Circling the Drain


Circling the Drain

Everybody knows someone who’s just trying to find their way, their own path, or making their own statement in life. Maybe you’re one too?

A military term is “marching in place” or marking time, where in all actuality you are moving your arms, legs and feet but staying stationary. It’s also referred to as “retired on active duty”. In the workplace they say if you want to see workers come alive, stop in at quitting time.

Back in the good old days people sought work wherever they could find it, doing whatever they needed to in order to earn a paycheck so they could buy the necessities in life (food and clothing) or pay the rent.

Getting hired into an entry level position meant having your foot in the door, the possibilities were endless and you could rise to your level of incompetence (the Peter Principle). Entire organizations were capped only by the level of competence at the top, so it wasn’t uncommon for someone to strike out on their own and become a fierce competitor.

In today’s world parents want their kids to go to the top Ivy League schools so they can become doctors or lawyers, but not everyone is cut out for that sort of life, unless they have political aspirations.  We often overlook the trade schools or apprenticeships that teach real world skills with actual job placement after graduation.

What are some of the most needed job skills you can think of? Is it electrician, HVAC, carpentry, welding, auto repair, diesel engine repair, aviation mechanic? What about fire, nursing, police, EMT, or a thousand other jobs that we can’t do without like grave digger, undertaker, embalmer, funeral home worker, director or casket maker? Don’t forget about national defense – state and federal army, navy, air force, marines or space force. The Defense Department offers a variety of job skill building occupations, many of which transfer over to the civilian market quite easily. National Guard or reserve units allow someone to bag groceries at Walmart and drive tanks, trucks or operate drones during weekend drills or summer training exercises.

What good is having the fastest race car but never taking it out of the garage? Or going to the gym every day, building up your biceps or honing in your boxing skills but never using them? Your God-given potential was not meant to be kept hidden in a box. When you find yourself circling the bowl, maybe it’s time for a change in attitude or location? –


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