We Don’t Need No Stinkin Jobs

Had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine while driving the other day.  We were talking about a woman he knows, named Sally.  Sally is 2 years out of college and recently laid off.  Of course, names, relationships and places have been changed to protect the (not so) innocent.  The conversation went something like this…

My buddy, John: Yeah, Sally got laid off 5 months ago.  Now she’s working at the Boar’s Head for under the table cash and tips, and collecting unemployment.

Me: What?  She had a great career going with her sales operations gig.

John: I know, but she made $36,000.00 in her first year out of school, now she makes like four grand a month collecting unemployment and working a couple shifts a week, and it’s tax free.

Me: Doesn’t she have any freakin self respect?

True story.  Here we have a well educated twenty-something who is choosing to collect unemployment, rather than go out and find a job.  I’m not sure what would drive someone to do this, but I suspect that it is a combination of being young and unable to see past next week and also a sense of entitlement, bred by the public school system and probably parents that did not hammer home any sense of work ethic.

And there’s more…

Many of the readers here know that ToBeRIGHT is a labor of love – my real gig is as a marketing consultant.  Two weeks ago, I completed my 2011 planning.  This plan calls for 4 new clients per month through 2011 – a nice little goal.  I decided that having a sales person would make hitting that target a lot easier.  Plus, with that number, I’ll be able to hire a full time administrator.  I put an ad in Craig’s List for a sales person.  The position would be commission only, but the sales person could make (at plan) almost $3k in the first month and about $8k per month after the first year. These numbers were advertised in the Craig’s List post.  I also include performance bonuses and profit sharing on top of the commission.

Nothing.  Nada. Zilch.  Zippo.

9.5% unemployment and I can’t find anyone willing to sell high demand services for commission.

[SIDENOTE: Yes, it is sour grapes!  I’m all irritated and cranky that I have to get out there and sell in order to hit my goals – I hate selling!]

A new Rasmussen poll says that 76% of adults know someone out of work and looking for a job.  76%!  This brings us full circle to Sally.  If they are looking for work, you could have fooled me.  Here are two circumstances that I have personal knowledge of.  First, a young woman on the dole who is quite happy about the 30% pay raise unemployment gave her and second, a job posting that got no replies save for a guy who put “sign turner” on his resume.  Really?  Really?  Good Lord.

It seems to me that there is more than just a shortage of jobs out there.  It seems that there is also a shortage of self-respect, of self-reliance, and of personal responsibility.

At least the Sign Turner was trying.


  1. On a somewhat related note, the automotive repair shop I work at ran an ad for a wrecker driver and part time mechanic last year and received only a handful of applications. Contrast that with the over 200 applications that was received for the job I know hold, seven years ago, and you can see how times have changed.

  2. And 7 years ago it was 2003 – the 2001 internet meltdown was over and the economy was doing quite nicely with low unemployment and solid growth.

    I am so frequently reminded of Peggy Joseph – she was the woman who gained notoriety by gushing about Barack Obama at the inauguration (or was it the Convention?). She said something to the effect that she would no longer have to worry about making a car payment, no longer worry about her mortgage. Indeed. I think that mindset is not just in some nut, liberal zombie, but has somehow worked its way into mainstream thought.

    I’ve been laid off 3 times – twice in one year (during the internet crash) and again in July 1009. Last year, I didn’t miss one day of work. I went home and planned and executed on my own business. Okay, so not everyone wants to do that, I get it. Still, with a family to support, my attitude was… I’ll do ANYTHING to get by, even if it means a temporary job. Maybe this comes from spending my youth watching my Dad leave for work early every morning and come home at the end of every day…

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