Tuesday Night Tunes – Automation

Just a little goofy song I found. The idea come out of the news over the past few weeks. Stay tuned for the story after the break.

It was 1973 when I got my first job replacing people. I worked for Norelco / Executive Office Products fixing dictation equipment. Those little tape machines were expensive, fragile and needed repair often. I had a couple of techs working for me and I was the guy that could fix anything. I don’t think I ever had one I could not make work. Here is a little clip I found showing one of the recorders in action. The Norelco 85. (Warning, don’t spend too much time here. It’s just a goofy little video)

They were used for recording your voice as you dictated letters (no more short hand) and you could give the tape to someone to transcribe it onto paper using an electric typewriter. Lower skilled, lower paid employees that could save you money. Wasn’t saving money a good thing?

1978 I got my next step up. I was working at Volkswagen of America in New Stanton, PA. They built a plant to make VW Rabbits. They came in two flavors. There was the 2 door little coupe and a pickup truck. No, really. A VW Pickup. Ever see one?

I worked for Ransburg Electrostatic Corporation and we made painting equipment for industrial and automotive applications. My job was to paint trucks and cars so men would not have to.

Here is a pic that is really close to the conditions in those spraybooths while the painting was going on.

You could not see from one side to the other and there were usually about 6 guys in the booth at a time. 3 on one side and 3 on the other. My equipment painted automatically. No more breathing the fumes and solvent. No more coming out all covered in paint.

Here is a video of that automatic process as it works today.

We took a really nasty job and moved the men out of the booth and replaced them with automation. I thought I was doing a good thing. Actually, I still do think it was a good thing but it was just the beginning. We moved nasty jobs to automation and then trained the workers to maintain, clean and fix the equipment. They moved to cleaner jobs and most were happy. We kept doing that to save money and move people out of boring, dangerous, repetitive jobs.

Now we hear how we have technical jobs we can’t fill because there are no qualified workers for them and the low skilled worker has a minimum wage job and he can’t support his family. Our system is broken and we’re not sure how to fix it.

The Right says it’s the fault of the worker and the Left says it is Society’s fault. We struggle to find answers and all the while jobs move off shore to cheaper labor. Some come back home but the low skilled job goes to a robot that costs about $3 an hour to operate.

100 years ago unemployment was about zero. Most everyone worked in agriculture and related jobs (stables, blacksmith, cowboy) and we now see about 5% work in that field. Technology and automation are taking over the factory jobs leaving the assembly worker nothing to do.

As the farming jobs left for the factory, the factory job is leaving for something to come. Maybe we go back to a place where we work for ourselves again. Create your own business, do something that you are gifted to do. I made a shift from working in automation and replacing jobs to helping folks buy and sell real estate. Turns out it is probably the soft of thing I was meant to do all along. I love my work and what I get to do (most days). I hope I never have to go back to a job.

But I don’t have a great answer for the guy that is out of work. For the gal trying to make ends meet on a minimum wage job or two trying to feed the kids. I think there is some truth on the Right and the Left. We each have a responsibility to do something to better ourselves. Society has a place to help it’s members in times of need.

I think the Church has abdicated some of her responsibility in caring for those in need but there are some out there doing great work. The government has stepped in to fill the void but that is not a sustainable solution either. Pretty soon we run out of other peoples money.

So, what is my point? We can’t help everyone. We can’t fix everything.

But we can do something. We can help someone. Do what you can. What you do matters!!

One of my favorite authors and speakers is Andy Andrews. Here is a clip of a talk he gave a few years ago. It’s just a few minutes and it’s worth the time. His message is positive and encouraging and I think you’ll like it. (one disclaimer, the website at the end is not something I am familiar with but this is the best video I found on YouTube that told the message. Check Andy out at directly)

I once heard Zig Ziglar ask “Is there something you can do today that will make your life worse?” Of course the answer is YES!!. One the other hand, is there something you can do to make your life better. Again, the answer is YES!!!

That’s enough for now. I hope you will take a little time to think and consider what you can do ‘right now’ that will help someone. Remember, you are someone too. If you are stuck and want to talk about this stuff, call me. I’ll help if I can.

One more thing, if you found this on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, you are probably missing some of the articles. Subscribe over to the right and you’ll not miss a thing. I send out update emails on Wednesday so subscribe and stay in the loop.

Thanks for listening,

Jerry Robertson | Associate Broker | ALC Member
Keller Williams Realty | Atlanta Partners
4878 Manhattan Dr | Buford | GA | 30518

678-231-1578 Cell 678-935-1342 FAX

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It’s a good life!!


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