Wednesday, September 14, 2016
By Mel Carriere
Okay, I admit I probably wasn't making good life choices when I raised my right hand back in December, 1993 for something other than to give my Billy Idol White Wedding impression. I had a wife and a year old son to take care of, the bank I was working for had gone belly up, and the Post Office money looked too damn good to say no to.. So I joined the approximately 20,000 others who piled into the Scottish Rites Center, took the test, and became one of the approximate 100 or so among the ranks of the "uneducated" who was accepted for postal employment
In retrospect, maybe it wasn't one of the most brilliant moves in my life - I often ponder the "what ifs" and "might have beens" if I had done otherwise, but here I am and there is no use crying about it now.
In spite of spending a lot of time wasting "taxpayer" dollars daydreaming, instead of working, about how things would have turned out if we had gone to Med School or taken the Bar Exam, we old school Postal Employees believe we're a pretty clever lot. The hring standards have been lowered these days, simply because the starting wages are less when you adjust for inflation (which we are not smart enough to do because we are only postal employees, after all), but back then it wasn't easy to get this job. It was a highly competitive process, and maybe only 5 or 10 out of a thousand were able to sneak through. They sold books and courses and even had classes about how to pass the test. If you were smart enough to get in, I think a little self congratulation was appropriate.
Therefore, I suppose this is why it rankles me when somebody bursts my bubble by implying that we, the proud men and women of Planet Postal - a warped little world in a skewed orbit around a dim, distant star in the uncharted regions of deep space, are less "educated" than those of obviously superior interstellar civilizations who would turn their noses askance at us. This is exactly what someone did in the comments section of one of my articles yesterday. Here's the comment:
I'm not going to share this person's real name, so let's just call him Ed, since he is obviously so"ed"ucated. Poor Ed, you just don't get the bang for your buck with a college degree anymore, do you? Back when I was coming up, you couldn't even get out of junior high, much less college, without knowing that "regretting" has two 'ts,' not one. Before we get started here, take my "advise," Ed, and recheck your resume to make sure you are not confusing the noun "advice" with the verb "advise" anywhere else. This could be why you are forced to work for the Post Office now. Some hiring managers reading your resume might actually be familiar with proper English construction. Not many, but some.
Okay, the teacher is done spell checking and otherwise grammar correcting the assignment, so now let's get down to identifying any logical fallacies in Ed's arguments.
First and foremost, Poor Ed is employing what is known as a "false premise." Dear Lord I hope Poor Ed was not planning on going to law school, or he will be eaten alive by some stern logician. A false premise is "an incorrect proposition that forms the basis of an argument or syllogism." In this case, Ed is incorrectly proposing that nobody in the Postal Service has a college degree. What he has failed to investigate is that the corridors of Post Offices across the land are littered with pieces of paper proclaiming academic achievement that mostly get swept up and thrown out by the custodian, along with plastic bundle straps and broken rubber bands.
Indeed, there are plenty of broken dreams of unfulfilled potential here in the Postal Service. Many of us have, or know a coworker who has a pretty framed degree hanging on the wall at home that gradually gets moved further and further into the inner, scarcely visited rooms of the house as it becomes a source of ever more embarrassing questions. Could be that Ed's future postal boss also has one of these eye-catching, but largely useless decorations that he or she doesn't like to talk about? It is possible that Ed's trainer has one too.
Which causes me to wander off the point to speculate about the value of a college degree these days. In this day and age when "free trade" agreements have caused good paying jobs to be outsourced to low paid workers in other countries, everybody is going to school to try and get a better paycheck. From what my feeble Postal brain grasped from the laws of supply and demand in college Economics class (Yes Ed! - I have a piece of paper too, how remarkable), as the supply of any given commodity goes up, its price, or value, goes down, everything else being equal. Which means, in plain English, that these pretty pieces of paper don't mean squat when everybody has one, which is probably why Poor Ed is looking for a job in the Post Office now.
I wish Ed all the best. I harbor him no ill will or rancor. I just wish he would get over himself and get some wisdom to go along with that impressive degree he has hanging on the wall. I wish he would stop making unwarranted assumptions about people based on what he perceives to be the skill level of their jobs. I wish he would learn some humility, because if he walks into a Post Office with this attitude he will be humbled more quickly and painfully than is probably good for his delicate, developing ego.
And one other thing I wish. I wish Ed would take my "advise" and learn to speak English.
Can someone "advice" me how to get more people to click on my ads in order to support the Mel Carriere Foundation - which, like the Clinton and Trump Foundations, funnels the proceeds directly into my pocket? If you like the Tsunami please support my sponsors.