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

Arthur Sowers arthures at magpage.com
Sun Jan 14 20:56:37 EST 2001

On Sat, 13 Jan 2001, DPH wrote:

> This is supposed to be competitive with sci-tech jobs?

Read on...
> That's $40 / hour before they start with the problems of providing for their
> own medical coverage. 

Even with a high end health plan (say $1000 month) they would be able to
pay for that with 3-4 days of work. Thats not bad considering what I see
as health plan benefits (and I do medical insurance billing now for a
livlihood, so I know what people have).

 That eats up a lot of money.  Then, people in this line
> of work get injured a lot.  Back problems, hernias, crushing injuries, etc.

Some people get these problems even with desk work. There are hazards with
most jobs. Carpel Tunnel for people on keyboards all the time, for

> Age discrimination?  No, but do you want to be 60 years old and humping
> refrigerators up and down stairs?

The facts and statistics are out there that as people move into their 40s,
they start facing worse and worse age discrimination and then they have no
choice but to look at "alternative" work. Its just that they will be
better off with this kind than tons of $7-8-9 /hr jobs. 

  Take vacation down-time out of that, and
> sick/injured time too.  They're not going to make any money while sick or
> recovering from injuries.

The guys I talked to haven't had any down time. If you're going to have a
lot of down time, you're going to be in trouble anyway. I can't help you.

> I don't see this as any sort of "good life" or financial situation that is
> even competitive with my admittedly much-less-than-average government
> engineering pay. 

If you have a decent govt job with job security, then stay with it. If
your program gets terminated, then what you do will depend on what jobs
you apply to and what the competition is. 

 These guys are not "doing well" when compared to  most
> intellectual employment. 

The fact is (see my website), intellectual employment for PhDs, for
example, a good half are _out_ of their "intellectual employment" after
10-20 years anyway. Some may be in "desk jobs" pushing paper, etc. But not
intellectual. There are references on my website under the "career
halflife" essays. I hear that there is career halflife for computer
programmers and engineers, too. 

 They have further problems of remaining employed for
> 40 hours every week - it'd be a miracle if they have the jobs lined up such
> that they can get done on one Wednesday night, then go to work for the next
> Thursday morning with no gap in the schedule.

They tell me they are continuously busy. Most that we called could not
handle us for a month at least. Certainly, if the economy tanks, a
lot of their workload evaporates. However, if you have been reading the
papers, there have been tons of dot-coms tanking over the last many months
and a lot of those "intellectual jobs" are dumping people out on the
street too (see www.fuckedcompany.com for details on high tech layoffs). 

  Arthur E. Sowers, PhD
  | Science career information website:   |
  | http://www.magpage.com/~arthures      |
=== no change to below, included for reference and context ====
> Arthur Sowers wrote:
> > 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.
> >   Arthur E. Sowers, PhD
> >   -----------------------------------------
> >   | Science career information website:   |
> >   | http://www.magpage.com/~arthures      |
> >   -----------------------------------------

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