0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Filament.io 0 Flares ×

Back a hundred years ago when I started with TPC, I was advised not to screw UP, and I’d have a “job for life”.  (That’s not exactly the way it was phrased, and all you Bell Heads out there will know EXACTLY how it was, but you get the point.)

Essentially, I did.  Have a job for life that is, not screw UP.

I’m sure I screwed UP many times, but not in a big enough way to cost me my job or my career.

I was lucky for 30 years, escaped layoffs, down-sizings, survived divestiture (the break UP of the Real AT&T for those who were born after 1984), several economic downturns, technology advances, and on and on and on…I was lucky.  I had a job for 30 years, or life.

I never understood career hoppers, I was much more interested in ‘security’

I escaped in 2001 with a pension intact, a part  little bit trace  smidge of my 401k left, and benefits – for life.

It’s a good thing.

Things just aren’t that way anymore.

Unless you’re in education – and that’s looking iffy,  law-enforcement, or medicine, you will probably have to change careers once or more in your life time.

Some jobs we thought would be around forever just won’t be.

So, we have to say good bye.

Bank tellers come to mind.  With direct deposit, which is required by many employers, ATM cards, Check Cards, and Credit Cards, who needs to go to the bank?

It’s kinda sad, I remember going to the bank with Dad when I was a boy.  Mr. Oblinger, the bank President, treated us both like we were his largest depositors.  We weren’t.  Seriously, we weren’t!  They had candy on the counter for the taking.  The Bank Tellers always offered me some.  It was an adventure.  And it’s going away.

No one has the title ‘file clerk’ any longer.  Imaging and faxes and email have seen to that.  Everything is scanned.  Our copier not only copies, it scans, and sends to corporate.  Pretty amazing really.  Image over light.  (Thank you Alexander Graham Bell, he didn’t invent it, but he talked about it over 100 years ago.)

Very Jetsons and all.

And wouldn’t you just love to hear a voice when you call a company?  “Press 1 for English” instantly makes me want to shop elsewhere. 

Answer the phone, say “thanks for calling” and ask me how I’d like my call directed.  Don’t put me into Voice Mail Hell.

So we are saying goodbye to telephone operators.  Voice mail and call routing are taking jobs away. 

Data entry clerks are no longer necessary.  Every teenager can type, even if they can’t spell.   Back at Ohio Bell, we had a room full of people who were “order entry clerks”.  Or data clerks.  We wrote the order with codes in the business office and sent it to order entry, via the mail boy.  Well, no longer.  5th or 6th generation software has allowed us to nuke that job and enter the order ourselves.

And speaking of the mail boy.  Most mail is electronic now, remember the old days when the mail boy came by, and people said,  “I got my start in the mail room”.  Well no more, say ta ta to him too.  He’s going away, or already gone.  The guy on “Drop Dead Diva” who drops stuff off to the fancy schmancy lawyers; he doesn’t exist anymore.  Scanners, email, and photo processors make him obsolete.

Ever use a travel agent anymore?  Well, not for long.  Travel agents are being replaced by the internet, Priceline, Expedia, and the like.  These days only large corporations planning huge trips with hundred of employees use them.  And with the economy in the toilet, and it is, that’s not happening much. 

Unless you get bailout money from Washington.

What about a watch repairman, or watch sales man.  My first job was at B&L Jewelers in Germantown, Ohio.  John Brower was a true watchmaker, and a darn good one.

He hated Timex watches because they were “disposable”.  Now watches are fashion.  If you need to know the time, you can look on your I-pod, I-phone, I-computer, and soon, your eye-ball!   Unless it’s a Piaget or Rolex you can buy just about any watch  at Wal-Mart.  Nowadays, watch repair consists of replacing the battery!  Or shopping for a new one.

And video store clerks, well, bye-bye.  Netflix and On Demand have nuked those as well.

What I’m sayin’, things ain’t what they used to be.  That Summer job or part-time job may not be there.

And things are probably always gonna’ be changin!

So, be flexible, go to school, get an education.

You want to have a lot on your horizons.

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Filament.io 0 Flares ×