Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Starting Over (A Request)

 

It’s been said that within every challenge resides an opportunity. Then again, it’s also been said that it’s always darkest just before it’s pitch black. It’s largely a matter of perspective of course, though the “facts on the ground” matter a great deal.

The prominent fact in this instance is that my employer and I parted company a few days ago, which puts me in circumstances that are at once perilous and exhilarating. What does a guy with a fairly wide array of experience do next? After all, I can’t exactly lug an M-60 machine gun mile after mile and then annihilate the enemy with it anymore, and the days of shifting through 18 forward gears in an 80,000 lb. semi are done due to the physical toll all that stuff took on me last time around.

Which leaves open a wide variety of communicative skilled jobs. I do, for example, enjoy retail and sales work in as much as it provides an opportunity to meet interesting people and send them on their way happier for having made their desired purchase. Granted, my enthusiasm is tempered somewhat after having been part of an organization whose short term methodology positively sabotages its long term survival. (Note: If you demand that your employees meet stratospherically high sales goals by selling mainly full priced items, and you then plop said employees down in an ocean of bright red 65% sale signs, you are at cross purposes with yourself and need your corporate head examined.)

So that with respect to retail work, I’ll need to be more discerning about a prospective employers’ governing ethos and whether they are prone to slitting their own throats and cannibalizing their employees in the bargain. If they are comparatively sane, I’m happy to sign on and be a productive member of the team. And if they sell fine watches, that’s an alluring bonus as far as I’m concerned. I have experience in public speaking, teaching, and I’m sure I could also do a superb job at recruiting or inside sales.

Of course, my true passion resides in the world of ideas, both written and spoken. To let the mind roam about and explore current or enduring questions; to tell lively stories from the past or shine a spotlight on a particularly amusing recent event; to turn the microphone on and let the mischief run free — these are the moments I live for, the moments in which I feel truly engaged, connected, and worth the oxygen that I use. Now, if any of you have any suggestions at all (short of me rattling a tin cup on a Go Fund Me page) as to how I can pay the mortgage while pursuing those passions, please let me know.

On the day I left the department store, a friend on social media wrote the following:

So you have to look for a job, I get it.

But here is something else to fill the space until you find the next employer.

The other day I was seriously going to suggest to you that you collect your Rico posts into a Steinbeck-like-Travels-with-Charlie book. It would be a fantastic glimpse of a man coming to grips with the political landscape of the last 10 years. Each article would have a small prologue that said where you were geographically and politically (I read your stuff, you evolved) . Anyway, now I’ve made the suggestion. Hope you’ll consider it.

In a similar fashion, my Mom wrote:

Praying you will find something soon that will be just right. Still hoping you will get that book out before too long. You know your Mom, never give up!

To be sure, there are two separate books being discussed here. The first, written a few years ago, detailing my travels around the world and across the country, went to a book agent who I’ve not heard from in a very long time, leading me to wonder if he viewed the thing as a posthumous work. The second book, suggested by my friend, would (I think) be an interesting journey both metaphorically and analytically through the mind of one who has observed and commented on current events for the better part of four decades.

My heart very much wants to see the first book published and the second one (among others) written, and at 58 years old, time is not exactly standing still. The question is when? The bills demand attention now; attention that thus far is not to be found in pursuing those things that I’m actually best at. I reluctantly confess that there are times I’d almost rather be a drooling idiot, staring at the world through vacuous eyes, than to have the ability — but not the time — to do so much more.

But there’s no time for a pity party. I have more resumes to send, more calls to make, and more applications to complete. Lacking the luxury of waiting until the perfect opportunity knocks, I need to secure something fast. And, as circumstances require, I need to either find something in the Memphis area, or something that can be done from home. If you have any suggestions or ideas, I respectfully ask that you pass them along in the comments below, or in private messages. I sincerely thank you in advance and promise to keep you all updated and to get back to writing and podcasting as soon as the current crisis abates.

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  1. tigerlily Member

    I can only wish you good luck Dave.

    • #1
    • February 18, 2020, at 3:33 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  2. Marley's Ghost Member

    Praying for the best Dave. I have been mostly a lurker here on Ricochet since 2011 but I have come to know all the regulars. Truly have enjoyed so many of your posts and your podcasts.

