Peves

Education seems to be in America the only commodity of which the customer
tries to get as little he can for his money.

Max Leon Forman (1909-1990) Jewish-American writer.

 

They say that we are better educated than our parents’ generation. What they
mean is that we go to school longer. They are not the same thing.

Douglas Yates

Let me ask a few questions:  What is a degree worth?  Do you really need to go to college to be an auto mechanic, or a hair dresser?  Aren’t these things best learned from a “Master” in the trade?  Isn’t the term “Master’s Degree” indicative of a degree of learning acquired over a large amount of time working up from apprentice to master?

At one point in time you didn’t just wake up one morning and decide that you were going to be a blacksmith, you were apprenticed to a blacksmith and as you worked, and learned you would earn your education and maybe a meal by working with the blacksmith, he would teach you your trade, usually for no pay, sleeping on the hay in the barn and doing the dirty work until you earned a promotion to Journeyman after a seven year training period.  Some apprentices would work as journeymen for a master craftsman until the day they died.  Not every apprentice became a Master.

So here I would like to say, not that we should go back to feudal times, but perhaps a guild system would work for us.

Yes, we need labor laws to prevent employers from taking advantage of their work force, but there are so many rules and regulations to wade through it’s just easier to stay an employee and let someone else worry about it.

My education was attained out of spite, not any desire to accomplish anything.  Though I am using my education right now, all things that I learned in college I could have learned without paying the price of tuition.  The books that I was required to read, the poems that I was required to analyze, the essays I was required to write, all are things that I could have done on my own without the drawl of professors or the tests about 20th century European Literature.  I got a degree simply because a teacher I had once, told me that I wouldn’t, that I couldn’t, that I wasn’t smart enough.  But did I need a B.A.?  No, frankly, not at all.

But I did need the experience of college.  Nothing can change that, I made many friends there, ones who are using their college degrees just as thoughtfully as I do, that being not at all.  And yet we still paid for them, we still put years of work into them.

Yesterday I was ranting in public to my Mom as we entered a craft store, I was saying how useless a college education is, and how Universities “Suck”.  This elicited a chuckle from a bystander who then said she worked for a University and that she agreed.  I apologized, in case I might have offended her, but Mom thought it was interesting that her opinion was the same as mine.  If there are others why don’t they speak up?  Is it because educational system is so poor at the primary and secondary level that if it weren’t for college kids would be barely literate?  That can’t be it, can it?

I don’t know, but something needs to change.  President Obama seems to think that we need more citizens with college diplomas, but we don’t know what to do with the ones that we have already.  America needs more jobs before we produce more college grads.  It’s simple supply and demand, there are more degrees than the workplace can handle, making it necessary for workers to get higher and higher degrees to compete and stand out.  There are fundamental pieces missing, and there is a lack of interest in the subject.  All anyone talks about is the importance of a college education, not the reason why it’s so important.  Just something to think about, I welcome any comments.

 

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An Open Letter Regarding Tardiness

Dear Everyone,

Please buy a watch.  Look at your cell phone, laptop, microwave or cable box.  It is about time, literally.  As a supervisor, former manager, and an employee of any number of companies.  Please look at these time keeping devices and remember something important:  Someone out there is counting on you to BE ON TIME.

Not only are you wasting someone else their valuable time but you are wasting money for your company.  We all make plans, there are plans for the afternoon, and plans for the evening.  I am not just talking about hourly employees, but managers, and executives.  I have suffered at the hand of casually late employees more than once since I have been a working stiff, but more in this town than anywhere I have ever worked.  People who roll in anywhere from 5 minutes late to a full half hour after they were supposed to be punched in and underway.  My husband, who has worked mostly in the restaurant business, told me stories of shifts running two hours over because someone couldn’t get to work for one lame reason or another.

There are managers who care not to be at the restaurant to do things that are their jobs to do, but passing them off on people who aren’t qualified, trained, or getting paid enough money to do them.  Managers who leave as soon as their superiors have left for the day, or upon finding out their boss won’t be in, not showing up at all.  Passing the job off on Assistants who are paid barely over minimum wage, then racking up overtime and getting in trouble, all for covering an incompetent bosses ass for him.

There are managers, who for no other reason than that’s what they feel like doing right at the moment, decide to run to the bank with the deposit just before they have to cover for an hourly person until the next shift begins.  An hourly employee who has been warned by that same manager not to exceed the hours they have been given for the week.  Excusing them from the extra hours this time (because they need the time to get to the bank and run their own errands on company time).

I am tired of this laziness, tired of American workers being taken advantage of, and yet being told that their are any number of stooges ready, willing and able to take their job from them, when the managers aren’t setting a very good example for their workers.  At the same time, I don’t like many American workers either.  The number of them that are ethical, considerate, prompt, precise, courteous to customers and their fellow workers, or anyone who is in the service of service, is dwindling to too few.  Honestly I don’t care if the person smiles at me or asks me how I’m doing, I just want them to ring up the sale quickly and send me on my way, if they smile at me and say thank you, have a nice afternoon, well then that’s alright too.  Please don’t follow me around the store hoping to get my pennies from me, if I need you, I will find you.

I have a very simple guideline for timeliness as far as that goes, If you’re early, you’re on time, if your on time you’re late, and if you’re late, you’re fired!  Easy come, easy go.  And for goodness sake, if you’re on the clock, get off your cell phone.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading.

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