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I don't think you are 100% wrong, but I can't let this one slide:

How about cleaning up after old people when they mess themselves?

You know, some people actually appreciate what their parents have done and take pride (or at least sympathy) paying back that debt when the time comes.

I'm not sure that you grasp the working conditions in some parts of Asia (i live in Hong Kong). People would be willing to take the job, but they'd ask for benefits that wouldn't even compare. I don't think there are, as you say, plenty of people willing to take on these types of jobs in their present state. In fact, there are already sectors in the US that are having a hard time finding people because people have generally become too prideful. Just look at the skilled trade problem, which is way better work than what patio11 is talking about.




In fact, there are already sectors in the US that are having a hard time finding people because people have generally become too prideful. Just look at the skilled trade problem, which is way better work than what patio11 is talking about.

Any company in the US that pays significantly more than minimum wage and which claims "we can't find workers" is basically lying.

When they say "we can't find workers to do X" what they meaning is "we can't worker to do X [low-voice-over]between the ages of 23 and 27 who graduated in the top 15% of their class, with six+ year of experience in X and who have strong willingness to work 100 hours/week and able to start yesterday[/low-voice-over]"


That is utter nonsense. Maybe in the Bay Area that's true, but not in Florida.

We've been looking for technical employees (cable'ers, phone techs, etc, etc) for a while (in Florida) and usually come up with crap. We start at $20hr, with full benefits, and a strict 40 hour work week (we like to avoid overtime). That is a very high starting salary in Florida. And we've hired and fired 6 different people for the same position over the last 2 years.

And I can't even tell you how hard it is to find a decent programmer here. Sure there are tons of guys who (barely) write Java or VB. None are remotely qualified to write code for my sister let alone the company. Either I end up writing it or I outsource to NYC. And when you do find someone good, there's a bidding war. I lost a programmer I wanted to hire to one of my customers (a hospital). They offered us a fee if we'd send him over. I sent him him over. They're a good customer so we turned down the fee. :)

These are common complaints down here in Florida; the 4th biggest state in the country by the way. It's not helping that our school system down here is a fucking mess. And that many parents are more concerned about their kids learning evolution than math.

There is one ray of hope for us: the military. I just hired our 3rd vet (I'm a vet by the way too) from a job fair held at the Palm Beach VA.


If you're paying $20 an hour and you can't find a decent Java programmer, I'm not sure if it's a failure of the market. I wouldn't program for $20 an hour no matter where I lived, unless life sucked or I wasn't very good. And if pushed by desperation to take that job, I would be constantly trying to find another one.


The $20 he mentioned is for cablers and phone techs, not for programmers, if I understood correctly.


@idiopathic: You're right, I read it badly. Sorry, crag.


If you are having trouble finding staff than you are by definition not paying market rates. If $20/hr gets you crap, then you need to raise your rates. This is capitalism, people don't owe you their labour for what you consider good money.


Indeed. There was a post a month or two ago on HN that captured this fallacy beautifully and I wish I could find it again and/or credit its author:

Q: "We pay salaries competitive with the market average, why can't we find good experienced programmers or engineers?"

A: "So you want top talent for average wages? See the discrepancy here?"


Sometimes you can't find what you need, no matter how much you want to pay. I have enormous difficulty to find good programmers here in São Paulo. Even bad programmers are hard to hire.

I can hire PHP and Java programmers rather easily, but both groups would have a lot to unlearn.


You can always hire people for anywhere, it all depends on your requirements and your compensation. If you can't find them, then you need to change either requirements or compensation.

Have you considered trying to hire from abroad? You may need a high salary by USA standards to hire USA workers to work in São Paulo, but tis doable. You have now found the market rate for programmers in São Paulo


You are right, of course. I guess I'll have to help people unlearn.


Wow,

I was writing from the Bay Area. I suppose I should realize how different the rest of the country is.


And that many parents are more concerned about their kids learning evolution than math.

Can you elaborate on that?


First time I read it I got that many parents do not like it that their kids are learning evolution (they probably want them to learn creationism instead) when instead they should be worrying that their kids are not learning enough math. I re-read it again and I still think that's what he meant.


That's right.


How about nursing? The starting pay averages three to four times minimum wage, but there is still a shortage. It is easy to underestimate the mismatch between the skills required today, and the typical skills of the unemployed. However, your example does ring true to me in the engineering world.


Nursing is a highly skilled job that requires college education, like programming, except that it requires college education.


The entry level positions I am talking (Licensed Practical Nurse) about don't require a college degree, just a 6 month certification. There are also tiers of nursing available via an AA program. Regardless, they are decent paying jobs, and they are hard to fill.


There isn't a shortage of LPNs. In a lot of places there are an excess of LPNs.


That doesn't make sense. Either they need workers, or they don't. If they need them, why should they refuse to take them on if they don't fulfill some outlandish specification? Unless the job REALLY is that complicated.

But otherwise if a worker makes the more money, why not go for it?


"You know, some people actually appreciate what their parents have done and take pride (or at least sympathy) paying back that debt when the time comes."

I was speaking more about people who work in assisted living facilities or nursing homes who do not know the people they clean up after personally. Often these people are probably lucky to be making $13/hr an a hour. Just like there are those who don't mind such a job, I am sure there are those who don't mind sorting gaskets either.

"I'm not sure that you grasp the working conditions in some parts of Asia (i live in Hong Kong)."

Are you suggesting they're good or bad? There are some decent places to work in Asia if you're on top. Job conditions are slowly improving, but often you'll still hear about workers living in boarding houses provided by the company so they can work 12 - 16 hours days 6 days a week. Additionally patio11 was talking about first world countries...

"I don't think there are, as you say, plenty of people willing to take on these types of jobs in their present state. In fact, there are already sectors in the US that are having a hard time finding people because people have generally become too prideful."

You probably aren't looking too hard then. In the current economy you have people with masters & PhDs applying at McDonalds or other low wage/low skill jobs. Often these employers do not hire these people because of "over-qualifications". I also don't think that a lack of skilled tradesmen is due to pride, but perhaps due to a refocusing towards service sector jobs & the deterioration of our education system. The US does not have a standardized vocational education path & often many "vocational colleges" here are scammy for profit colleges that offer little benefit & a lot of debt to their students.




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