About my article last week titled “The Unemployed Aren’t Lazy…There Just Aren’t Any Jobs,” Keith J. Nelson writes:
Here is my stance on NO JOBS – I have a son (my hero) who was born non-verbal/non-social autistic. He can get disability. He chooses to work. He was working at the local convention center, which closed for COVID. Two days unemployed, he came up to me and said, “Bud (he calls me Bud, not Dad), I know with disability and unemployment I will make more but I should work. There are people who cannot work and need the money. I can contribute.”
I said, “I am proud of you, but the job market is tough with COVID and now you cannot have a job coach or program.” (Newsom shut them down.) He said, “I already found a job. I went online and applied at Amazon. They did an online test and interview. They do not allow job coaches, but I will work hard and focus. I can do this.”
I said, “Cool, Bud.” He went in, did his drug test and paperwork, and has been there for over eight months. He was converted to full-time permanent – and got two raises. He’s trained and certified for forklifts and gets plenty of OT.
They are so happy at his distribution center, they have asked to advocate to DDS and the Regional Center to get more developmentally disabled to apply. He also runs a DJ business on the side. While I work with the disabled and special needs, I will say I have found very few who actually cannot do some type of productive work. When we make excuses for others to fail, we are actually oppressors and taking away their basic human right to dignity and respect. Saying there are no jobs is simply a rationalization for failure.
Mark Twain once quipped, “There’s nothing so annoying as a good example.” Last week’s rant definitely hit a nerve, with the vast majority of comments and inbound messages and e-mails giving me a virtual “high five” for pointing out the sheer laziness of SOME people. However…
I did get a few nasty-grams from a small minority of people who were indignant over my comments, ALL pointing out how hard they work, telling me their stories of how diligently they searched for a job without success over this past year, how their overqualifications were a deterrent to getting hired and, of course, pointing out that COVID was to blame, NOT their laziness or indifference – and I should be “more careful” to not post such careless, insensitive articles that don’t take everyone into consideration.
Well, all weather is local, ain’t it?
For all of those people, I pointed them to a good job I have open right now – a sales position where they would be telemarketing for appointments and developing leads for our sales reps. It pays above average for the position, and we offer benefits. We also are growing, so there is definitely the opportunity to earn UP if the performance is consistently to quota. We also offer a lot of training to improve their skills. Did any of them apply? Nope. One responded and said, “I could NEVER do that job, and I don’t think it’s FAIR that someone should be forced to take work they don’t enjoy.” Ah well, that kinda was the point of my article, no?
As Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “If you can’t get excited about the miserable job you’ve got right now, you’ll never get a good job worth being excited about.” I think that’s truer by the day. There are a lot of people who would LOVE to be six- and seven-figure earners, but ONLY if they get to do the pleasant and easy tasks required.
The reason there are so few people at the top of the pyramid of the income level with the “best” jobs and positions is NOT because there are socially erected barriers to keep people out. It’s not because there’s “no opportunity.” It’s mostly because most people won’t do what’s necessary to get there: the long-term grind of ugly, miserable, tough, stressful and difficult work. And by the way, this INCLUDES many people with “CEO/Owner” on their business card.
Show me ANYONE with honest ambition who is willing to put in the time to LEARN key skills and work through COMPLEX problems and apply themselves to long hours and disciplined work, and there’s no one who can hold them back.
Kudos to Keith’s son, who gets this more than most. Imagine if everyone took his stance of “I should work…I should contribute.” Bud, I’m glad you do.