Thursday, January 06, 2011

America, home of the lazy, disrespectful, free-loaders!

Why is it that people can break every rule in the book yet people who follow rules and work hard seem to get disrespected? People who break rules and take everything for granted pass through life with ease while everyone else who takes pride in what they do, works hard, and respects earning everything they have has to jump through hurdles, in the snow, bare foot, both ways, with one arm tied behind their back. Can you see where I’m going with this?

Let me tell you a story. I worked for a company for nearly 4 years and truly enjoyed my job. Like so many other manufacturing plants in this area, it went out of business. Everyone was laid off. This, however, spawned a great opportunity. I was told I could go to college and would receive unemployment benefits until I graduated. I hate the idea of living off the government. However I would much rather have had my job back. This was not something I asked for. Well, a year from graduation and the government backs out of their end of the bargain. So the people we elect to represent us pass garbage like NAFTA to allow all our jobs to go overseas and then give you a kick in the butt back home. No big deal, work is good for you. Ill get a job. A friend of mine got me a job working third shift at a furniture factory. It’s a bottom of the totem pole, manual labor, sweat dripping job. I have learned from watching my dad to put as much effort into everything you do, regardless of what it is, work hard, respect others and you will be rewarded. For the past 2 months I have been going to school full time during the day and working full time at night. I know a few other people doing the exact same thing. its tough but I know it will be worth it in the long run, right dad?

Now here it gets a little more personal. This part is about one of the toughest women I have ever met. My soon-to-be mother-in-law. Lets just say Jane-doe. Jane and her husband each held a full time job, acquired some land, and built a house. The American dream. A couple years later her husband develops a condition that prohibits him from working. To save the house and family, she steps up and gets a second job. She toughs it out and after another couple years her main employer goes out of business as they cannot compete with China (sound familiar?). Everyone was laid off. Now after a few months of job searching she has no luck in finding a permanent full time job. Why is it that hard working, prideful people always seem to be the ones pushing this heavy boat?

So lets flip the coin for a minute and talk a bit about the people IN the boat. You probably know someone who doesn’t work by choice, someone who thinks everything should be handed to them, someone who thinks they don’t need to work hard. I have run across several. I have overheard conversations about people bragging about how much food stamps they get and then complain about working too many hours. I have heard someone say “don’t get that second job, you can make more in food stamps.” I see people buying $7 steaks with food stamps and selling what they don’t spend. No, I don’t have a problem with feeding the hungry….IF feeding the hungry is actually what is going on. I have seen first hand a friend of mine refuse to flip burgers but spend the gas money making countless trips to the social security office attempting to get on disability.

So the place in which I work. These people lurk there too. A week after I was hired, the company announces a small lay-off, volunteers first. After everyone was informed of being eligible for unemployment, there were more volunteers than they need. There are also those who do not think they should follow rules. If I’m not mistaken rules are established for a reason, right? Workers get a paycheck for DOING work, right? Not the case at my current job. There are a few “chosen ones” who seem to have special privileges working folks only dream of. But it doesn’t stop there, some are lucky enough to get into management positions. Put it all together, throw in a few complaints by hard working individuals, and what do you get? Lazy, disrespectful, poor workers defending lazy, disrespectful, poor workers with no disciplinary action taken. It a shame to see people who don’t work hard when we live in an economy with record unemployment.

I am often dumbfounded at how others think with no logic and no (not so common) common sense. When did we lose pride in this country? When did we take the notion that settling for whatever is free is the best thing to do? When did we lose our American culture? My grandfather told me that if its not worth doing right then its not worth doing at all. One of the greatest quotes of all time, JFK said “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” I am tired of supporting everyone who puts forth no effort in bettering themselves or the ones around them. I’m tired of pushing the boat while a steady flow of people jump in. I’m tired of seeing people with the drive and heart to succeed being kicked to the curb while everyone else is given opportunity ,after opportunity, after opportunity. It is time we step up. It is time we start having a little personal accountability. It is time we start taking pride in what we do. Its time we all start contributing to society instead of being a leach. It is time to re-define the word AMERICAN!

I don't think I can add anything to this commentary... except "Amen!"