TechCareerFubar - Computer Business for Cynical Realists

Main Category => FTE, Job and Career Discussion => Topic started by: I D Shukhov on June 22, 2018, 01:32:48 pm

Title: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: I D Shukhov on June 22, 2018, 01:32:48 pm
I noticed that a 50-something man across the street is working as a checkout person at a food store which I frequent.  The workers are unionized and the chain grocery store is owned by an international retailer.  Surely, I thought, he must be getting paid decently.

Nope.  I found out he makes $11 an hour  ($12 on weekends and holidays).  On July 1st, minimum wage goes up to $12.25/hour where I live.   2,000 hours x $12.25 is $24,500. 

Minimum wage is 1/2 the median earnings for a male, full-time worker, which is $49,660 (https://www.bls.gov/news.release/wkyeng.t01.htm (https://www.bls.gov/news.release/wkyeng.t01.htm)).

He has an MS degree. I don't know what happened to him and I don't think I want to find out.



Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: unix on June 22, 2018, 01:40:39 pm
That is completely in line with what people make in that field.. did you expect 15/hour?
There is enough labor here to keep at 9/hour often enough.
Title: And my inevitable picky thoughts
Post by: The Gorn on June 22, 2018, 02:38:24 pm
First of all, Unix is right. Labor rates are based on the market, not on what your position or experience in life was before you took the job.

To ID's points:

Of course, this man is at a low ebb in his life and career that most likely he won't ever escape from. And he has a master's degree.

You probably brought this up as a signpost or indicator that the labor market is so f***ed today that many capable professionals and older individuals simply cant' find suitable work. They have to settle for jobs that someone with no education and very low cognitive abilities can perform.

Maybe I am at even a lower rung than this guy, because I'm in that age bracket and I absolutely refuse to consider employment with dunces. So maybe I am cutting my nose off despite my own face.

Anyway -

Horror stories like this are constructive if they help you in that area of life somehow. We have no idea how this man got to this place in his life, what mistakes he made, what he did wrong, what he attempted and got shot down trying to accomplish. 

Since this guy is a cipher, all you're doing is posting a sob story of sorts that has no takeaways or warnings.

Given that a healthy vibrant economy should somehow provide near-suitable employment for someone with demonstrated competency, all we can do is hypothesize what could have lead him here:

- Disability with regard to attentional stuff - not being able to focus on high level tasks. (or other type of disability.)
- Washed out of IT due to age (the obvious issue for us on this board to discuss)
- Legal status (sexual offender, white collar crime, etc) - something that would cause rejection for professional employment.

Or kind of self created:

- Arrogant old fart who has high IQ tendencies, therefore he doesn't take new trends in his profession seriously. I read recently that the overly intelligent tend to race to conclusions and not factor in paradigm shifts.

- Lack of imagination and tunnel vision. The problem of most of us in this age group.

- Low self esteem.

- The unwillingness to just try something even though it seems unproductive.

- The unwillingness to learn.

- Willful lack of engagement, laziness and/or stupidity.
Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: JoFrance on June 22, 2018, 03:49:40 pm
Supermarkets might not pay great, but they offer great benefits to make up for it.  I see older men and women working as check-out clerks at one of the supermarkets I frequent.  I once worked at a supermarket early in my life and you can get a lot of benefits from them even though the pay stinks.  You have to do what you have to do to support your life.

The job market is improving, but it doesn't mean that old people will get a slice of the pie.  We have to change this, I think.
Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: pxsant on June 22, 2018, 03:52:56 pm
What is his MSc in?   Is it related to technology or is it something else?

A base MSc in only useful right after you complete your degree.   You have to keep up to date with the latest information in whatever the degree specialty is.   You have to be able to show significant expertise that can only be gained through experience after the degree.   Otherwise, there is no reason to hire a more experience/more expensive person over a rookie.

And there is the attitude issue.   If the person has a defeatist attitude, they are finished.   You have to be positive and believe in yourself in order to keep active in whatever field you are in.   That could be the issue with your neighbor.
Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: I D Shukhov on June 22, 2018, 03:59:20 pm
Supermarkets might not pay great, but they offer great benefits to make up for it.  I see older men and women working as check-out clerks at one of the supermarkets I frequent.  I once worked at a supermarket early in my life and you can get a lot of benefits from them even though the pay stinks.  You have to do what you have to do to support your life.

