Hello, again everyone! I wanted to get one more post in before I have to drive back to perpetual North Dakota isolation with little to no phone signal tomorrow morning. Today while loafing around the hotel room, I spent a lot of time browsing Facebook. I came across a friend that had posted an article about cashier jobs being replaced due to automation thus increasing the company’s net worth simply by eliminating the use of real employees.
Now, I find this just as appalling to think even more jobs are going to be slashed in the future as the next person, however, automation appears to be the way our economy may be headed anyway so we might as well learn to adapt to change sooner rather than later, right? I read through the comments and decided to provide my own opinion on the matter and was somewhat attacked for my thoughts. I’ll give a somewhat quick and dirty summary below:
Me: This is pretty bad. So here’s what I think we should do before the automation takes over all cashier jobs: we need to educate people on financial literacy and living below their means so that if/when hours begin getting cut people can be better prepared financially to handle the change. There are also other jobs available with little to no skills needed.
Random girl: Life is not always rainbows. Your opinion is stupid. You can’t learn financial literacy if you’re in a lower social class. It takes money to go to school to learn about finances. It also takes money to learn a new skill to change careers. I can’t afford anything you’re even suggesting.
Me: Financial literacy isn’t taught in schools. I suggest doing a Google search on frugal living blogs to read about real life people that changed their mindset to get out of the living paycheck to paycheck cycle and bettered their situations. It’s much easier to gradually change your life-style than having to flip a switch asap because your job was made redundant. Live today like no one else so in the future you can live like no one else. (I purposely do not advertise my blog on my Facebook because I do not want to chance getting the side-eye from even more people I actually know.)
Random girl: Changing careers at 31 is overwhelming and stressful. Not everyone can do that. We’re not all privileged people like you. You’re living in a fantasy world. The problem isn’t financial literacy and isn’t a priority for anyone at this point. The problem is that in 10 years, our jobs could be gone!
Me: Ok. You’re right. It is much easier and much more productive to complain and make excuses for why your situation will be bad in 10 years than to make changes now to better your situation for later.
Ok. Maybe I didn’t handle the “your opinions are stupid” dialogue as well as I had hoped. Snarky is my nature sometimes. And maybe I am a little privileged. I’ve never had a hard time finding a job. I have a masters degree in geology and although I’ve not always been able to find a job directly related to my field of study, I’ve never had a problem with unemployment. There’s ALWAYS people hiring and I have no qualms being underemployed for a while if it pays my bills, but believe me, I’m always looking for ways to better my situation. That being said, I don’t know what the job market is like for people without degrees so maybe she is right that I am privileged.
However, what drives me nuts about this exchange is that she was only worried about proving me wrong and making sure she was right. She didn’t want to even consider that she, like others in her situation, need to start planning for the future. She didn’t want to hear about living below her means or cutting out unneeded expenses. She just wanted to complain about something that might happen 10 years into the future. It literally blew my mind! Is this how most people are? They see their ship is heading for an iceberg but stay the course because they’re too stubborn to make changes and are too comfortable in their life-styles to do anything else?
I knew I was an unconventional thinker when it came to finances but I did not know it was so bad that people are more willing to go down with their ship than make a few minor changes!
The fact is people need to be more open to financial literacy. This isn’t something you need a degree for. There are literally hundreds of blogs out there to help you get your financial life in order. There are tons of online forums dedicated to this. Reddit is a prime example of this! I just joined Reddit pretty recently and I’m pretty excited about expanding my resource base for information about frugal living, lean fire, and general personal finance! All anyone needs is the internet and general curiosity in learning something new!
I suppose this post was more of a rant than anything informational but I wanted to share in case anyone else gets push back for their opinions. Sadly, there are more people that just want to make excuses for their situation than there are people who are willing to make the necessary changes to better their situation. Stay tuned for future posts!