UPS IS ADDING JOBS, BUT FOR HOW LONG?

#UPS #OnlineShopping #AddedJobs
UPS is “hiring like crazy” because of the growth in e-commerce. “I’ve never seen jobs get added at UPS like it has in the last year,” says Eric Massaro, a shop stewards for the Teamsters union at a UPS sorting facility in Roswell, Ga.
Massaro was quoted in an article by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Kelly Yamanouchi, published Aug. 25, 2017.
In addition to adding people, UPS is adding technology to help it get packages delivered more quickly, with fewer mistakes and greater efficiency, the article says.
The UPS situation illustrates how a decline in some brick-and-mortar retail businesses can turn in to a boon elsewhere.
UPS also had to add Saturday delivery, because people shop online on weekends and the packages back up on Mondays, the article says.
UPS is also trying to nudge customers to pick up their own packages at various locations, to save time for its drivers, the article says.
Let’s examine the UPS situation from a different perspective. Right now, it’s hiring – “good-paying jobs with benefits,” the article quotes Massaro. The workers are putting in long hours which, if you are unemployed, could make you jealous.
But what the article does not discuss is what technology could do to a lot of those jobs 10 or 20 years hence.
Think driverless vehicles, better sorting and loading technology, deliveries to homes by drones, etc. And let’s not forget that Amazon is testing its own delivery service, which could affect UPS directly. Yamanouchi reported on that in the Oct. 6, 2017, edition. The trend at UPS could be good if you don’t have many more years left to work. If you are just starting out, though, think long and hard about what you will do.
Most jobs undergo change whether the person doing them changes or not. Companies have to be flexible and nimble enough to change quickly, as situations change. Therefore, companies will need to have less structure and more technology to allow them to change more quickly.
The article says that UPS has increased its technology already, but still needs even more people. That’s good news for those looking for work today. Working at UPS for a few years could get you over the hump, if you’ve lost a good job and are having trouble finding another one.
But a wise person will also be looking at a Plan B – something he could do a few hours a week when he’s not working at, say, UPS. There are many such vehicles out there for those willing to look for them. To check out one of the best, message me. You might even see something that will allow you to do online shopping and save money, too.
It is not as easy being a working person today, as it was several decades ago. Change came more slowly then, and that allowed people to finish out careers and retire when they were ready. Today, that is almost unheard of. People are often forced out of jobs long before retirement age and are banished to a job market that doesn’t want them.
Thanks goodness companies like UPS need people. But one could mistakenly think that its need for people will be everlasting. That kind of thinking might be a mistake.
Using the retailers’ example again, there was a time when some retailers could not keep up with demand in their stores. As fast as goods came in, they were bought.
Today, many of those same retailers are struggling, because of e-commerce and other reasons. Don’t let this sudden demand for help by UPS allow you to think it won’t go away. Many good things like this usually do. Be ready, so if the rug is pulled out from under you, you can have a puffy pad to land on.
Peter

TECHNOLOGY, MANNERS AND TRUTH

#technology #manners #truth
Has technology begotten rudeness?
Are you tempted to trip someone walking down the sidewalk who is only looking down at his or her phone?
We do know that social media has begotten various versions, or definitions, of truth.
George F. Will, columnist for the Washington Post, took on this subject in a column published April 9, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Will quotes from the book “Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door,” by Lynne Truss.
The author, whose book was published in 2005, says we are slouching into “an age of social autism,” Will quotes.
Truss foresaw an age of “hair-trigger sensitivity,” and “lazy moral relativism combined with aggressive social insolence,” Will writes.
Carolyn Stewart of the Hudson Institute, who revisited Truss’ book, says social media’s “self-affirming feedback loop,” encourages “expectations for a custom-made reality,” and indignation about anything “that deviates from our preferences,” Will quotes Stewart.
“We no longer hold these truths to be self-evident, we hold all truths to be self-evident, even the ones that aren’t true,” will quotes Tom Nichols, author of “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters.”
In other words, technology has made us into a rude society with a significant disregard for truth.
We probably are not all that way. Some of us may find technology just a tool to get things done more quickly. We prefer kindness, personal interaction and proven facts.
Some of us may take great pleasure in doing nice things for other people.
Others of us may resent technology as a culprit for putting us out of a good job. Some may even long to meet other nice people. Some may even be skeptical of what they read and hear.
Technology has certainly changed our world – not always for the good. But we become better people when we seek not just civility, but generosity. We become better people when we use technology as a tool, without letting it run our lives. We become better people when we seek out real truth, and base our opinions on it.
If you are one of those, and a machine has taken your job, there are many ways out there to not just earn an income, but to grow as a person. To learn about one of the best, message me.
In short, don’t assume something is true just because it fit whatever you think you believe. If you walk on a sidewalk, look up from your phone. If you are driving, don’t look at your phone at all.
Seek to be a kind, humble, generous person who respects bona fide science, reads and listens to respected and reputable information and is inspired to help others.
Sometimes, rudeness is best ignored.
Peter

