I have worked construction. I've painted rooms, hauled up muck, replaced sewer tiles, and tuck-pointed exterior brick walls (hard work that I am paying for now, but rewarding in its own way). I spent three years as a runner at the CBOT (Chicago Board of Trade); and lost $6,000.00 (on paper) in five seconds. I was there when the opened the new pits (by now they are probably the "old pits"). I worked as an inserter operator for a Christian Mission in San Francisco producing hundreds of pounds of bulk mail, and touching lives all over the United States. I patrolled buildings that others insisted were haunted. I was on site and supervising for Wells Fargo Guard Services in 1984 when story broke that Jewel Foods had tainted milk on the shelves. I worked for a firm doing research for a Navy sonar cable brake ... and packed it up in cosmoline when the plug was pulled on the project. I was there when Bell&Howell pulled their manufacturing plant out of Chicago and auctioned off everything in the plant; and I got to walk the halls of the first DeVry Campus before it was bulldozed and turned into a mega-mall.
After graduating from college, I worked for three different Disaster Recovery firms. The first was in Long Beach, California. It was a small, but well known, data vault. It was there that I wrote my first published work. The installation manual for the Disaster Recovery 2000 was my work. This was still five years before the internet. The next was a Disaster Recovery firm in L.A. Aeroscopic was involved in the recovery of damaged equipment. That lead, eventually, to Metropolitan Services in Libertyville, Illinois. All of this, interesting, but somewhat disappointing since I had graduated third in my class with a B.S. in Telecommunications Management.
Along the way, I also met a man working at a defense contractor in Long Beach. He told me to work with BASIC and get into AI. Never managed to get certified on AI; could not afford it. However, I did have the skill to write an integrated customer tracking and accounts receivables program for the small Disaster Recovery firm in Libertyville, Illinois. Too, when I was a whole 19 years old, I worked at as a Quality Control Test Equipment Engineer for a, now, long ago, defunct company; prototypes, I learned, are meant to blow up. That is what Underwriters Laboratory is all about. I also worked "The Road" (Illinois' Toll Highway) as a toll technician fixing the automated collection machines. Too, for a while in 2002, I worked at KLIF as a "Technical Producer" and I produced the segments of Hands on Health that aired on KCLE in Cleaburn, Texas. And, for a little while, I was a hired gun (all legal, I assure you). With that, however, I am getting ahead of myself.
In 1994 I got my one and only break. I went to work for ISSI (Integrated Sales Solutions Incorporated) making outbound sales calls to pitch Norther Telecom's Ethernet Switch. Since I was the only one who was willing to crack the case on a computer I eventually became their Novell Administrator, their Telemagic Administrator, their trainer, and their telecommunication administrator. Many hats for $12.50 an hour. It got better. In a short time, with many projects, and so many different, small, independent technical firms that I now don't remember them all (most are out of business), I was able to double that. I was on my way ... or so I thought. It came to an end in 2000. Actually, by 1998 one could already see the slow down. For me it stagnated. My last decent paying technical job ended in October 2000. Then ... boom!
Tier One Technical Support paid $25.00 and hour in 2000. The last job I finished on January 22, 2010 paid $14.00 an hour for the same responsibilities and additional sales quotas atop the technical support and customer satisfaction ratings.
We can't afford another so-called economic "expansion" like the one from the last decade –- what some call the "lost decade" -– where jobs grew more slowly than during any prior expansion; where the income of the average American household declined while the cost of health care and tuition reached record highs; where prosperity was built on a housing bubble and financial speculation. -- President Obama, January 27, 2010I have indeed been lucky. I have seen it all come to this moment. Having vindication from none other than the President of the United States is a plus, of sorts. There are plenty of jobs that afford a person a wealth of experience, but most don't pay worth a tinker's dam. This last one paid just enough to spend it all on going to and from work and keep working.
We will double our exports over the next five years, an increase that will support two million jobs in America. (Applause.) To help meet this goal, we're launching a National Export Initiative that will help farmers and small businesses increase their exports, and reform export controls consistent with national security. (Applause.)
If Obama pulls this off, I will be surprised. I hear allot about planned growth, and expansion, but I am not seeing much. I have seen allot. Most of what I have seen has been the complete opposite of his brave, new idea.
As I point out in Wealth, Women and War, watch what they do, not what they say. Just remember, it is not entirely up to Obama, there are many, many players that have to come together to push this nation forward. Maybe this Son of Chi-Town can pull off some Boss Daley arm twisting and make it happen.