On the Sunny Side of the Street

A dear friend mildly chided me the other day in an email:

One thought came to mind as I started to look for a job – it was not good to read your posts about looking for work.  9 out of 10 are downers….. and I know that you are down while looking but from the outside, I think you need to hunt down good job stories and concentrate on them.   Like I said If I was hunting for a job, I wouldn’t want to subscribe to Mr. T’s daily…… hunt the good down.

Maybe he has a point.  So I am going to make a concerted effort to hunt down the good job stories.  But since I have to hunt, I’ll put those in a future post.  Right now I’m racking my brain for good stories I know, and I  can’t come up with any, at least on the personal level.  Many of the jobless I know are hollow-eyed automatons medicating themselves with drugs, alcohol and Krispy Kremes against the stress, and many of the working people I know….are hollow-eyed automatons medicating themselves with drugs, alcohol, and Krispy Kremes against the stress.  I see e-mail posts from some of the networking groups I belong to with subject lines like “Praise Jesus! I’ve Landed!”, and then read that the former CFO for a Fortune 500 company is now Supervisor of Crap Packing at CrapWorks, Inc. – somehow that doesn’t  strike me as a banner “feel  good” story.  But there may be some good news at the macro level.

I’m hearing rumblings that the whole “outsource it to India” thing is starting to be recognized as not working well, and companies are beginning to bring functions back to this country.  Now Indians, Pakistanis, etc. are wonderful people and have just as much right to make a living as anybody else, but did someone really think that Meena (she answers to “Cindy”) on the help desk in New Delhi  – who shares a bedroom with a sister, two aunts, and a great grandmother – gives a flip about the problems an Atlantan is having with his cable service?  So maybe those jobs are coming back here, and we can once again be treated rudely by authentic Steves and Lakeeshas who at least understand our pain, even if they don’t feel it.

Corporations are sitting on huge piles of cash like Smaug sat on his treasure in “The Hobbit”, and it is only going to take a few signals from Washington that a stable, business-friendly environment is in the making to initiate a hiring frenzy of unprecedented magnitude.  Assuredly Democrats and Republicans will put aside their differences……..uh, moving on….

The well-meaning often remind me that it could be worse, which is undeniably true.  The good news is we don’t live in Haiti.  My church has a sister parish in Hinche, Haiti – which I hope to visit some day – and by all accounts the Haitians are wonderful people, joyous and neighborly and on fire with the love of Jesus.  They have an earthquake, a cholera epidemic, and the return of “Baby Doc” Duvalier, and they respond by sharing the village chicken and sing hymns.  Here we have a slow internet connection and shake our fist at Heaven and curse God (I’m visualizing Charlton Heston in his “Planet of the Apes” prime, only in a white shirt with a pocket protector instead of the loin cloth:  “Damn you, you crashed the server! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!!!).  So what is up with the whole Haiti thing?  You’d think some selfless leader along the lines of Morgan Freeman in “Invictus” would emerge, convincing all the factions to work together to make Haiti a paradise of tourism and small factory production, but it never seems to happen.  The leadership there present and past seems to echo Milton’s famous line from “Paradise Lost” that it is better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven.  I’m not a sociologist or a historian, so I’m not qualified to comment on what I think made Haiti the smelly, skin tag-laden armpit of the Caribbean it is today, but the French seem to have been a big influence there, and that can’t be good.

On a personal level I got a physical this week, and it’s mostly good.  But I saw the future of healthcare in the amiable Dr. Wang: i.e. foreign physicians who think $35,000 a year and a company cell phone is a little slice of Heaven on Earth.  We’ve all heard that one should put anything sharper than an elbow in one’s ears?  Well, Dr. Wang didn’t like the wax build-up I had, so he skipped the water injection method and went straight to the probe.  By the time he was done I was willing to tell Goldfinger anything he wanted to know.  After working on the second ear for awhile, I guess since I was still conscious he showed me the reddened tip and said with a smile “Ho…blood!  Use ear solution to clean out rest!”  He finished by writing me a couple of prescriptions that would ameliorate some of my middle-age problems, patted me on the shoulder, and advised me “You too fat.  No buffet.  You go now!”  Next stop: a consultation with an Indian GI specialist for a colonoscopy, which is ripe with the potential for high hilarity.

So I hope you found this a noble effort to share the good.  As God said in Genesis, “It’s all good.”  Do wish though Adam and Eve would have listened to God and not the snake, and I’d be running around in lush green fields today, eating bananas the size of jai alai cestas, cavorting shamelessly naked and playing “fetch the squirrel” with my pet Komodo dragon Phil.  (Sigh)  What could have been….

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