"another" and "better" career alternative?.....

Arthur Sowers arthures at magpage.com
Wed Jan 10 12:13:06 EST 2001

In a way, you did get my point. The rest of my point is that often these
jobs pay better than jobs that PhDs are in. Also, PhDs and laid off
programmers can do quite well if they are willing to change their goals. 


On Tue, 9 Jan 2001, John Jacobson wrote:

> I don't get your point. Of course there are plenty of good-paying business
> opportunities and jobs for people who don't have PhD's. Why *shouldn't* that
> be the case? Wages and compensation are not simple linear functions of
> education.
> "Arthur Sowers" <arthures at magpage.com> wrote in message
> news:93e884$mka$0 at
> >
> > On mainly sci.research.careers I have, over the last couple of years
> > occassionally posted information about jobs/careers that are: i) low
> > tech,, ii) blue collar, iii) etc., that pay as well, and sometimes more,
> > and require less formal education and credentials than sci-engineering
> > jobs and have more long term job security and more immunity to
> > age-discrimination.
> >
> > For those who don't know me, I am a 57 year-old, formerly grant funded
> > ex-research professor who lost his career in 1995-6 throught the "grant
> > lottery" where funding is dependent more on what is trendy than what is
> > competant reserch.
> >
> > Here is another one: small company movers. Yes, as in moving furniture,
> > belongings, etc., from one house to another. We just had a load of
> > belongings moved from our old house to our new house and I asked a lot of
> > questions about the business. Here is the lowdown:
> >
> > The company is made up of essentially two guys (the owner/manager and his
> > "sidekick"). There is a wife or sister who answers the phone on weekdays
> > and sets up some scheduling. They own a truck with a 22 foot box, and the
> > truck is a six wheel job that can carry about  8,000 lbs. The
> > owner/manager has been in this business for 19 years and in response to my
> > question, not complaining about anything. The sidekick has been doing this
> > for 9 years and in response to my question is not looking for anything
> > better in the line of work.
> >
> > Our "move" took them just under 2 hours to load, about 2 hours road time
> > from old house to new house, about 2-3 hourse to unload. Total bill: $750.
> >
> > The main overhead is the truck. The guy uses about $7,000 in diesel fuel
> > per year, and puts in about $8,000 in maintenance on the truck. They are
> > working continuously 6 days per week. The owner/manager, a quite
> > intelligent and articulate guy (I did not ask if he had a PhD in
> > anything), bids low on jobs and gets most of the jobs he bids on. Assuming
> > the truck is working 265 days per year, then his primary overhead is about
> > $50 per day for the truck (cf. Uhaul rates for a medium sized truck which
> > would be a daily fee plus per mile fees that might run up to maybe $100+
> > but surely not over $200 for a run such as ours). This leaves, basically,
> > $750 minus $100, or 650 per two guys, or basically $325 each for a basic
> > day of sweatwork that is roughly eight hours in length. I think most of
> > the guys on this NG should be able to do a rough back-of-the-envelope per
> > hour estimate of what these guys might be getting on an hourly basis. They
> > surely make a little less because they are paying the girl back in the
> > office (at someone's home) something to answer the phone, pay for adverts
> > in the local yellow pages (a few hundred per year), and pay for business
> > cards, and maybe payments on the truck (such trucks, if you buy one
> > outright can be from $50K, used, to $100K new, but you could rent/lease
> > one for roughly $100 per day, too).
> >
> > A United Van Lines rep came out to bid on the same exact job and gave us
> > an estimate for, believe it or not, $1700, and gave us the exact same
> > "time and effort" estimate for doing the job. UVL surely has more overhead
> > costs to pay for national advertizing, pay for some overpaid and
> > underperforming CEO/executives and their entourage, and high rent district
> > office building wherever they have their national headquarters.
> >
> > One last item: we packed all boxes ourselves. They just loaded &
> > unloaded. The bulky heavy furniture, including washer, dryer,
> > refrigerators, etc., they carried onto truck and wrapped in mover's
> > quilts. The local guys were very good, very professional. I did a lot of
> > schmoozing with the owner/operator and when I asked where he lived, he
> > gave a community of mid range housing where I know the houses are in the
> > 300K-400K price range and this is not a high rent district area of the
> > country like Silicon Valley. So, I'd say the guy is doing fairly well and
> > certainly better than many PhDs (and laid-off programmers, engineers, and
> > others that, when they reach an age of 40 or so, start having trouble
> > finding new work AND are exposed to company/economy induced layoffs).
> >
> > The owner/manager also told me that he previoulsly worked as the
> > "sidekick" in another small company situated about 20-30 miles away and
> > then split off on his own many years ago and he sees, and has seen in the
> > past, nothing but growth ahead in this business. He never gave any
> > indications of worrys or concerns about crap, politics, concerns, etc., in
> > his line of business.
> >
> >   Arthur E. Sowers, PhD
> >   -----------------------------------------
> >   | Science career information website:   |
> >   | http://www.magpage.com/~arthures      |
> >   -----------------------------------------
> >
> >
> >

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