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Above the Noise, Not Part of It

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September 25, 2018

Work. Harder AND Smarter.


Way back in the day when I lived in the “Apartment Deluxe”, (where I lived for nearly ten years), I didn’t have a television. I didn’t feel like I needed one. At least not one that would have cost me thirty dollars a month for the cable hookup. Can’t honestly say that I missed much.

Upon meeting my wife, I discovered that she was a “TV Baby”. Every day, upon arriving home from work, she would sit and unwind with one or another “mindless sitcom”. No worries. Some folks come home to a martini or a glass of wine. Others to a gym. Still others to the daily chores of cooking and cleaning up. “Mindless Sitcom”? Hey…could be worse. But I’m leading up to something, here.

Mike Rowe is best known for his hosting of a Discovery Channel program called “Dirty Jobs” 1. Sure…you’ve heard his voice endorsing an auto maker and narrating other documentaries; you may have even heard him sing with the Baltimore Opera 2. His big “claim-to-fame”, though, is “Dirty Jobs” .
Mister Rowe is an oddity. Not for his amazingly quick wit or his “everyman” demeanor and sense of humor, but for the fact that he is a “Right-leaner” in an industry that is pointed solidly Left.

In the “Where Is He Now” section of this essay, we find him using his mental brawn grappling with an issue that has been eroding our nation’s foundation for more than a generation. The notion that you can only succeed if you spend at least four years in college. 3

From his website’s opening paragraph:

“A trillion dollars in student loans. Record high unemployment. Three million good jobs that no one seems to want. The goal of Profoundly Disconnected is to challenge the absurd belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success. The Skills Gap is here, and if we don’t close it, it’ll swallow us all.”

The message is clear. MILLIONS of high school kids, (detrimentally), being sold the idea of a college education. Millions of the earlier college-educated managers not only remembering that ethos, but buying in to it so heavily that they insisted on such an education for their employees – even to the point of preferring someone with a degree and no experience over a candidate with no degree and years of experience. In many of the skilled trades, as well – no A.S. equals no job. To the nigh catastrophic loss of American industry. Mr. Rowe rewrites the “typical” college-promoting poster from his youth…we’ve all seen one, (or one just like it), that has the platitude: “Work Smarter, Not Harder” to read: “Work Smarter AND Harder” 4 A fine sentiment, is it not? He gave a talk at a TED 5 conference extolling the virtues of good-old-fashioned hard work, as well as what he learned from people who do the hard work. I found that talk to be so spot-on that it raised the littlest hairs on the back of my neck… HE speaks from MY experience! I’ll go out on my own personal limb, here, and say that we may not have needed to outsource our jobs had we been able to fill them with home-grown labor. There are myriad other factors…so stipulated…but having people with skills and the genuine American Work Ethic we’re famous for could have forestalled this unwise movement significantly.

In these times we owe it to ourselves, our children and our grandchildren…nay…posterity in America, to learn the lessons Mike did, and learn them well. Put those lessons into practice. Today. They can save us, and believe me, we need saving. Visit www.mikeroweworks.com & www.profoundlydisconnected.com today. Read it. All of it. Watch the videos. Make a donation in time, effort, energy or good old American green-back dollars. The country you save may be your own.

1 http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/dirty-jobs/about-this-show/dirty-jobs-about.htm
2 http://mikerowe.com/about-mike/bio/
3 http://profoundlydisconnected.com/
4 http://profoundlydisconnected.com/poster/
5 http://www.ted.com/talks/mike_rowe_celebrates_dirty_jobs.html

Lou has several degrees and professional certifications “under his belt”. Or, more accurately, on his wall. As well as serving in the US Army and in law enforcement, he has worked as a wholesale and retail industrial salesman, a manager in a Harley-Davidson dealership, a DJ and a facilities engineer in several industrial settings.

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