Something happens to a man when he’s unemployed. Sure, at first its nice as his schedule is certainly freed up a little, but he fills it quickly with bullshit tasks in between applying for jobs. But over time it emotionally and mentally wears on him. I don’t know why, but I honestly believe God imbued every man that gets married with this insatiable sense to provide for that family. And whether or not it is his fault, when he doesn’t that man can’t help but feel ashamed, angry, embarrassed, pissed, and is supposed to be hopeful and put on a good attitude.
I realized that for some reason, the skill I had, the market was not wanting. And the jobs the market did have, I wasn’t qualified for. Mike Rowe calls this the skills gap. Had a fucking degree and leadership experience in the US military and couldn’t find a fucking job other than to be some warm body in a suit for security, to “monitor and report.” Or as I called it, “statue and snitch.” I knew that I wanted a career, and that I needed to find a way to be indispensable in the market place and have a skill that I could always fall back on should I ever find myself in this shitty predicament again. I prayed a lot that year and asked God to show me a way to do this.
Be careful when seeking the Lord’s guidance on something, because He is brutally effective.
Not long after that I met up with a distant cousin I hadn’t seen in years. He asked me of my travels and military service and time away etc. Finally I asked him what he had been up to. He was down to earth and humble, almost sheepish as he told me that he worked in a factory making the plastic strap that holds together boxes for shipping or lumber in transport. I told him that sounded pretty cool. He responded ” well, I don’t know about that, but it has kept the lights on. Haven’t missed a paycheck in 7 years; right now thats more than some people can say.”
That statement hit me like a ton of bricks. Some menial seemingly boring job, but he was shift supervisor, and hadn’t missed a paycheck in 7 years. By the way, the modest home he was living in was for a reason; at that time my cousin had 1 yrs salary amount saved up in the bank. Meaning he could have quit his job and took a yr off and never altered his standard of living.
I was bewildered in wonder and realized a sick feeling that I had been doing a lot of shit wrong for many years. If you think God works in mysterious ways, just wait and keep reading. That night, as the wife and I were talking, it became very hot in the house. Unbearably hot. So incredibly hot that we both put on swimsuits trying not to pass out from stifling heat. I had no idea what to do, so we called some company and they said they’d be out the next day. Jesus, what a sweltering night. Awful. The next morning, two dudes in a van pull up to the house. They had it back up in no time; were there 15 minutes and charged me $150. I looked at the wife and said as a joke, “looks like I’m in the wrong line of work.”
And then the beat dropped. God was right. I was in the wrong line of work. These gentlemen were tradesmen, always in demand, always able to rely on their skill for work and to provide. And probably hadn’t missed a paycheck in 7 years. You couldn’t have hit me with a 2×4 and have me more stunned. There it was right there in front of me, the answer.
That fall I enrolled in trade school and began taking HVAC courses. Not long after then, I got hired and started working my way up, eventually becoming the 3rd most revenue producing tech in a $30 Million dollar per yr company before leaving to go out on my own and start my own company. The rest as they say is history.
But why do I tell this story? How is it connected to the election, then or now? Meanwhile, while all of this change is going on, I’m watching the liberal black guy’s answer. Climate Change and a bad economy? Lets start Cash for Clunkers. Sounded good in theory, until too much red tape and many dealerships never got paid. Now they’re out all the “subsidized” money that never came in. In business we call that shit a loss. Next, lets pass a massive healthcare overhaul bill that nobody read, in the middle of the night, that Nancy Pelosi infamously said, “we have to pass the bill so that we can find out was is in it.” What?! This wasn’t a fucking christmas present, sweetheart. You don’t just get to pass law to find out whats in the box? Are you fucking dense? Then guns are bad, so we need to ban them. Then big cars are bad, so we need to set arbitrary as fuck emissions standards. Then we’re going to produce some shovel ready jobs, only now we don’t have people that know how to use fucking shovels anymore, and the jobs weren’t so “shovel ready” after all.
But in the meantime, he felt it wise to bailout the banks. And the car companies. Even though this mess was of their doing, making bad choices and terrible investments, he said he had to act or it would have been worse. The irony in the situation is that it is because of govt action that the bubble was able to form in the first place. (For more on this, research, Fannie, Freddie, and subprime loans) When the govt tells you that you have to loan money for a 3000 square foot house to a single black mother of 7 just because she’s a single black mother of 7, without any regards to how she will make monthly payments or maintain the home, pay taxes on the home, or manage the big ass house and pay for her ’01 cadillac escalade on spinning rims and her gold teeth to attract #8 baby daddy, don’t be surprised when she forecloses, gets re-po’ed, and files bankruptcy. Now multiply that by a few million and you see what were talking about.
Where I was confused was by Obama’s naiveté; Obama said he was bailing out the banks in hopes that they’d do the “right thing.” Whatever that is, one thing is for certain, that same blanket forgiveness of bad decisions didn’t apply to the average joe. The blank check covered the factory and its moves to overseas (hello Chrysler sale to Fiat) however I guess it JUST WASnT POSSIBLE to cover the house and the car too right?
This is the double standard. One for Wall Street, another for Main Street. It crushed a lot of people. I have long said that what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander; that is that if the banks were forgiven their bad decisions and poor investments, so should the people who also worked within that system. Student loans, qualifying mortgages, and re-po’s should have been forgiven from credit reports and their debts erased. Why should the banks be absolved of their responsibility but then allowed to still collect on the back end and make their money? That alone led to a recovery that was sluggish over 8 years.
I mention this because as I look back at my path and what it took to achieve success, at each stage so far, there was no govt program there to help me. There was no “my brother’s keeper” initiative for the white guy, there was no ACORN to help me illegally obtain funds, there was no bailout plan when I started my own business, there was no Stimulus Package when I couldn’t pay rent. There was only God, my friends and family, and hard fucking work. Every time there was a challenge, that the govt was somehow addressing, somehow that effort always fell short of me and people like me. But yet somehow it always validated them demanding more and more of what I EARNED.
You can only do this shit, picking and choosing winners and losers, for so long before some resentment starts to build.