed, younger generations can and do find new ways to cope and make their jobs meaningful -- for example, social networking and coworker loyalty is strong in some part-time service industries. Workers receive from coworkers the respect and loyalty we used to expect from our employers, and coworkers support each other in getting jobs done well, even though they may be underpaid and without benefits.

Unfortunately, it has to be pointed out that the low salaries and lack of benefits (especially paid time-off and insurance) are very hard on those who have young children. We know of some younger couples who, for strictly practical reasons, choose to delay having children until (hopefully) things improve.

However, overall, we are impressed by the optimistic, strong and resilient spirits our grown children and their friends exhibit. They still enjoy living, in spite of present economic hardships, and still find meaning in their lives. They are interested and active in politics. They are, I suspect, a "strong" generation, able to endure during these hard times, and determined to change the present socioeconomic inequities.

The phoenix will rise from our ashes.

rebecca
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SammDickens
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2009 07:34 pm
@Elmud,
That's okay, Elmud. When the revolution comes, the abilities of skilled workers will be valued and honored, the abilities of managers and executives will be seen for the glorified vanities they are and have always been. Perhaps we shall allow them to pick up the trash, since politicians could not be trusted even with that simple chore. What revolution? you may ask. There is always a revolution on the wind, always the whisper of discontent waiting to become the cries of rage and the yells of victory. We are made to labor, not to slave.

Samm
Elmud
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 03:42 pm
@SammDickens,
if you say so,,,,,,
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SammDickens
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 05:42 pm
@Elmud,
Sorry, El. All I had to offer you was empty rhetoric. when I retired, I found out that I was suddenly considered a burden rather than an asset. No-one had further need of me in this world. They had squeezed the juice outta this lemon and threw it away. The redeeming side to that story is that I had little use for them either. Let the world stumble on. I got my piddling pension, and they can kiss old brownie while I enjoy my last few days in a world of my own. I never expected better than I got.

Samm
Elmud
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 06:28 pm
@SammDickens,
Samm;102893 wrote:
Sorry, El. All I had to offer you was empty rhetoric. when I retired, I found out that I was suddenly considered a burden rather than an asset. No-one had further need of me in this world. They had squeezed the juice outta this lemon and threw it away. The redeeming side to that story is that I had little use for them either. Let the world stumble on. I got my piddling pension, and they can kiss old brownie while I enjoy my last few days in a world of my own. I never expected better than I got.

Samm
You know Samm,,maybe that's my problem. My expectations were too high. I was always told if you work your *** off,,eventually,,you might get somewhere and be happy. Maybe this world was never meant for those as beautiful as us eh? lol. Good luck pal.

---------- Post added 11-10-2009 at 06:30 PM ----------

By the way,,,at least you have a pension.. you did something right.
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