Yesterday we drove out to a location of interest regarding our housing situation to meet with a mortgage broker. The office, as many located in the quaint older downtown district, was situated in what was once undoubtedly a beautiful privately owned home. Outside the entrance, numerous well tended rose bushes hosting all colors of glorious blooms set the stage for the lovely lobby inside.
On entering, we were greeted by the receptionist, a man of about thirty-three or thereabouts with the most engaging smile which perfectly showcased a mouth full of incredibly straight and startlingly white teeth. As if looking at the Cheshire Cat, I couldn’t take my eyes off his mouth. (Now, now, it was the dentitude not the cuteitude.) To complement his easily offered smile, he came equipped with a genuinely likeable personality that made you immediately feel at ease and comfortable in his presence as if he’d found a new friend in you, and you in him. What a gift that is in a front-line employee, and what a bonus for a firm that wants to take your money and do it with the least amount of resistance. I was impressed.
This, coincidentally, tied in with a subject I heard a newscaster speaking to recently. In recent years men are oozing into what have been previously referred to as the “pink collar jobs”. In other words, a growing rate men are occupying positions normally associated with women. According to this researcher at least, many of them are also finding themselves more fulfilled as they migrate. One man who gave up a lucrative technology position to become a nurse in a pediatric intensive care ward was quoted as saying his life was far more rich and the rewards much higher in the nursing position.
Women, conversely, are outnumbering men when it comes to obtaining degrees and are assuming positions of higher responsibility often more strongly associated with their male counterparts. Interesting this.
When you factor into this equation the college graduates and older employees staying in the work force longer who, due to the economic mess, are now pursuing jobs formerly filled by lesser qualified applicants, this creates an interesting dynamic in the work place beyond the fact that we have many more people looking for jobs than jobs looking for people.
I know for myself I keep wondering when U.S. firms, or perhaps if U.S. firms are ever going to defer to American workers to answer their technical service calls or 800 number requests. It is difficult to try to communicate, particularly on something of a technical nature, when there is such a language barrier that in the end more time is wasted trying to understand one another than in solving the problem at hand.
It would strike me that since our younger generation seems mesmerised with computers, apps, and anything that can be keyed, printed, texted or scanned that they would be perfectly suited to slip into these jobs requiring just such expertise.
If these trends persist, pretty soon we’ll find former Harvard professors asking if you want hot or mild taco sauce at the drive-up window, and the guy manning the jack hammer on the corner may well womanning it. Changes, lots of changes in our world these days.
It does pose the question, however, if more qualified applicants are scooping up (that’s for those taking up the jobs at 31 Flavors) the jobs requiring less experience, where does that leave the less qualified applicants job wise? I’m just saying. I wonder about kids graduating from college these days to find not much shaking on the job market and themselves buried under a dung heap of college loans.
Recently I read that in 18 years the projected cost to send your little dumplings to school in search of higher education could cost as much as $130,000 a year for a private university and on the state level around $41,000. If you do manage to print this on your Lexmark, will they find a job when they get out or end up being the best educated cheese person on the Big Mac line?
There is less pressure in our family for save up for college as our teens are currently throwing all their energy into choosing the right hair color, while underachieving in school and doing amazingly well at it I must say. We have one that plans to live at home until in her early forties, another granddaughter who approached her PSAT’s by randomly ticking off the boxes, and another group following closely behind in their shadows. At this point we’re tucking away a little money in their education fund in the likely event that we’ll need quick access to bail money in the future.
Hindsight being 20-20, I wish I’d been able to finish my college education. At the time I had two small children and a full-time job and finding the bandwidth to fit in homework and class time into my already insane schedule finally left me no choice but to cut off one rock so I could float to the top.
Change is good I think, in all things. It’s in the air in the nation as well. We are looking towards the elections now with coverage amping up and the mud pots being filled for slinging. It will be an interesting campaign. I’m sure many issues will be put on the table and many promises made towards them, to be found long forgotten once the confetti settles on the winners campaign office floor.
I wouldn’t take the job if they offered it to me, so have to admire those who step up and throw their names in the hat. I’m sure as with everything else shifting in the gender department in our workplaces it won’t be long before we see a pair of stylish pumps sticking out from under the Oval Office desk. That would be interesting. What would we call her husband? The first gentleman? Would he have to have a complete makeover and pick out the presidential china and select the meals? How would that work exactly?
These are all interesting thoughts to chew on a Thursday. This soup is just the best. I wouldn’t steer you wrong. Company on a sultry summer evening just begs for this to be the first course. It’s pretty, it’s easy, and it’s positively delicious. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Chilled Melon Soup
1 large cantaloupe
1 cup chunked seedless watermelon
1 cup hulled and halved strawberries
1 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 Tbsp. honey
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
Salt and black pepper to taste
Garnish – sliced cucumber or fresh mint
Place all ingredients but salt and pepper in food processor. Pulverize until slushy with no large pieces remaining. Pour into bowl and cover. Place in ice bath (larger bowl with crushed ice) until ready to serve. Garnish with cucumber slices or fresh mint.