Monday, January 14, 2008


So there are going to be recounts in New Hampshire. That’s good, because the machine tallies confounded the expectations created by the pre-primary and exit polls, while the paper ballot tallies comported with the expectations created by the polls. Not only that, but at least two townships originally reported zero votes for Ron Paul but admitted they had made a “mistake” when voters from the townships said they had in fact voted for Paul.

And it’s not surprising that the voting machine chicanery has already begun. It turns out that Ken Hajjar, the marketing and sales director for LHS Associates--the company in charging of programming all of New Hampshire’s (as well as 4 other states in New England) Diebold voting machines–is a convicted felon. His crime? Selling narcotics.

Traffic Tickets vs. Selling Drugs

Which leads me to a question–how does a convicted felon get hired by an election services company? I mean, ex-cons have to make a living too, but do they have to make a living working in elections? Hajjar must be a REALLY good marketing and sales director to be able to get such a job. Or, as it turns out, being an ex-con is almost a job requirement to work in the elections industry.

But this brings me to my own job search. I fill out applications all the time that ask whether or not I’ve been convicted of a crime (I haven’t) and for details if I have. Some applications ask me to volunteer information about my traffic violations, whether driving is a big part of the job or not.

Was none of this done in Hajjar’s case? Or was he just part of the good ol’ white boy club, in which all is forgiven, and nobody checks a good ol’ boy’s criminal record–it just isn’t done. That shit is for the little people–the little people have to be haunted by the paper trail being created for them to “keep them safe” from “terrorists.” Only the little people have to wear the scarlet letter.

Getting vs. Finding Jobs

A lot of people use the terms “find a job” and “get a job” interchangeably, as if “finding” and “getting” are the same thing. I’ve “found” lots of jobs, but I don’t “get” lots of jobs. What I’ve discovered is that if you want to get a job making say, I don’t know–the tubes that are inside paper towel and toilet paper rolls–you either have to have experience doing THAT job, not one kind of similar, OR you have to have a degree in making paper towel/toilet paper rolls. If you don’t have that, forget it.

But it seems to me that the job market has not always been this way. In fact, my parents always told me it wasn’t–they’d say, “You just need a college degree, it doesn’t really matter all that much what it’s in.” Boy howdy, has that not turned out to be true. But again, I’m not sure it’s always been this way, with a degree for everything and nothing without a degree.

What Sneaky Pete told me

Who told me so? Sneaky Pete. You know, of the Flying Burrito Brothers. Pete Kleinow, who died just over a year ago this month, may he rest in peace.

I interviewed him a few years ago in my last job. The reason I got to talk to him was because his new band Burrito Deluxe had just released their debut album. Anyway, he told me that when he moved to California, he didn’t have a job. This would’ve been in the late 50s or early 60s–I can’t remember exactly. I’m not transcribing this from the tape, I’m just going off what I remember.

So when he got to Los Angeles, he had to look for a job. He looked in the newspaper and saw an ad for a studio that needed animators. He said he’d never done anything like that in his life but was intrigued, so he decided to see if he could get a job there. He said he went down to the studio, and the guy in charge was showing him around. At some point, they let Pete kind of sit in with some of the workers. The guys that worked there showed Pete what they were doing, and being a quick study, he caught on and started doing it also. Long story short–Sneaky Pete got a job in the animation studio even though he’d never done any animation work in his life.

And that animation job wasn’t just something he did for a little while until he got on his feet or whatever. It turned into a career for him. Here’s how the Washington Post described Pete’s animation career:

Mr. Kleinow also won acclaim as an animator, special-effects artist and director of commercials in television and film. His credits ranged from the original "Gumby" series -- he wrote and performed the theme music and designed cartoons -- and the relaunched "Twilight Zone" to the movies "Under Siege," "Fearless" and "The Empire Strikes Back."

To be sure, Sneaky Pete’s a genius, but that’s not the point. The point is that he was able to get a job with no experience or education in the field. That’s virtually unheard of these days.

Just sayin’...

1 comment:

Charmed Mom said...

I have to agree with you on this one! Jobs should not be limited to what your qualified to do but what your able to do! Trained incompetence stemming from..."I have a degree in"..."so I am qualified to do"...has become the prime suspect in the case of common sense VS framed walls& empty heads!