I am in the bus at work (I work at a refinery, we have the pleasure of squeezing into a yellow school bus to and from the work area to the lunch area.) when I hear this pipe-fitter going off on Orin Hatch. Politics... sketchy subject at work anyway, so I wasn't even going to try and go there, but this guy did. I listened and observed, but wasn't ready to start a fight!... continuing on; This guy said the only thing Orin Hatch did in the last 10 years is help get some prisoner out of jail. As you can see, I didn't get the details. Why, you ask? Good question. its because the fastest way to loose credibility on the job or in a conversation is to say, "the only good thing someone did in 10 years is _____." How does one respond to that? I don't care who you're talking about, whether a republican or democrat, black or white, man or woman, its just ignorant.
A few weeks back a journeyman close to retirement is going off on the 80's and how tough times were and if he had to do it over again, etc, etc. You know the story! Well a 1st year apprentice was in his presence and I decided to join into the discussion (not me?!LOL). I ask this guy to tell me more about the 80's and so he recounts the story he's telling the apprentice about wages and unemployment and how everyone in the local was out of work. "Everyone?" I ask. He reply's, "We had 50% unemployment rate." He continues to rant and rave about the trade and doing something else and struggling for over 2 years without work. I sympathized with this brother, but wanted to reassure our young apprentice to not sweat over those times. That if we just continued to work hard and keep our focus on being positive that he'd have a good chance at staying employed. I mentioned how my dad worked the whole time and this old-timer went off on me saying that my dad couldnt have... I said, "Didn't you just say that 50% were employed. My dad was in that half."
Don't be pessimistic either. You loose credibility if you start stretching the truth too. YOU were unemployed and so were many others, but that doesn't mean everyone was. The strong survive. Instead of fearing a recession or layoff, sharpen your skills, build relationships, remember that knowledge is power. At the end of the day, they'll pick the stronger hand to keep around.
And to answer a question the Journeyman asked, "No, my father didn't become rich because he was employed in the 80's.