    • #2
    • February 18, 2020, at 3:46 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  3. ctlaw Coolidge

    One interesting thing is that all sorts of companies are trying to get into electric semis.

    According to Mike Bloomberg, there are almost no truck drivers who are literate.

    Sounds like an opportunity or several:

    a) Getting into communications for one of those companies;

    b) Hooking up with some publication, perhaps a general interest publication that does not have an expert;

    c) Start up an electric semi web page;

    d) Go back to work for Uncle Sam as a spokesman for NHTSA’s investigations of electric semi fires..

     

    • #3
    • February 18, 2020, at 3:46 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  4. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    My wife and I were driving past a closing Sears store today and got talking about how sad it is that the company is closing. Jeff Bezos has been quoted as saying he was amazed that they did not put him out of business in one year. That got us on the topic of large corporations and whether they can reinvent themselves. IBM was able to do it with the PC but they had to get the division tasked with that project out of head quarters. They sent them to Boca Raton FL.

    Xerox Corporation showed how not to do it. They had Xerox PARC with a collection of inventors and finally told them to quit fooling around with those little devices ands get back to work on copiers. There are a couple of good books about Xerox PARC. 

    Sears just did not have the retail equivalent of Lee Iacocca, which we saw in “Ford Vs Ferarri.” I worked at Sears part time in college and they were appalling. That was about 1957. There was, of course, no mainframe computer although they could have used one. Inventory was kept by a dozen little old ladies who had worked for Sears for decades. As a consequence, they had three week vacations. When they were on vacation, no one kept their records up to date. As each year passed by, the inventory in the warehouse got more and more behind. By the time I worked there, no one knew what was in it.

    I don’t know enough about you to know what your skill set is but there are better ways to do almost anything.

    Good luck.

    • #4
    • February 18, 2020, at 4:15 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  5. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Here’s that chance to finally break into the exciting world of prostitution… what’s that you say? You really don’t care to run for elective office? 

     

    • #5
    • February 18, 2020, at 4:22 PM PST
    • 14 likes
  6. Sam Thatcher
    Sam

    Hi Dave,

    Here is a site for flex jobs.

    https://www.flexjobs.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0qbV2J612wIVBJXICh1BDQsaEAEYASAAEgKPC_D_BwE

    You can work remotely. Lots of stuff for editors and writers. Much is in the medical field, but that is not terribly hard to learn as long as you stay away from math and physics and chemistry. They screen the jobs, so there is small chance that scammers will get through. I know this may not be your suited to your talents, but it does pay the bills and many are English majors who fell into science/medical writing/editing and learned to love it.

    All the best to you.

    Sam

    • #6
    • February 18, 2020, at 4:51 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  7. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Consult with iWe and Susan Quinn on that book. Go visit a high-class temp agency-there are rent-a-CEO companies now! Check out positions like “warehouse manager” or “logistics manager”-I’m betting that Amazon is looking for managers at all the local fulfillment centers they’re adding. That’s just a few suggestions.

    Best wishes!!

    • #7
    • February 18, 2020, at 5:00 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  8. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I would say based on my reading that writing is your forte. If not that, doing some sort of logistics (as @rushbabe49) suggested would be a good fit. Your experience in Trucking would help most companies retain their drivers.

    Good luck!

    • #8
    • February 18, 2020, at 5:23 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  9. Boss Mongo Member

    Dave Carter: The first, written a few years ago, detailing my travels around the world and across the country, went to a book agent who I’ve not heard from in a very long time, leading me to wonder if he viewed the thing as a posthumous work.

    Yes, and have you considered self-publishing? Ricochetti would jump right on that, which could be a springboard.

    Good luck; you’re more than capable, take the risk (says the guy that retired from the military and then became a DoD contractor). I’ve read your writing. You got this.

    • #9
    • February 18, 2020, at 5:40 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  10. Concretevol Thatcher

    So you are saying that pouring concrete doesn’t sound like it is in your future?? Its a SOLID job! Bahahahah I kill me!

    • #10
    • February 18, 2020, at 7:15 PM PST
    • 16 likes
  11. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Dave Carter: The first, written a few years ago, detailing my travels around the world and across the country, went to a book agent who I’ve not heard from in a very long time, leading me to wonder if he viewed the thing as a posthumous work.

