Why many of those passing commentary on those out of work make me sick


Has anyone noticed the number of those in employment or contract who feel that they have to pontificate and give condescending advice to those who cannot get a job?

It‘s usually along the lines of ‘If you‘re good enough you‘ll get work’, or ‘If you try hard enough, you‘ll get work’ or ‘The industry has had to put up with too many deadbeat employees or contractors for too long’.

They give this advice from the moral safety of their secure job or contract. They feel that as they have got a job, then there must be something wrong with others who can‘t get one.

They are usually lucky enough to have been able to pick up one of the new skills, or to have experience in a growing area, and also be in the right age bracket too (and probably have been in the right place at the right time).

So therefore they cannot understand how other people can‘t get work – unless there is something wrong with them.

It‘s the Economy, Stupid

Surely they can understand that if there used to be X number of jobs (say 100,000), and that now Y number of jobs have disappeared, for whatever reason, (say 65,000), then X – Y number of IT professionals (35,000) will now be out of work.

Surely that is quite simple to understand.

It doesn‘t mean that this 35,000 are no good or don‘t want to work.

It simply means that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, that by their own bad luck that they have the wrong skills, that the skills that they have can easily be offshored or done by much cheaper migrant workers of which more than 50,000 have been given IT Work Permits in the last two years, or that the are in the wrong age group.

Worst Downturn

This has been the most ferocious downturn that we have ever faced. There are tens of thousands of very good people currently on the shelf, who have been trying very hard to get some work, who are suffering very much financially, and whose houses and cars are being repossessed and whose partners and families are leaving in droves.

Their confidence and self-esteem are at low ebbs.

The last thing the want and need is for some smug person who is in work to come along and start giving them advice about how everyone can get a job if they really want one.

No, they cannot. They were good enough to be given job after job in normal times. They were just left standing when the music stopped and a third of the chairs were taken away.

The Deadwood Stage

I remember being with four other contractors in the pub one time during the downturn of 90/92.

One of the contractors said that he thought that the downturn was a good thing as it had shaken a lot of the dead wood out of the industry.

That was like a punch in the solar plexus to the rest of us. However we all worked again when the recovery came and worked for the rest of the decade.

Guess who’s out of work now during this downturn?

Yes, it‘s old Dead Wood himself.

Those that are too smug and deprecating about those out of work at the moment might find themselves hit as badly by the next downturn – or even by this one soon.