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The Great Resignation or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love No Job

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jimmy James, Nov 2, 2021.

  1. Jimmy James

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    There's been a lot of people quitting their jobs recently. Usually it's been because of undesirable work conditions, low pay, or shitty management or a combination. Don't take my word for it. This post is a great example.

    Focus: What do you all think the future of work is? Is there ever going to be a return to normal or is this the new normal?

    Alt Focus: What do you think we should do about getting people back to work? Should that be the goal or something else?

    Alt alt focus: Hilarious quitting and/or shitty manager stories. Let's hear 'em.
     
  2. Juice

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    While people are leaving their jobs, they’re not quitting work altogether. Unemployment has been decreasing and the labor force participation rate has been increasing steadily for the last 6 months, at least.

    That aside, companies forcing people back into their office when they’ve proven they can work from home is the dumbest thing ever. I’m slowly entering the job hunt, and remote work flexibility will be at the top of the list of things I care about.

    Bump.
     
  3. Aetius

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    I've watched too many videos over the last year and a half of people shouting at, spitting on, or even taking swings at, minimum wage teenagers and 20-somethings to be even remotely surprised that they're finally saying "fuck this job."
     
  4. toytoy88

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    Right now, it's a job seekers market. I literally walked out on my job last Friday morning. Yesterday morning I landed a new, higher paying job. But since that job doesn't start till next Monday, I went on an interview today and was offered that job too ( I turned that one down, I didn't like the schedule.) For maybe the first time ever, it's the employees that can be choosy.

    I think I posted it here that a new Wendys opened up back home in Idaho. They had to offer $18.50 an hour to even get applicants.
     
  5. GTE

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    I'm offering B-level techs the same money that journeymen techs got pre-covid and I've had one applicant* in a month.

    I wasn't a Yang for president fan but I'm very interested in what he has to say and want to pick up his new book. I think this generation will be the ones most affected by AI and automation.

    Actually, I'm not sure if it will be this generation, or my generation. In my industry (collision repair) there are insurance companies developing AI programs to write estimates on damaged cars. Estimators in my market (Northern CA) makes between $70-100k. A LOT of those guys (and gals) don't have much other experience and would be fucked trying to change industries at 50 years old.


    *Spoke virtually no English, had no tools and wanted cash under the table.
     
  6. Nettdata

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    One of my current projects is working with a top-10 manufacturer in the world developing their "adaptive manufacturing innovation lab", where we're building out a sandbox manufacturing line, while creating digital twins that simulate the automated manufacturing floor. We're talking 100% automated, with optimization analysis (AI/ML) that leads to dynamic, on the fly line reconfiguration. In the event something goes wrong, there's a robot in the closet that comes to life and lets a remote tech walk out to the busted robot and fix shit, right down to replacing PLC's, controller boards, etc.

    It's pretty fucking crazy... but it will put about 15k workers who run the same process 90% manually now out of work over the next 3 years.
     
  7. GTE

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    Exactly. I think there will be hundreds of thousands of jobs that will be phased out in the near future. It can't be expected that they all find a decent paying job in a new work world. Especially the older workers.

    Found this cool clip of a Miele warehouse. Their Servus system handles 8000 transactions a day. Amazing, but there are probably quite a few forklift drivers and floor runners who aren't too happy.

     
  8. Dcc001

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    What jobs do we think the future holds? Who will be in-demand and earning, say, six figures?
     
  9. Nettdata

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    Process engineers. Any kind of development or tech around automation. The "unskilled" masses may lose a few jobs, but that automation doesn't happen by magic. Nor does it maintain itself magically.
     
  10. Binary

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    I work in software R&D. We've seen some of the increased mobility of engineers (more jobs, more of them are remote, and the pay has increased) but nothing like some of the incredible churn that has been seen in other companies and other industries. A friend of mine who also works in software R&D said that they've seen a ~20% turnover in the last 18 months. About half of it came when his employer said they were mandating a return to the office.

    Our office will probably implement some kind of mandate eventually, but a few of the more senior people (including me) have already put a bug in the ear of our managers and said nope, not happening, not ever, and so far the managers have been okay with that. A couple managers have just shrugged and started hiring remote candidates. I don't see this returning to normal; the businesses have proven they can operate remotely, and the employees have proven that they will tell the businesses to go fuck themselves if they aren't happy.

    I had a whole piece written about the automation discussion here but the post was turning into a novel. Suffice it to say, despite the decades of joking that the robots are coming for our jobs, the robots really are coming for our jobs. I don't think an economy built on workers who can easily be automated is going to be sustainable for the next generation. I don't know what those workers do, frankly, but I think people like Yang definitely have a strong point. If we, say, destroy the entire small-parts-assembly industry with cheap and efficient robots, you can't just shrug off those workers as needing new skills.
     