The job market is improving, but it doesn't mean that old people will get a slice of the pie.  We have to change this, I think.
He told my wife that they are keeping his hours just below the level at which he would get benefits.
Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: unix on June 22, 2018, 04:00:28 pm
I was at this suchi place here and overheard a conversation - "I cannot find anyone to hire for $9/hour". And that was several years ago. The cost of living is insane around here, this ain't Ohio or Western Virginia. So 11/hour is like min-wage. But that how it has always been.

There is a large pool of Elbonias to draw from.  I don't know if that's the definitive factor but one of them.

Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: I D Shukhov on June 22, 2018, 04:05:37 pm
What is his MSc in?   Is it related to technology or is it something else?

A base MSc in only useful right after you complete your degree.   You have to keep up to date with the latest information in whatever the degree specialty is.   You have to be able to show significant expertise that can only be gained through experience after the degree.   Otherwise, there is no reason to hire a more experience/more expensive person over a rookie.

And there is the attitude issue.   If the person has a defeatist attitude, they are finished.   You have to be positive and believe in yourself in order to keep active in whatever field you are in.   That could be the issue with your neighbor.
It's technical.  I can't share his story.  I don't even want to try and obfuscate his story.  It involves a horrendous workplace experience long ago which may have led to a form of work-shyness, but I'm just guessing.  So defeatism probably figures in.  I know he's not financially secure and is working just to have something to do.
Title: Re: And my inevitable picky thoughts
Post by: I D Shukhov on June 22, 2018, 04:17:25 pm

Of course, this man is at a low ebb in his life and career that most likely he won't ever escape from. And he has a master's degree.

You probably brought this up as a signpost or indicator that the labor market is so f***ed today that many capable professionals and older individuals simply cant' find suitable work. They have to settle for jobs that someone with no education and very low cognitive abilities can perform.

Maybe I am at even a lower rung than this guy, because I'm in that age bracket and I absolutely refuse to consider employment with dunces. So maybe I am cutting my nose off despite my own face.

Anyway -

Horror stories like this are constructive if they help you in that area of life somehow. We have no idea how this man got to this place in his life, what mistakes he made, what he did wrong, what he attempted and got shot down trying to accomplish. 

Since this guy is a cipher, all you're doing is posting a sob story of sorts that has no takeaways or warnings.

Given that a healthy vibrant economy should somehow provide near-suitable employment for someone with demonstrated competency, all we can do is hypothesize what could have lead him here:

- Disability with regard to attentional stuff - not being able to focus on high level tasks. (or other type of disability.)
- Washed out of IT due to age (the obvious issue for us on this board to discuss)
- Legal status (sexual offender, white collar crime, etc) - something that would cause rejection for professional employment.

Or kind of self created:

- Arrogant old fart who has high IQ tendencies, therefore he doesn't take new trends in his profession seriously. I read recently that the overly intelligent tend to race to conclusions and not factor in paradigm shifts.

- Lack of imagination and tunnel vision. The problem of most of us in this age group.

- Low self esteem.

- The unwillingness to just try something even though it seems unproductive.

- The unwillingness to learn.

- Willful lack of engagement, laziness and/or stupidity.
He seems like a genuinely ok guy.  His house is a shining example in the neighborhood and he's always going out of his way to help neighbors.  But who know's what's going on inside someone's head.

My bet is something along the lines of negative self image.  He's been out of the workforce for at least 10+ years and he's in his 50s, so the headwinds probably seem insurmountable. He's not sitting on a pile of cash because he's working because he has to.

I used to see this poster on the walls at work.  Suppose there's truth to it: (https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1450/0340/products/Attitude_Determines_Altitude_Store_4a83274e-c74a-4fd3-ac09-0104ad331229_1024x1024.jpg)
Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: unix on June 22, 2018, 05:45:58 pm
So he works for near-min wage but owns a house, so he is already ahead of many people. Cash poor, property-not-so-poor.

Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: The Gorn on June 22, 2018, 06:01:48 pm

I used to see this poster on the walls at work.  Suppose there's truth to it: (https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1450/0340/products/Attitude_Determines_Altitude_Store_4a83274e-c74a-4fd3-ac09-0104ad331229_1024x1024.jpg)

This is more to the point than your marcomm motivational poster. This is 100% true:

(http://www.quotesvalley.com/images/03/wheter-you-think-you-can-or-think-you-cant-youre-right.jpg)
Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: unix on June 22, 2018, 06:24:09 pm
I dunno. For some reason I hate this motivational bullshyte.

