Cool Stuff

Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Little Coal Miner

We are heading toward what I would call a really confused ..yea even warped form of class warfare here in the United States. Our working culture...much of it being derived from our early immigrants looking for the "American Dream" is dying on the vine...IF it hasn't already.

Above you are looking at the face of a worker with good job (non-college degree required variety). This person makes a good hourly wage, has more overtime then she can work over 60 hours/week, great health benefits through Blue Cross/Blue Shield, paid vacation/sick time/holidays and floating holidays. She has a 401K and other investment options.

Why am I explaining all this today? Because the company she works for is desperately trying to hire people here in Coldwater and nobody can pass the 90 day trial period. What is this most difficult of test  requirements you ask? They EXPECT YOU TO SHOW UP FOR WORK AND NOT CALL IN SICK MORE THEN 3 times IN 90 days!  Yea you read that correctly...3 times in 90 days..and if you do call a 4th time they extend the probation 60 more days and give you another call in! And nobody can make it.

The person pictured above is K-Sue and she works in a Forge/Metal Stamping plant. In the 5 months she has been there only 2 people (one being Kim) out 15 have made it and got hired in to a permanent position.

The class warfare I wrote about earlier is between those who approach work the way Americans traditionally have and those who feel a sense of entitlement to whatever they feel they need or should have. "Work for something....WHY?" Just give it to me like my parents did...

I imagine you will see some follow up posts to this one in the near future. My purpose today was to simply expose the issue. It is a huge problem...People will tell you that you cannot find work in Coldwater, MI. That the only jobs available are of the part-time fast food's a LIE. This company cannot BEG hard enough for workers...people just don't want to work.

Off course this is just my opinion but it still makes me sick that people feel this way about work. After nearly 25 years with the last firm I worked for, I just don't get this attitude of entitlement. K-Sue takes her appearance in this picture, covered with metal dust/soot (She looks like she came out of a coal mine) as a matter of great pride and I do's one of my favorite pictures of her.


  1. I think it's important to note Daddy, that this pic (now correct me if I'm wrong) was taken after she had gotten out of work, showered, and literally scrubbed with a brush like the ones meant for pans. Her work is far from glamorous but she and we couldn't be prouder of her. And, she really does love her job. But she fought hard to get that job and was rewarded. I don't think our children know what hard work is anymore. My husband busts his but almost 12 hours a day and a begs for more just to support his family so we don't struggle as much. And his lifts upwards of 5,000 lbs of metal sprinkler pipes a day. And at 5 and 3, our kids already have chores. Would it be easier for me to just to it for them? Sure. Save a lot of time and retracing steps but this is how they learn to contribute first to the household, then to society. And when my kids learn a new skill? How could I rob them of that indepence bc I couldnt shoe patience. I am very thankful to both my father (the blogger) and my stepmother (his ex wife). They could have taken the easy way out and just been best buds with us and given us whatever would have made us happy. They certainly could have. But that wouldn't have been fair to me, even though I would have loved it at the time. So I owe it to my kids to make them good citizens and prepare them for the real world where you have to take care of you. Thanks Daddy. I won't let your grandsons down either. :-)

  2. Chels, she actually had just gotten out of work and had not cleaned up yet. The black/white photo does a fair job of hiding the soot.

    You words and feelings expressed are very kind and I suspect M feels as I do that there really wasn't any other way we were going to raise you and your brother.

    My Father sent me off to do a chore or off to work everyday by telling me to "put my name on it" and that is the same attitude we tried to instill in you and your Bros.

  3. There is so much love and greatness in this post, from the picture to your words to your daughter's beautiful comment. It often does feel like these values might be gone from this planet, it is wonderful to see no less than three generations here to prove the world otherwise. Kickass post, and kudos and respect to your lady.

  4. Thank you Chris I much appreciate the comment.....