Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Thoughts on Fake Schooling

This lovely Wisteria patch is blooming beautifully--right outside the WFIS radio studios in Fountain Inn--home of the Daisy Deadhead radio show. (Podcast is up!)

There was a bright pink Packard parked in a yard on East North Street for about three weeks or so... I kept meaning to park and take a photograph of it, but the neighborhood gave me pause. Not for nothing do Catholics call the area around Bob Jones University "Ulster"--and I try to whiz through Ulster fast enough that nobody can take a shot at me. Even though I really wanted a photo of the pink Packard (something I'd never seen before), I knew the only places to park would be (eeep) church parking lots. And they'd likely ticket me for trespassing, if their security cameras got a good look at my dreaded lefty bumper stickers. Ulster plays for keeps!

So, I am sorry to say, I did NOT get a photo of the fabled pink Packard. I wonder what the sale price was?

For more news of Ulster, check out the new blog "BJU News"--which actually gives us the real news, not the okeydoke offered up by local BJU-subsidiary, the Greenville News.

And speaking of the Greenville News, Sunday's piece on tech colleges offering job training was SHAMEFUL in its lack of reporting and total acceptance of the status quo. It was one long commercial for technical colleges, as their recent piece on BJU's spring opera season was one long commercial for Bob Jones University. Do they even understand the difference between reporting and press releases? Do they have any clue what real newspapers write about? Have they ever seen the New York Times, or even the Spartanburg Herald?

Sometimes the Greenville News reads like a series of gushing travel pamphlets, advertising the upstate.

Here is my correction to the comical piece titled Tech schools offer path to jobs, lure for industries:

Once upon a time, companies trained their own employees. Really! But as they grew bigger and bigger (read: greedier and greedier), they didn't like paying people to learn, and decided to cut out this (pricey) introductory first step. So, they successfully dumped this expensive first step onto the tech colleges.

Greenville Tech has a Michelin building, for instance, paid for by Michelin to train the Michelin employees. This way, the EMPLOYEE must pay for their own training! Is that capitalist ingenuity or what? The tech college makes a profit and Michelin has a continuous stream of already-trained, job-ready applicants. You can get hired right out of school, just like Goldman Sachs hires kids right out of Harvard.

Unlike those mad Harvard skillz, however, working-class skills do not always transfer to other jobs. Michelin and BMW manufacture things their way, using their own patented materials and procedures, and have their own corporate culture. Experience in these companies may or may not transfer to another job. But that is not the concern of the tech schools. They've made THEIR profit, after all.

So, you have a continuous stream of working class people who must be constantly trained and re-trained. This sets up a revolving door of tech college attendance, as workers must PAY to receive job-training that may not even get them hired, especially in today's economy. It's a pretty good racket, and the Greenville News obviously wants to do their part in keeping that revolving door moving, and keeping those profits rolling in.

But a RACKET it is, and wouldn't it be nice if someone came out and said so?

Sitting here sorting laundry and watching LAW AND ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT reruns, I am inundated with TV ads for countless cheapy tech schools that offer various vague degrees in "management" and so on. They invariably feature an almost-middle-aged woman of color who looks triumphant and borderline-weepy as she graduates, all while talking about making life better for her children. They know exactly who is unemployed right now, and they have geared these endless commercials for THE TECH COLLEGE RACKET, specifically to them.

Yes, I know someone must draw the blood, style hair, take care of the very old people, change oil in vehicles, prepare restaurant menus and all of that... and they need to be trained to do those jobs. Thus, I suppose these commercials should not make me as angry as they do... but they do. I resent the naked emotional manipulation of desperate unemployed people; the idea being communicated that this economic situation we are all in right now, can be instantly fixed, just by paying a fee to a fly-by-night school nobody ever heard of. All we need is MORE TRAINING.

All we need to do, say the commercials, is STAND UP AND TAKE CONTROL of our lives, at long last. Right?


Until the next economic crisis, that is. Who, I always wonder, will these people from the fly-by-night colleges be managing with their spanking-new phantom management degrees?

Are there any employees left to manage?


Kia said...

I haven't had time to comment in a long while but have kept on reading as always!
During the 1970's (or slightly before)my father in law after a brief stint at University but with out a college degree was trained for a white collar by his Fortune 500 company. He went on to rule the roost and teases about the incompetence of some of the Ivy league grads he hired and fired along the way...
Also had to laugh b/c one of my first comments here years ago was in re: to Lindsay Graham and his belief that SC should take stimulus $ despite the protestation of your Gov.Well Lindsey once again Lindsey has said something tinged with common sense that makes him sound like a sage in comparison w/his Newt & company re:Trayvon Martin. I think a third time & the apocalypse with definitely be imminent!

