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Wizard
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Wizard
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August 13th, 2010 at 10:12:36 PM permalink
Quote: Doc

Perhaps I am not typical of lottery players...



I've met you, and trust me, you're not. To make a generalization, the smarter you are, the less likely you are to buy lottery tickets. When I worked at the Social Security headquarters there was a store in the building that sold tickets (first floor Operations building). 90% of the people in line were janitors (you could tell by the uniforms). You almost never saw anybody wearing a tie in line. It was a sad commentary.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
NicksGamingStuff
NicksGamingStuff
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August 13th, 2010 at 10:33:00 PM permalink
Well you have to remember is the people with ties are lucky enough to have good jobs and probably make a living wage thus they don't need the lottery tickets as much as the poor people desperate enough for work who are grateful to have their janitor job and are hoping for a miracle by winning the lottery. Now I don't want people to give me the old "if they went to college they could have a better job" because I went to college got my BA, and I am making less money now (with my job at the bagel shop) than I did when I was in college (starbucks). I know I need to go to grad school to make better use of my BA in psychology but its a sad world if I can't even make a living wage with a BA in anything!
Doc
Doc
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August 14th, 2010 at 8:12:52 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Quote: Doc

Perhaps I am not typical of lottery players...

I've met you, and trust me, you're not. To make a generalization, the smarter you are, the less likely you are to buy lottery tickets.

Err, uh, ... thanks, I think.


Nick, if it's true that misery loves company, then maybe here's some solace for the fact your BA is not providing a financially rewarding career: I personally know two people in their late 30's who both have PhDs, both have developed outstanding academic and work records, both have very good personal-interaction skills, and who are both completely unemployed.

It's just not a good time. My profile lists my occupation as "delightfully unemployed", which is true, and I have often used the quip that "unemployment is great, so long as you can afford it." But for roughly 10% of the people in this country, unemployment is a fact of life and is not so great at all, and for a vast number more like you, under-employment isn't dramatically better, but it is some better. Good "luck" along whatever path you choose to try to change your situation.
Wizard
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Wizard
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August 14th, 2010 at 9:53:28 AM permalink
Quote: NicksGamingStuff

...I know I need to go to grad school to make better use of my BA in psychology but its a sad world if I can't even make a living wage with a BA in anything!



Sorry to hear about your dilemma. I can feel your pain. After I graduated with a BA in math/economics in 1988 I didn't accomplish a damn thing for a solid year. It seemed nobody cared about the degree and just wanted to see job experience. The classic catch 22 -- you can't get a job without experience, and can't get experience without a job.

After that year I wasted another year pursuing a teaching credential, with the intent to teach high school math, but never completed the student teaching. I worked as a substitute teacher while going for the credential, but those savages in the Garden Grove school district scared me off of the idea of teaching.

What eventually happened is I took the federal government employment exam for college graduates in the summer of 1990 at a government office building in Long Beach. I drove all the way from San Diego go take the test. If I may say so, I'm pretty good at taking tests, and scored quite high. That led me to work as a claims representative with Social Security, which isn't the greatest job, but something one can easily live on. That led to a transfer 18 months later to the headquarters in Baltimore doing actuarial calculations. After 8 years of that I struck out on my own doing my gambling thing, which I've been at now for 13 years.

If there is just one thing you take from this, I would encourage you to consider working in government. It isn't the most glamorous work, and it is hard to impress women with it, but better than working at Starbucks. After several years of it you should have some kind of job skill that is valuable in the private sector. However, don't be surprised if you become complacent, and stay with Uncle Sam the rest of your working life.

Here is a link for you: usajobs.gov/.
Last edited by: Wizard on Apr 25, 2018
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
NicksGamingStuff
NicksGamingStuff
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August 14th, 2010 at 6:39:13 PM permalink
Thanks for the advice, I have applied to literally hundreds of jobs at usajobs.gov. The good thing about them is I always get a response, however the majority of them are "you have been qualified, but are not among the top candidates". The last time I was evaluated with a score of 92! But that still wasn't good enough. My dad works for the government and he told me that he had to apply through the delegated examining unit. I don't think they do that anymore because I could not find a general test to take. I have applied to GS 3,4,5 levels, sometimes trying for the GS7 but that usually requires some grad school, which I am not opposed to doing but with the student debt I am swamped in now, the low income I have, and the fact my parents are sick of paying for my schooling (I don't blame them) getting a start on a career is hard. I recently had an interview at Bank of America to be a teller, it pays a big $11 an hour. I hope I get it, at least with that job I can move up into management.
Wizard
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Wizard
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August 14th, 2010 at 9:24:28 PM permalink
Quote: NicksGamingStuff

Thanks for the advice...



You're welcome. I've heard that Uncle Sam doesn't go by tests so much to get a job any more. Better for some, worse for others. Sorry to advise something you already knew. Just trying to help. Again, I've been in your shoes, and if I could help, I would. I've been out of the job market for 20 years, so am not the best one to advise. However, for a college graduate, it seems to me that a bank teller is aiming too low. That would be a waste of your education. What about an insurance claims adjuster? You know, the guy who decides what to give you after a car accident. Also, I don't know where you graduated, but at my own UCSB they offered career counseling and job leads for life. If you have access to such a service, take advantage.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
mkl654321
mkl654321
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August 14th, 2010 at 11:41:07 PM permalink
I recently read that the unemployment rate among college graduates is unchanged since 2005, at 4.5 percent. This means that the specialized job markets are actually as robust as ever. This also means that if you wallow in the employment pit with everybody else, you aren't using your competitive advantage. You may actually be WORSE off than the average Joe Crud when applying for something like a bank teller position, because the HR person will assume (probably correctly) that you will bolt and run when the first better opportunity presents itself. There are people for whom smiling and saying "Hi, can I help you?" and entering data on a computer keyboard is the highest and best use of their efforts and intellects. Why try to compete with them to earn virtually nothing?

Government service is a good option, but you have to realize one thing: though the hiring process seemingly strains to be objective, when push comes to shove, it's anything but that. At the end of a paperwork process that seems like the Stations of the Cross, in the final analysis, you have to impress one lil' ol' bureaucrat--the person who will make the hiring decision. After the interminable "screening", which is essentially a giant CYA exercise that ensures that the person who hired you can defend that decision if and when you bring an AK-47 to work and proceed to remodel the office, you will be subjected to...a highly subjective evaluation.

A similar though less rigorous process goes on at any company that is big enough to have an HR department. Since you will be competing with other candidates who are at least nominally qualified, the critical point is when you get to that face-to-snout, uh, face-to-face interview. This is the moment for which you must learn to perfect the art of Kissy Kissy. Rehearse saying how you are the perfect person for the job and how you have wanted to work at United Grease Fittings since you were a small child (in the womb). Lay it on thick--you would think that this would be a ridiculously transparent tactic, but it works. Remember, the primary currency and medium of exchange in America isn't the dollar--it's bullshit. Learn to tender it lavishly at will, and you'll do just fine (for proof of this, examine the fortunes of those who have been the most effective at doing that, and the fortunes of those who always tell it like it is).

In short, hang in there. A B.A. and BS will get you far in life, if you know whom to kiss, and also where. Believe me, the taste goes away rather quickly, and the reward is lotsa $$$$$$.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw

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