  11. Crown Royal

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    If you don’t like robots replacing you, become the person that builds the robots. That’s what I do now, you have to in that industry. Not just unskilled people like machine operators, but real trades like Machinists and tool makers are becoming defunct because of CNC machines, but there is no robot that can build or fix itself.

    Factories will sooner than later become a place where if you aren’t a genuinely skilled worker, you won’t be wanted.
     
  12. Crown Royal

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    Becoming educated in CAD is worth its weight in gold these days, more now than ever.
     
  13. GTE

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    The problem with that logic is that if a robot replaces 100 workers, there aren't 100 jobs building robots for the people just let go. let's say there are 10 robot building jobs, what do the other 90 do?
     
  14. xrayvision

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    I agree but basically telling a whole swath of the population to learn to code is a political death sentence too. I’m inclined to say fuck ‘em, but for a lot of these people, getting an education to learn these new skills is not an affordable option. The fact that free community college was taken off the table is inexcusable to me. I don’t mean to bleed politics into this thread, but if we truly want to get all of these people up to speed with the progress of technology, we need to help them somehow.
     
  15. xrayvision

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    Can we force them into gladiatorial combat for funzies?
     
  16. Binary

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    "Learn CAD" or "be the one who builds the robots" is fine individual advice for a given person who is looking to develop skills.

    It's not an actual solution to the problem of displaced workers, though. If you needed a CAD designer or robot machinist for every displaced line worker, it wouldn't be cost effective.
     
  17. Dcc001

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    Part of me is really worried that, in the future, a job will be a luxury. It will be something only the top 20% of people have.

    What hasn't been mentioned much (that I've heard) is the role that IQ and an individual's capacity plays in all of this. And it plays a huge part, because we aren't on a level playing field and we aren't all created equal. Learning to code, learning to build robots, designing in CAD, etc...these are all extremely niche things that require a high degree of intelligence. Despite the name of this board, we aren't broadly representative of the demographic. Intelligence is a bell curve, and even the US military - you know, the people who need guys to just paint ships or chisel barnacles off of propellers - have determined that anyone with an IQ of less than something like 85 is not fit for military service. Which is something around 7-10% of the population. 30 million people lack the intelligence required to essentially break rocks. Even people of average intelligence (someone who can drive a car, read at a sixth grade level, learn new skills, do basic math, hold down a job that's either upper blue collar or lower white collar)...that's 50% of the people. In the US, that's 150M people. In Canada, somewhere close to 20M. Most probably those folks lack the intelligence or the capacity to learn how to design a multi-faceted automated system or build the robots that it uses.

    So if the only jobs available that need humans are things like doctors, lawyers, advanced IT, project managers, etc...IE jobs that require an IQ of over 120...what exactly do we do with everyone else?

    Something like 25% of the population can't follow a multi-plot line cable television show. Those folks aren't learning to code. They sit there on welfare? They rise up and eat the rich?
     
  18. Juice

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    125 years ago, there were a lot more blacksmiths than there are now. What happened? Cars did. Where did the blacksmiths go? Many of them were absorbed into the auto-industry helping to build assembly line components. Some left the labor pool as they rotated into retirement. Now today you may have a very difficult time making a living as a blacksmith, but how many jobs did the car industry create that didn't exist before? Over a long enough period of time the market tends to course correct. There will probably be jobs that we haven't considered yet. I think some (not all) of the stuff people like Andrew Yang pump out regarding automation permanently eating the job market is a scare tactic used to promote his policy agenda. Sure, some (or many) jobs will be gone forever and people will be working less. People are also working many hours less per week than they did 125 years ago, but this isn't going to happen overnight.
     
  19. Dcc001

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    These are great points, and I like the optimism that the market will correct for parts of this.

    Looking at it objectively, the Industrial Revolution - our first kick at automation - raised more people out of poverty than any era before or since. And as time progresses, less and less people are living with abject poverty. I suppose my concern stems from the fact that the jobs aren't all changing, they're being phased out entirely. Like, the goal is to have as few humans as possible and anything menial or repetitive is handled by a robot. One could argue that the IR took people away from subsistence living and stuffed them into rote, repetitive jobs. Now we have a whole class of people who don't have a broad skill set or vast intelligence to pull from, and we're telling them there's nothing rote or menial left for them to do.
     
  20. Aetius

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    I think the concern is that in the past technological advancements increased the value of labor, because it increased the output per worker-hour of labor. So maybe a specific industry was killed, or there was dislocation in the market, but new opportunities (at higher wages) were opening faster than the old ones were closing. Newer technological advancements look to be doing the opposite; they're driving the value of labor down because they're replacing it entirely. Labor is being freed up, but to do what? Are we really creating tons of new jobs at higher wages than the jobs we're losing?