Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Matter of Perspective: Times Are Tough All Over

For the second time I have the opportunity to hire someone and take them from the unemployment statistics and for the second time it’s pretty damn depressing. If one more person abandons me I am going to start taking it personal. There is a lot of competition coming from all walks of life. The resume inbox is overwhelming and I don't handle it well.That's why my interviewing skills suck. There are good people out there and it sucks I only have one little position to award someone. I should be in a better mood because I am doing pretty well in many ways. It’s not just the job. I have done a lot of cool stuff. Sometimes people look at me and wonder why I don’t get overly excited it. It’s because I am locked into an underdog mind state that always makes me paranoid about everything falling apart and ending up back at the unemployment office to fill out my papers. I never want to think I am doing that great especially when I am interviewing people with more formal education than I have. It’s all about perspective.

My dad has a college degree and more integrity in one finger than most of us have in our entire body yet he spent most of his adult life driving a truck around New Orleans doing contracting work and any other thing he could find to feed his five babies with big appetites. I bet you there were a few times when someone at a stop light looked over and thought to themselves how sad it was that dirty man never did anything to better himself so all he can do to make a living is work on that raggedy truck. That thought probably had to piss him off but he did what most adults do when they have responsibilities and don’t have time to break down. He convinced himself he wouldn’t have it any other way but working for himself. He was trying to be sincere when he said it but I always felt like he should be in a shirt and tie headed downtown to his office. That’s why I make no apologies for sitting behind my desk with my hands clean. Five years from now I could be crawling under someone’s house to make my money and I want to enjoy the time I get to look out of that office window. I think that’s why I get on here and blog about stuff that really doesn’t apply to my current everyday life.

I’m not ducking bullets in the streets. I can’t tell you the last time I was even stopped by a police officer. My income has increased ever year for the last five years and for the first time I actually have more money than I have bills. I am not trying to downplay that. I just know what the other side looks like too. I think one of the problems in America is that somehow people don’t seem to want to acknowledge the other side is possible. They feel like they are closer to living in a mansion than living in a trailer park so they turn their noses up at the less fortunate I’m not just talking about suburban Republicans either. I know folks personally that have grew up in the heart of the ghetto that make a few extra dollars now and swear they are aristocrats. Just because someone is less fortunate doesn’t mean that they are less educated, have less work ethic, or have less pride than you do because they need a little help. Sometimes less fortunate means that a person worked on the same job for 20 years and never learned anything else because they felt secure. Then, out of the blue, the company was bought out by some bigger corporation and shut down where they work. That’s modern day America and everyone knows someone like that which is why I can’t understand the insensitive words when people debate current issues. Don’t be so quick to judge that guy standing in the scrap yard selling that iron and copper for a few dollars. If the right person sees his resume he could be your next supervisor.

Oh well, I guess we’ll just keep on keeping on.


Kevin Law said...

Hey Cliff.

It's Kevin.

After reading this, I just thought I'd mention that one lesson I've learned. Because of many of the ups and downs I've been through (one of which you and I went through together when we all got laid off at Stewart), I've finally come to the realization that nothing, good OR bad, lasts forever. What finally drove it home for me, and the reason I don't think I'll ever forget it, is Katrina. Not only can everything in your life change, it can literally happen overnight.

Right now, things aren't going that great for me. So it's a small comfort knowing that the hard times I'm having won't last forever. Of course, once things start looking up for me, THAT won't last forever, either.

That's just the way it goes. Or at least, it's the way it's gone for me. So far.

K. said...

Great hearing Curtis. What a talent; what a tragedy.

Anonymous said...

Big ups to your pops Cliff.

And try not to be depressed sweetie. I'm thankful that you're able to do anything for anyone and wish there were more Cliff's out there, concerned about how folk are doing.

Hold your head up bro and keep the negative thoughts at bay.

Every day I say thank you God for helping us hold down the status quo around here.

And I try to do something to help someone else.

Although I would like to do a lot more, sometimes all I can offer is a smile or a few kind words.

You feel me? :)

Miz B.

Tierra M Wilson said...

You just made me appreciate my job. Many people in my family don't have the luxury to sit behind a desk either.

Also got me thinking about the "underdog" mentality. I'm recently beginning to get rid of that habit. It's amazing what affect positive thinking can have on your life. I'm finally no longer afraid of failure.

thxs cliff

sussah said...

Your last point is excellent, and a good argument to try to maintain good relationships with as many people as possible. You literally and really don't know, in a big sense, which one of them will be your next supervisor. thanks Cliff, sp

bayoucreole said...

Jeez, the part about your dad shook me the the core because... I know so many men who went through the same thing as he did.
Great post.