Tag Archives: unemployment

Banishment or Unemployment: Why Workers Choose to Stay in Bad Jobs

There’s an interesting story that some companies in Japan have banishment rooms. According to Marginal Revolution:

“Basically, banishment rooms are departments where companies transfer surplus employees and give them menial or useless tasks or even nothing to do until they become depressed or disheartened enough to quit on their own, thus not getting full benefits, unlike if they were actually let go. Imagine having to stare at a TV monitor for 10 hours at a time each day, in order to look for “program footage irregularities.” Of course companies would not admit to doing this, and instead will make up generic (or even creative) titles and department names like “Business & Human Resource Development Center” or “career development team”

You’ll see this in American operations, too. Hoping to avoid paying out unemployment compensation, some organizations will try to demoralize and demean employees into quitting on their own.

What’s even more dismaying, employees will stick it out. Apparently, Japanese workers will remain in these banishment rooms.  Only 10 percent will leave the company. The rest sit around and scrutinize television for 10 hours a day. A horrible waste of potential. Doubly dismaying: Most studies indicate that employees who are laid off or quit find better jobs: higher paying and more richly satisfying. They tend to perform well in these jobs, too.

So what gives? The Buddha might say it is nothing more than attachment. We are attached to our routines and our relationships. We derive too much of our self-esteem and self-worth from our job titles and the brand of the place where we work, too. I might add that there’s always the fear of the unknown. The saying that comes to mind: The devil that you know is better than the devil you may face in the future.

Somehow, workers become blinded by fear and are unable to see that with unemployment — or even new employment — that new positions bring not just uncertainty, but also opportunity.

What’s your opinion? Do you stay in a bad situation, or do you move on and try a new job? What’s your bottom line?



Outstanding Learning Resources

As you know, the world is changing quickly. And, one of the things that needs to change is the way we learn. Many people go to school and assume that traditional school is the only way to learn.  I have written in the past about the shortcomings of a traditional education.

Image courtesy Tulane

Today’s post is about new and better ways to learn. I have been doing that programming stuff for a long time, and it is interesting to see how changes in technology make it easier to learn. eBooks and online videos are a great complement to the old printed book.

Continue reading


Groupon: The $6 Billion Idea

Yesterday I was reading the rumors about Google purchasing the social coupon site Groupon. According to the rumors, Groupon passed on Google’s offer of $6 billion. I thought, “Isn’t that interesting. This site that has only been around for a year or two, and it is already worth $6 billion dollars.”

I see so many people complaining about unemployment and how hard it is to find a job. They blame the economy for their financial problems. I wonder how many of them tried to start a business. I don’t think any of the founders of Groupon or its employees are complaining about the economy or the unemployment problem.

Continue reading


A New Kind of School

As the economy continues to grumble along, I keep hearing about unemployment and the foreclosure crisis. Although it is definitely a challenge to hold on to a job and a house for many people, I wonder if they are chasing after the wrong thing.

Recently I discovered one of the most awesome sites I have ever seen: Project Euler. It is a bunch of “mathematical programming challenges” that test your ability to program and problem solve. I found that it is the perfect way (at least for me) to learn a new programming language.

Continue reading


Overdose – The Next Financial Crisis

Recently I was watching Overdose – The Next Financial Crisis. It is about the turmoil in the markets that we have seen in recent years, not just in the U.S. but around the world. I think it is great to watch these kinds of videos because they are great educational tools. It doesn’t really matter if you believe everything that they say; the important thing is to learn about what they are talking about and get educated.

Most people are just walking down the path of financial destruction. We are going to see massive changes in both the U.S. and world economies. People who are dependent on their job to pay their mortgage are going to get a rude awakening: contrary to popular opinion, ignorance is not bliss.

Continue reading


Housing Market Continues Decline

This article on Yahoo Finance talks about how the housing market is continuing to decline. As with most government intervention, the effect of the first time buyer’s credit had a short term benefit and I think it will have a long term negative effect.

Besides that, it enticed the most naive and inexperienced buyers to buy at the worst time possible. The housing market is going down and there is nothing to slow it down. Unemployment is high and the economy is weak. It is quite easy to see that housing prices are not likely to rebound any time soon.

Continue reading


Why Common Advice is Useless

When reading about finances or talking to people, I always hear the same useless advice: “You have to learn to save money.” or “It’s hard because the economy is so bad.”

This kind of talk is really just complaints and useless advice. Everyone already knows that saving money will improve their finances. But they have no idea how to do it.

After reading this great post that Matt found over at My Wife Quit Her Job, I noticed that the reason I like Steve’s blog is because it contains information that is fairly rare. It’s not about saving money, it’s about building a powerful positive cash flow asset. It’s not about lamenting about how hard life is and how hard it is to get a job. It is about how Steve’s profit is going up as unemployment rises and the economy goes down.

Continue reading


Why now may not be such a Great Time to Buy a House

After reading this article on Forbes.com, I feel like the writing is on the wall, and I have posted about it before. The government’s massive spending may not have been enough to turn the economy around. It was enough to delay the destruction, but in doing so only makes it worse.

Many people who bought houses in the last year thought that they could get a free $8,000 just by buying a house. Hate to break it to you, but it’s not that simple. The reason the government was giving away the money was in an attempt to prop up the housing market. The only problem is that it was unlikely to work.

Continue reading


Is The Job Market Finally Turning?

Graph from Investors.com

For those without jobs and those in positions they can’t stand, the Investor’s Business Daily had some good news… Finally.

According to the Labor Department, the U.S. economy has started to add jobs.

A senior analyst from Barclays, Michelle Meyer, concurs with the assessment.

“Before summer, the recovery should lose its jobless label. By the end of the year, the recovery will feel like a recovery not just to economists but on Main Street too,” she said.

Economists expect the job market will be adding 200,000 jobs a month by year-end.

That’s all great news. But it doesn’t mean anything if we haven’t learned from this.

Continue reading


Bowl Your Way Out of Unemployment

PBA World Championship

Last Christmas, Tom Smallwood found himself in a position that millions of Americans are now facing.

After years of loyalty and hard work, he was laid off from the General Motors plant. That was bad enough, but the layoffs timing–right before Christmas–was just salt in the wound. He quickly applied for conventional jobs, but never heard back from the companies.

Tom, his wife, and his young daughter faced an uncertain future.

But Tom had a  secret weapon: bowling.

Tom believed he was a good bowler; he even won a few local tournaments. With his wife’s blessing, he tried out for the Pro Bowler’s tour. And made it!

Then he won a major tournament. Tom pocketed $50,000 during a championship match–making more in a single event than he ever earned in a year working at a conventional job.

So, if you’re laid-off, or worried that you will be laid-off, just remember: you can always bowl. At least in the allegorical sense. Maybe you can’t bowl, but, like Tom, you have talents and knowledge that can generate new careers and new sources of income.

You can even follow Tom’s method:

Continue reading