    Yes, and have you considered self-publishing? Ricochetti would jump right on that, which could be a springboard.

    Good luck; you’re more than capable, take the risk (says the guy that retired from the military and then became a DoD contractor). I’ve read your writing. You got this.

    Boss Mongo beat me to it; this was going to be my suggestion. If that book agent doesn’t want to make money from you, hell, keep it all yourself. Self-publishing is easily done via Amazon or Lulu–I’ve had friends use both. I believe the profit to you from Amazon is marginally better than Lulu. As the Boss says, you have a ready audience on Ricochet of people who have been reading your stuff for years and would, I suspect, happily purchase your book.

    • #11
    • February 18, 2020, at 7:33 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  12. Sisyphus (Rolling Stone) Coolidge
    Sisyphus (Rolling Stone) Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Self publish on Amazon and let us heap five star reviews on the thing until it achieves escape velocity. Then, do it again. And again. I even buy Claire’s and iWe’s stuff. If you get stuck with the technical bit, let us know and we’ll figure it out together.

    • #12
    • February 18, 2020, at 8:25 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  13. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter

    Thanks so much for your responses folks! I want to reply to some of them individually, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. Suffice to say that I should listen to my Mom (and you all) and get this book done! More to follow tomorrow. Thank you all again so very much. 

    • #13
    • February 18, 2020, at 8:39 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  14. Andrea Ryan Member
    Andrea Ryan Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I will buy your book(s)!! It would be a joy to see you published. 

    • #14
    • February 18, 2020, at 9:56 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  15. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Andrea Ryan (View Comment):

    I will buy your book(s)!! It would be a joy to see you published.

    Andrea!!!! How excellent it is to see you back here! I need a Snoopy-dance emoji.

    • #15
    • February 18, 2020, at 11:50 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    Have you considered teaching truck driving? Much less physical demands, plenty of interesting people, and I’d imagine you’d never bore a student driver.

    • #16
    • February 19, 2020, at 3:27 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  17. Stad Thatcher

    Dave Carter: I sincerely thank you in advance and promise to keep you all updated and to get back to writing and podcasting as soon as the current crisis abates.

    You are too talented not to have anything come your way. Good luck!

    • #17
    • February 19, 2020, at 6:04 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  18. David Foster Member
    David Foster Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    What about business-to-business sales?..In the right environment, it can pay very well and be really interesting.

    • #18
    • February 19, 2020, at 6:24 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  19. Songwriter Member
    Songwriter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Don’t go into music. I’m already losing enough for the both of us in that field.

    I always loved your “on the road” Rico posts and long believed an edited compilation of them would be a good read.

    • #19
    • February 19, 2020, at 6:51 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  20. John Park Member

    Good luck, Dave!

    • #20
    • February 19, 2020, at 7:19 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    My wife and I were driving past a closing Sears store today and got talking about how sad it is that the company is closing. Jeff Bezos has been quoted as saying he was amazed that they did not put him out of business in one year. That got us on the topic of large corporations and whether they can reinvent themselves. IBM was able to do it with the PC but they had to get the division tasked with that project out of head quarters. They sent them to Boca Raton FL.

    Xerox Corporation showed how not to do it. They had Xerox PARC with a collection of inventors and finally told them to quit fooling around with those little devices ands get back to work on copiers. There are a couple of good books about Xerox PARC.

    Sears just did not have the retail equivalent of Lee Iacocca, which we saw in “Ford Vs Ferarri.” I worked at Sears part time in college and they were appalling. That was about 1957. There was, of course, no mainframe computer although they could have used one. Inventory was kept by a dozen little old ladies who had worked for Sears for decades. As a consequence, they had three week vacations. When they were on vacation, no one kept their records up to date. As each year passed by, the inventory in the warehouse got more and more behind. By the time I worked there, no one knew what was in it.

    I don’t know enough about you to know what your skill set is but there are better ways to do almost anything.

    Good luck.

    Well, their inventory isn’t that antiquated, but their advertising is. It’s a tough time for brick and mortar. It makes no sense for them to make it tougher still.

    • #21
    • February 19, 2020, at 9:05 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  22. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Here’s that chance to finally break into the exciting world of prostitution… what’s that you say? You really don’t care to run for elective office?

