The loser generation

Most people don’t realize it, but the job market is all spam.  Just like when telemarketing destroyed the land line (seriously, who owns a land-line phone anymore)  and later when spam destroyed the AOL email service.  Nowadays, most jobs you apply for online are just that – spam.  Companies get hundreds of applicants per job – often for jobs that are only posted because they legally have to advertise and interview when they know who’s going to get it from the start.

I’m very fortunate.  After my business failed and it took months to get a temp job, a phone call to a friend led to a real job estimating tile.  Sure I don’t make what I did before 2009, but I got to move out of my parents house into a studio apartment of my very own.  

I live in a messed up generation.  I’m 36, some friends aren’t working, those who are aren’t earning much, and a few still live with their parents.  No one even 6 years older understands why we never made it.  Heck, back in the 2000’s I changed jobs twice – only 3 weeks unemployed before I found an even better job each time.  Things are just different now.

I’m really glad I have all the excuses… Mechanical engineering degree from UC San Diego with excellent grades, naval nuclear power school completion certificate, MBA from USC with focuses in finance and entrepreneurship and excellent grades, not to mention an inordinate amount of knowledge from being an avid reader with a photographic memory.  Try moving? Yes, I’ve worked in South Carolina, New York, Mississippi, St Louis, and East Chicago.  Try entrepreneurship? Yes, and I’m fresh off personal bankruptcy from my last attemp thank you ver much.

Many of my friends aren’t so lucky – they are forced to feel like failures in comparison to their parents and older siblings without these excuses.  It’s inevitable – a few my age get amazing jobs out of college, most leave and are treated like stray dogs no ones willing to adopt.  It’s worse in Europe, I know.  It’s worse in Japan, I know.  It’s worse in the developing world and world war 3’s going on in the Middle East, I know. 

It’s funny.  As kids we had all the crazy school programs … Project self-Esteem, drug Ed, sex Ed, health class, gate for gifted kids was cancelled supposedly to make others feel better.  They would say you can do anything – you can all achieve your dreams – everyone should get a college education.

Well now it seems everyone does get a college education.  Any job you look at from fast food worker to grocery clerk, many of them are college educated.  For what?  Who knows, decisions like those are made by aged government elites and don’t really have any bearing on the modern world.  

Yes, I feel totally disconnected from the system.  Am I depressed – I was, I like to think I got over it by changing my views on what’s important in life.  Who cares if I’ll never make enough to save for retirement, if I can’t afford basic health insurance because of an Orwellian affordable care act that more than doubled the premiums, if ill never be able to own a home or buy a fancy car.  I can live for the moment (please don’t think about the future it’s scary and depressing) – just live for the moment.  Read books, play video games, go on whatever trips I can afford – life’s about collecting memories and seeing loved ones, right?  Shed the illusion of control and embrace your destiny with a smile wherever it may be.

I’ve been reading a lot of Hemmingway lately and some Fitzgerald … In A moveable Feast, Hemmingway describes how Steinbeck coins the term “Lost Generation” for them.  That’s the WW1 generation, not us.  We’re just the loser generation.  


About johnonstocks

I've been trading stocks since 2003, active on Motley Fool's discussion boards and using first Hidden Gems, then Global Gains. I no longer have the newsletters, but I keep up on the WSJ and read David Rosenberg everyday at Education: CFA level 2 candidate MBA-focus in Finance, Marshall, University of Southern California - expected Dec 2010. BS Mechanical Engineering, UC San Diego, June 2002
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