Monday, August 13, 2012

Holding out for management

It was nice to see America win the overall medal count at the Olympics this summer. Other than that, I don’t have much to say about the Games. I enjoyed some of the stories, but there’s not a lasting investment in these athletes for me. I left the Olympics knowing two things 1) Usain Bolt, the Jamaican Sprinter, is obviously using performance-enhancing drugs, and 2) America is still the greatest place on the planet.

I don’t understand why people complain about the current American System. Is the economy that bad? (It's better than anywhere else in the world.) Is it that hard to find a job? Tonight we ran errands in the stores where we live (Clifton Park), and EVERY SINGLE retailer, from Home Depot to Friendly’s, was hiring. HELP WANTED signs plastered all over the place. Anyone who wants a job, and is willing to work, I mean actually work, can have it.

You’re upset because this economy doesn’t allow you to go from college to the corner office. Tell me a time in American history where the economy did. Here’s an economic lesson. It’s called Supply vs. Demand. When our colleges graduate three million students every year, the demand for these degrees obviously declines. “But, Brian, I just spent 80 thousand on my degree. I deserve a high-paying job asap.” Therein lies the problem. That’s not how a sustainable economy works. You need to climb the ladder, eat some crow, get your hands dirty, make connections, earn respect. Then, after all that, you’ll get the big job. And guess what? You’ll be ready. Ask Tom Coughlin about waiting your turn.

I know, you’re WAY too important for Home Depot or Friendly’s. That's beneath you, because you have a communications degree. Who doesn’t? Now it’s time to actually work, the same way the generations of the past did, the ones you claim made this country great, in a way-back time you claim was great. Make today great. Hump concrete for twelve hours a day, sling eggs in a 100-degree kitchen, wait tables five nights a week. Whatever you do, be the best at it, and if you’re educated and eager, you’ll get your opportunity. But you might have to wait, and while you wait, you might have to work. I washed dishes in a retirement home with a bachelor’s degree. So what? Six months later, I had a career. I got that because I met the right guy in that kitchen, and he hooked me up. Thank God I wasn’t too big for dishes.

I say this is the greatest time in American history. I say this economy is better than it’s ever been. Think about everyone you know who’s been fired or laid off. I bet--if you’re being honest with yourself--there’s nobody who’s hard working and smart and humble on that laid-off list. I bet if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll see that the guy who’s willing to go the extra mile, who’s 100% invested in what he does, is still working right now. The American System is Darwinism. The weak will be weeded out. But the ones who are willing to do whatever it takes, it’ll work out for them in the end.

What do we all think when somebody says, “I’m holding out for management”? We know that guy doesn’t want to work. We know that management job is never coming. Now imagine a whole nation holding out for management. It's a joke. So tonight I salute the woman who helped me buy a sink at Home Depot, and the young girl who made my milkshake (with whipped cream) at Friendly’s, and the guys who washed my car at Hoffmann’s. You’re the reason why this country is better than it's ever been. And ten years from now, I’ll see you in the corner office when I need a mortgage loan approved or an insurance policy explained, while all those guys who were too good to scoop ice cream or clean cars are still "holding out for management."

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Brian Huba

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