Monday, September 2, 2013

The Modern Career: Disappearing Faster than Glaciers

If you came here looking for a meditation on the modern workforce/work place with a particular focus on the field of education, see this older blog post of mine.  Sadly, it still seems quite relevant, more so today than when I wrote it.

It also seems relevant to many more fields than education.  Sigh.

Maybe our pool guy has the right idea.  Our new house has a pool, and I decided to have the pool guy keep coming to service the pool, at least while we were getting settled.  In many ways, that pool is a huge investment, and I don't want to have anything dreadful happen to it. 

He usually comes on Monday, and I'm usually not here to see him.  But he came yesterday, and I noticed how quickly he got his tasks done.  And then he was off to the next pool.  He told my spouse that he does about 11-15 pools a day. 

If he does 11 pools a day, and he works 5-6 days a week, and he charges each pool owner $70 a month--yes my pool guy is in a brilliant business! 

It can't be outsourced, except to someone who will charge more (most of my friends are paying $80-100 a month) or to us.  But it's people with resources who usually hire a pool guy anyway.  It's not exactly a recession-proof business, but it comes closer than many businesses.

I wish I liked doing manual labor.

My spouse and I are shifting our thoughts to the idea of income streams rather than careers.  We like the idea of income streams that aren't dependent on us reporting in person to a physical place every day.

Of course, it's easier to think this way when one of us has such a job which provides nice benefits, like a steady paycheck that's an amount I can count on, health insurance, and a retirement plan. 

I'll keep this job as long as I can.  I suspect it may be the last time I'll have this kind of job.  They're vanishing faster than glaciers.

On this Labor Day, I slept late, until just after 7 a.m., which is late for me.  The gym is closed, so no spin class to attend.  Plus, we were up in the middle of the night to the sounds of an animal who seemed to be trapped on part of the roof.  But once we turned on the outside lights, it seemed to find its way out.

I think of all the work a house requires.  We should trim the trees back from the house.  We should take out the ficus.  That's just the tree/shrubbery tasks that need attention.  The other day I weeded the pavers with my bare hands.  I've still got the scrapes.

The house as harsh taskmaster.  Does that labor metaphor work on this Labor Day?

Of course, in the past few years, we've seen the homeowner disappearing faster than glaciers too.

But now, I'm going to turn my attention to cheerier topics.  I thought I might walk to the beach and watch the sun rise this morning, but I've missed that opportunity.  Still, I plan to continue my Capture Summer Culinary Pleasures Plan today:  I've got watermelon to eat and some grilled salmon to finish.  I'll finish reading the Stephen King time travel book, 11/22/63, a really great read--I'm getting close to the end, and I still can't figure out how it will end.  I'll read by the pool.

And I'll remember to be grateful for my job, which makes these summer pleasures possible. 

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