JoJo said...

Great post as always!! Since I am among the unemployed (although by choice), I see those adds too. Read the fine print and those credits won't transfer if the person chooses to continue their schooling at another place. There are a couple of technical high schools here on the Cape and it seems that a lot of kids are transferring from their public high schools to the tech ones. Apparently they are getting a much better and well rounded education at Tech than at the other schools.

BTW, if Ulster is such a dangerous place, why would someone with a pink Packard take the chance of parking their car there?

Beautiful wisteria...LOVE wisteria!

D. said...

I remember when tech colleges offered courses in technical fields.

Ah, well. I remember a better world.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Jojo, it was for sale. I figured some Mary Kay cosmetics rep painted it pink?

Lots of antique car collectors throughout the south.

Anonymous said...

are you a poor dropout with no prospects or opportunities? give us money! it helps, promise!

DaisyDeadhead said...

Anon: are you a poor dropout with no prospects or opportunities?

Um, no, are you?

give us money! it helps, promise!

Sorry you're broke! I'll see what I can do, especially since your borderline-illiteracy is obvious. ;)

Anonymous said...

OT - I don't know if you've seen this - I thought it would interest you


Sevesteen said...

A huge part of the problem is that too much education is federally sponsored, and the schools are more interested in keeping the billpayers satisfied than they are in teaching their students anything useful. When I worked for a major IT company with over 100,000 employees, I was sent to several 'boot camp' classes teaching about Cisco-brand network gear--not because they were necessary for my job, but because there was a federal grant to pay for them so all my company had to pay for was travel expenses--and since the company kept apartments in Detroit, that meant meals and mileage.

In many (most?) trades or technical jobs, the employee is expected to come to the job prepared with some specialized knowledge. Chances are the training you are talking about isn't primarily shifting the cost from the employer to the potential employee--rather, it is shifting most of the cost to the federal government.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Sevesteen, I went to the state unemployment office yesterday, the job-search facility is called a "One Stop" and it has access to various employer databases. Every single time you click on "apply" (after you read the job requirements, blah blah), it sends you to another screen pimping Virginia College or Brown-Mackie or some other local diploma-mill like that. I was dumbfounded! Does the state of SC get paid for that? The ad looks like a legit job offer and in fine print near the bottom of the screen says "this is not a job offer"... well duh! (If you were not as versed in reading internet babble as I am, you would not necessarily see or notice that.) It happened every time I clicked on one of the jobs. I wondered: is the state is making money on referrals? Amazing, huh?

Another thing.... I learned Blockbuster owns DishTV. There are a few Blockbusters left in the poorer neighborhoods (where people can't afford Netflix or streaming) -- and so (having spent part of my life playing "Clerks") I clicked on these job ads as well... and guess what? A questionnaire pops us and asks me "if you are hired, is there anything that would prevent you from purchasing DishTV?" Do you believe???? I checked "yes" since I do live in an apartment bldg that doesn't permit satellite dishes... next thing you know, my resume would not go through. Error screen! Gee, I wonder why? Pretty damn obvious.

I expect this kind of thing with employment agencies, but all of this was at STATE unemployment offices. I am still amazed at state pimping for big business, and I am an Occupier, forgodsake.


microchipsdog said...

I am afraid that this statement is not correct"
It's a pretty good racket, and the Greenville News obviously wants to do their part in keeping that revolving door moving, and keeping those profits rolling in.
.'elaborate this please.Thank you.

microchipping dogs.

Anonymous said...

When I was on unemployment in Durham county, NC I was forced to attend a mandatory job search class conducted at DTCC. The fee for this class was $50, which was paid by the state.

I was forced to attend this class 3 times - due to intermittent layoffs. I was not allowed to opt out at any point, even though I had attended recently.

Each time, the SAME woman taught the class, and was unable to answer any but the simplest of questions related to job searches (wtf?).

Finally a coworker told me not to sign up for unemployment in Durham County (where you often wait 2 or more hours)- just drive to Orange county, and get in and out the door in 30 minutes- with no mandatory 3 hour seminar at a community college.

Clearly Durham or DTCC is running some kind of scam.