     

    Gee thanks. I’ve been invited into politics before. The similarities between the world’s two oldest profession are a bit much for me. I wouldn’t last. But it would be entertaining.

    • #22
    • February 19, 2020, at 9:07 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  23. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter

    Sam (View Comment):

    Hi Dave,

    Here is a site for flex jobs.

    https://www.flexjobs.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0qbV2J612wIVBJXICh1BDQsaEAEYASAAEgKPC_D_BwE

    You can work remotely. Lots of stuff for editors and writers. Much is in the medical field, but that is not terribly hard to learn as long as you stay away from math and physics and chemistry. They screen the jobs, so there is small chance that scammers will get through. I know this may not be your suited to your talents, but it does pay the bills and many are English majors who fell into science/medical writing/editing and learned to love it.

    All the best to you.

    Sam

    I will be looking seriously into this. Thanks so much!

    • #23
    • February 19, 2020, at 9:08 AM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Dave Carter: The first, written a few years ago, detailing my travels around the world and across the country, went to a book agent who I’ve not heard from in a very long time, leading me to wonder if he viewed the thing as a posthumous work.

    Yes, and have you considered self-publishing? Ricochetti would jump right on that, which could be a springboard.

    Good luck; you’re more than capable, take the risk (says the guy that retired from the military and then became a DoD contractor). I’ve read your writing. You got this.

    Boss Mongo beat me to it; this was going to be my suggestion. If that book agent doesn’t want to make money from you, hell, keep it all yourself. Self-publishing is easily done via Amazon or Lulu–I’ve had friends use both. I believe the profit to you from Amazon is marginally better than Lulu. As the Boss says, you have a ready audience on Ricochet of people who have been reading your stuff for years and would, I suspect, happily purchase your book.

    Boss, you and Caryn, and Sisysphus, and Andrea, are all in perfect sync with my Mom,..which means of course that you are all correct. I’ll pick up the project and look into publishing alternatives. I’m brand new to all that,…so it could get interesting. 

    • #24
    • February 19, 2020, at 9:10 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  25. Arahant Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    Yes, and have you considered self-publishing? Ricochetti would jump right on that, which could be a springboard.

    We would even help advertise it for you through our own social media accounts.

    • #25
    • February 19, 2020, at 9:17 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  26. Arahant Member

    Dave, any way that we can help. let us know. If you want to go forward on either book, I can help as can other Ricochetti.

    • #26
    • February 19, 2020, at 9:21 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  27. Arahant Member

    Also, you could try finding a governmental program to “retrain” you by going back to school for an MLS and become an archivist.

    • #27
    • February 19, 2020, at 9:27 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Also, you could try finding a governmental program to “retrain” you by going back to school for an MLS and become an archivist.

    That’s intriguing. Here’s the rub. I did the same work as PhD historians do while on active duty. Even replaced one PhD at a base. But for a variety of reasons, I never finished my undergraduate degree. Go figure, right? 

    • #28
    • February 19, 2020, at 9:40 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  29. Full Size Tabby Member

    While acknowledging that remote psychological diagnosis is rarely reliable (especially when conducted by someone like me with no background in psychology other than working with a bunch of people over many years) – other than writing I would think you have talents that would be useful in sales for goods or services that involve long-term customer relationships (i.e., repeat or continuing business, not just the ‘one and done’ sales transactions). This would suggest business-to-business (as was suggested earlier) or certain types of luxury goods. A good jewelry store might even also get your watch itch scratched.

    • #29
    • February 19, 2020, at 9:42 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    While acknowledging that remote psychological diagnosis is rarely reliable (especially when conducted by someone like me with no background in psychology other than working with a bunch of people over many years) – other than writing I would think you have talents that would be useful in sales for goods or services that involve long-term customer relationships (i.e., repeat or continuing business, not just the ‘one and done’ sales transactions). This would suggest business-to-business (as was suggested earlier) or certain types of luxury goods. A good jewelry store might even also get your watch itch scratched.

    Thank you! I’m looking into both of those avenues (business to business and jewelry stores). Even have an employment agency looking to inside corporate sales as well

    • #30
    • February 19, 2020, at 9:52 AM PST
    • 2 likes