LOL

I am more aligned with this:

(https://i.imgur.com/KErjdc0.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/qLsGXRz.jpg)

Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: The Gorn on June 22, 2018, 07:01:25 pm
The one I posted is a quote from Henry Ford. Besides being a notable Hitler supporter  >:D he wrote that quote.

It's completely true and you can't escape the facts.

If you think you can do something, you will be likely to find a way to do it.

If you believe you can't do something, you most likely won't ever even start.

If you guys see every constructive summary of human nature to be a marketing-communication or HR platitude, then y'all are lost.

I'm Mr Cynical Negative Boil-the-World-in-Satan's-Deep-Fryer-Oil and I know that attitude is EVERYTHING even if you want to dismiss  the idea as rah rah.
Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: unix on June 22, 2018, 07:08:46 pm
sigh

I was being facetious.

It's just that this shyt is being quoted in the wrong context and for the wrong reason. I dont know the guy in the OP but it's very doubtful all this motivational stuff can help him. The two-byte message against 40 years of pathologies.
Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: The Gorn on June 22, 2018, 07:09:53 pm
Of course the motivational stuff can't help the guy. Otherwise he  wouldn't be bagging groceries at this point in his life.
Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: unix on June 22, 2018, 07:15:39 pm
I have been reading a lot of self-help motivational stuff.

I've come to realize that parental influence is highly important. They program you for the rest of your life and you cannot escape that programming. Or very difficult.

We all need  psychologists. /sigh
Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: I D Shukhov on June 23, 2018, 05:51:56 am

I used to see this poster on the walls at work.  Suppose there's truth to it: (https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1450/0340/products/Attitude_Determines_Altitude_Store_4a83274e-c74a-4fd3-ac09-0104ad331229_1024x1024.jpg)

This is more to the point than your marcomm motivational poster. This is 100% true:

(http://www.quotesvalley.com/images/03/wheter-you-think-you-can-or-think-you-cant-youre-right.jpg)

Sorry I got this started.  This should finish off the thread:

(https://www.newromantimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/sales-of-hang-in-there-2.jpg)
Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: unix on June 23, 2018, 06:00:46 am

The altitude poster does apply to me, however. And to others I know.


Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: JoFrance on June 24, 2018, 02:14:02 pm
Supermarkets might not pay great, but they offer great benefits to make up for it.  I see older men and women working as check-out clerks at one of the supermarkets I frequent.  I once worked at a supermarket early in my life and you can get a lot of benefits from them even though the pay stinks.  You have to do what you have to do to support your life.

The job market is improving, but it doesn't mean that old people will get a slice of the pie.  We have to change this, I think.
He told my wife that they are keeping his hours just below the level at which he would get benefits.

That was one of the problems with the ACA.  I think its still in effect, too.  I never liked any of those "motivational" posters.  I always saw them as reminders that if you can't achieve, you're out.

Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: ilconsiglliere on July 02, 2018, 10:31:18 am
Well that was uplifting (NOT).

To stay relevant in today's world requires effort. If you are not willing to make that effort than you are toast particularly in IT.

I have retooled myself multiple times already, you need to do what you got to do.
Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: The Gorn on July 02, 2018, 11:24:26 am
Well that was uplifting (NOT).

To stay relevant in today's world requires effort. If you are not willing to make that effort than you are toast particularly in IT.

I have retooled myself multiple times already, you need to do what you got to do.

LOL. It totally had to be said.

To have a decent life today, unless you fall outside highly lucrative tranches like law or Google software engineer, you pretty much need to design your life.

Is anyone else getting that idea? I sure am.
Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: I D Shukhov on July 02, 2018, 12:58:47 pm
Well that was uplifting (NOT).

To stay relevant in today's world requires effort. If you are not willing to make that effort than you are toast particularly in IT.

I have retooled myself multiple times already, you need to do what you got to do.

LOL. It totally had to be said.

To have a decent life today, unless you fall outside highly lucrative tranches like law or Google software engineer, you pretty much need to design your life.

Is anyone else getting that idea? I sure am.
Regarding law:  I know of four lawyers who think IT has better prospects.  Two were female system engineers at the big company I used to work for.  Not sure if they are still working there.  Another lawyer got laid off the same time I did and I passed him during HR exit processing the same day.  He had gotten a Certified Java Programmer cert and I was kind of impressed because that's hard.  Unfortunately, he had his age working against him.  I think he was in his fifties.  Another guy went the reverse way.  He was a system engineer and was studying law as a way out of IT.  He showed me his text book one day and I thought you have to have damn good reading comprehension to grok all of that.  He eventually got his law degree but apparently couldn't make a go of it because I see on his LinkedIn profile he's back working as an system engineer at a big contracting company.

The grass is always greener.
Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: pxsant on July 02, 2018, 01:46:45 pm
I.D you are correct about the law.   Very few law graduates actually make it in the legal field.   They are the top graduates of the top law schools.   The rest usually fall into the swarm.   My neighbor's son graduated from well known California law school, passed the bar exams and couldn't get a job to save his ass.   Last I heard he was working as a clerk in a drug store.
Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: The Gorn on July 02, 2018, 01:51:08 pm
Parsing a point to death misses the real point being made by a country mile!!!

Ok, MEDICINE. Or SOMETHING lucrative.

The grass IS often greener. A high school classmate got his law degree several years after I graduated and went to work in Silicon Valley for a year, and he is now the senior counsel for a major IT infrastructure provider (a spinoff of NCR.)

Your mileage will vary.

In some fields and some circumstances, my entire point was that life can and does fall before you in a fairly satisfying upward path.

For us NOT.

Therefore

YOU NEED TO DESIGN YOUR LIFE.

You can always pick someone who entered a good field and made really shitty strategic decisions. So they're kind of like us!

YOU NEED TO DESIGN YOUR LIFE.

Do you disagree with that point or should we continue to debate stupid shit and pick people who almost went out of their way to choose failure? (speaking to ID)
Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: I D Shukhov on July 02, 2018, 03:12:15 pm
I actually don't think I was debating anything since I think it's self-evident that people have to design their lives. I thought my data points about lawyers and IT might interest a few people.




Title: Re: Poorly-paid neighbor
Post by: ilconsiglliere on July 03, 2018, 10:33:30 am
Parsing a point to death misses the real point being made by a country mile!!!

Ok, MEDICINE. Or SOMETHING lucrative.

The grass IS often greener. A high school classmate got his law degree several years after I graduated and went to work in Silicon Valley for a year, and he is now the senior counsel for a major IT infrastructure provider (a spinoff of NCR.)

Your mileage will vary.

In some fields and some circumstances, my entire point was that life can and does fall before you in a fairly satisfying upward path.

For us NOT.

Therefore

YOU NEED TO DESIGN YOUR LIFE.

You can always pick someone who entered a good field and made really shitty strategic decisions. So they're kind of like us!

YOU NEED TO DESIGN YOUR LIFE.

Do you disagree with that point or should we continue to debate stupid shit and pick people who almost went out of their way to choose failure? (speaking to ID)

I agree with this very much. You need a plan and need to stick with it. Unless your parents teach it to you, how are you going to learn this? The same thing applies to investing and saving money. They do not teach this in high school nor college.

Frankly I had no plan when I was younger. I started off in art in college, realized there was no money in it and switched to comp sci. Even after switching to comp sci I still did not have a plan. I just figured I would code and make money. Thats it. I didnt have a clue how the world works beyond the whole - work hard, do what you are supposed to do and the world will be your oyster. Boy was that a rude awakening when it hit me.

Corporate America is not about working hard, its really about politics. My parents had this mentality - go to school, get good grades, get hired by a big company like Ma Bell and you will be set for the rest of your life. Be a company man, do what you are told. At one point that may have been true but it was already dying in the 80s/90s.

Than reality hits you. You realize that all that hard work and FREE OT means NOTHING. What you really need to learn is not how to code but how to think like a business. What can you do that benefits the business while benefiting YOU. If you can think this way there really is no reason to work for someone else providing you have a viable business. In my experience most IT people never figure out that the reason they are there is to benefit the business. Than they wonder why they outsource their job to the lowest bidder. HINT: They dont value you or your skills.

I think the most successful corporate people I have encountered, they entered corporate America with the mentality that they were going to ABC. Than they worked toward that goal. They let nothing stand in their way. But the reality a lot of them top out and than never can get beyond a certain level because in reality its all politics.

Most lawyers dont do that well unless you are in some elite law firm representing the rich or big companies. I know a few because I used to fix their computers on the side. A lot of them starve for work. That is why many of them go into real estate law or become judges. In the case of real estate its brain dead paper pushing but they get paid for grinding out the paper. And you cant do real estate transactions without them.