SOCIAL EROSION: COMMUNITY INSTITUTIONS DECLINING

#SocialInstitutions #churches #CommunityServiceClubs
Some may not remember a few decades ago, when labor unions were not only strong, but one of the many fibers that brought communities together.
During that time, more people attended church, community service clubs such as the Lions or Rotary were flourishing, two-parent families were the norm etc.
Bob Davis and Gary Fields discussed this social erosion in a Sept. 16, 2016, article in The Wall Street Journal.
In those decades past, the union hall was the place to be in many blue-collar towns.
Today, as union membership is declining along with job security of any sort, we see the reaction of those affected by this decline. They are looking for someone, or something, to save them, and take the country back to that time.
Technology advances will not allow it.
But the question is not who will save those disaffected by technological change and lack of job security. The question becomes who, or what, folks can turn to who have had their lives changed forever, if not for better.
Some community institutions are still around, and not all have seen membership decline.
Technology has also given us social media, but social media, though a fine creation, is no substitute for in-person interaction.
As life changes, one must look at not only what is GOOD about his life, he must be open to find ways to combat the life changes the modern world has wrought.
If you had a good job that’s gone away, and have either had to take a job that is less rewarding or have not been able to find a suitable job at all, the answer is to look for ways other than a traditional W-2 job to make money. Easier said than done? Perhaps not. Message me to find out more.
Getting back to basics, one must check his bad attitude at the door, and not reclaim it as he exits.
There is so much good in the world today, and so many reasons to be thankful, to have faith, enthusiasm and optimism.
If you think you can find those things by reconnecting with some of the older institutions in your community, by all means, go for it.
If you think you can find those things by hanging around different people – you can still have your friends, even if they don’t inspire you – by all means look for those different people. There’s no telling to what, or to whom, they could introduce you.
Looking for that one person who is going to change the world by bringing things back to the way they were is a futile exercise. However, looking for that one person who is going to change YOUR life, who will make YOUR life better, can not only be productive, but also can be very fulfilling.
In short, being optimistic, enthusiastic, open and happy can not only bring you joy, it very well could bring you success. Plus, it’s certainly better to be happy, even if you have to work at being happy, than being miserable.
Go for happy.
Peter

DIGITAL AGE BRINGS 2 TRENDS

#trends #DigitalAge #crime #technology
Youth culture has become less violent, less promiscuous and more responsible.
So writes New York Times columnist Ross Douthat.
He wrote that American childhood is safer than ever before, as teens drink less and smoke less than previous generations.
Violent crime, a young person’s temptation, had fallen for 25 years before the recent post-Ferguson homicide increase, he writes, in a column published Aug. 23, 2016, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
At the same time, he writes, adulthood has become less responsible, “les obviously adult.” For the first time in more than a century, more 20-somethings live with parents than in any other arrangement.
Certainly, the recession of 2008 contributed to that. But Douthat also points out that the helicopter parent phenomenon, in which parents hover over their children by doing things the children should be doing for themselves, has contributed to the slower maturation process.
Douthat attributes these two trends to technology. “This mix of youthful safety and adult immaturity may be a feature of life in a society increasingly shaped by the Internet’s virtual realities,” he writes.
Let’s explore Douthat’s hypothesis.
When kids spend hours playing video games and otherwise sitting at computers, they are not out getting into trouble. At the same time, they are not out seeing what real life is all about.
A number of experts have written and spoken about the different groups in the workforce, with older workers, millennials and Gen-Xers all needing different things, and all motivated by different things.
But if you are among the older crowd, imagine hiring a 20-something who not only had never had a job, but also hardly had been out of the house in their formative years.
Imagine, too, the experts telling you that YOU have to change the way you do things to accommodate these kids.
Train them the way you were trained, they say, and they won’t last.
Not only are there psychological and mental differences in these kids, many are physically incapable of qualifying for many jobs. The police, fire and military usually have openings, but even if you bring back the draft, many of the recruits are not physically capable of enduring the rigor of military training. You’d probably kill them, literally, before you whipped them into shape.
Think, too, of the social aspects these kids bring. It’s tough to go out on dates when you are sitting at a computer for much of your life.
Of course, not all kids are like that. Some are ambitious, and are looking at bright futures. While others are taught to settle, they dream of what could be if they work for it.
If you are one of those kids, there are many options out there to fulfill those dreams. To check out one of the best, message me. You might come across a story of an 18-year-old high school senior who made more money than any of his teachers.
Technology is both good and bad for us. It is up to us, at every age, to take full advantage of the good while overcoming the bad. Young people must learn skills that will give them a leg up in the work force, while, at the same time, getting up, getting active and interacting live with friends, family and others.
Peter

WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT?

#nextbigthing #technology #gamechangers #anthroposcene
Perhaps you wonder what your work life will be like in 10 years, or 20 years.
Perhaps you wonder what kind of business someone will invent that will change everything.
Well, there’s probably a group of well-funded thinkers that are wondering the same thing.
Elizabeth Preston, a correspondent for The Boston Globe, tackled this topic in an article published July 30, 2015.
Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, which makes electric cars, is among those funding studies that will help us prepare for the technology crises of the future.
Technology has changed many workplaces, and will continue to do so.
Uber has changed the way many people get around.
So what will be next?
“Real world scientists are thinking apocalyptically. Many believe that humans – sometime between inventing agriculture and reshaping the global climate –have created a new, global epoch,” Preston writes.
This age, informally called anthroposcene, will be the subject of a new section of the National Museum in Washington, D.C., Preston says.
We’ve already seen the world go from dinosaurs to robots, double-wings to drones. But what’s next?
You may be hearing things from investors that say they know what the next big thing is going to be, but they are only telling a few of their closest friends. To become such a friend, you have to pay money.
So what is it worth to you to have insight into a serious game-changer before everyone else does? As we all have seen, things we thought would be game-changers didn’t turn out as hyped. Some of the things have even become a pain to live with. For example, do you have a love-hate relationship with your smart phone, or computer? These devices have helped people do more things more quickly, but they also can, and have, complicated many lives.
The next big technology breakthrough may save lives, but may cost jobs.
The next big breakthrough could help us alter nature, but should we fool with nature like that? It may help us better prepare for bad weather, but bad weather is an everyday occurrence somewhere. Can we stop ALL such destruction?
So, are you, like these Musk-funded think tanks, obsessed with what technology will do in the future? Perhaps so, perhaps not.
If you want a simpler life, yet want to make more money than you are making now, without affecting what you are currently doing, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You see a way to put money in your pocket without having to invest in the next big thing.
Though we may reminisce about simpler times, few of us would care to go back there. In fact, it’s virtually impossible to go back there.
We merely take what is, adjust our lives accordingly and aim for something better. It’s certainly OK to dream, or think about, what can be. But it’s much safer to keep our thoughts in line with what we want for ourselves, and what we want for others. Finding ways to help others is perhaps the most virtuous of thoughts. Make that your next big thing.
Peter

HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY IS TOO MUCH?

Is the pace of technological change too fast for you?
To many, it is, but, like an avalanche, we are hard pressed to stop it or slow it.
Two columnists in the Feb. 2, 2014, edition of the Tennessean newspaper in Nashville weighed in on the subject.
Saritha Prabhu worries that smart phones make us stupid, and, while we are racing to make robots more human, we may be losing some of our humanity.
Prabhu saw the movie “Her,” with her son. It’s the story about a college freshman who falls in love with his artificial-intelligence-imbued operating system. It’s OK to love a device for what it does for you, but to “fall in love” with a device? Until the entire human anatomy becomes artificial, that’s physically impossible – or so it seems.
Meanwhile, business columnist Julie May talks about cars that drive themselves, virtual gaming and other technological advances that are either here, or rapidly approaching.
We’ve gone from seats that automatically adjust to your preferred driving position to backup cameras to cars that park themselves. May sees the day coming when cars will drive themselves. Indeed, TV news has also reported on cars that can communicate with other cars on the road, thus warning each other of trouble ahead – trouble that is currently out of human eyesight. Once the car is warned of trouble, it can act accordingly, thus avoiding an accident.
May talks about how the self-driving cars can enable a driver to, say, prepare for a meeting while his car is taking him to work. Or, how a driver can turn to the back seat and settle a dispute between or among children, while the car is driving itself to the destination.
Talk about implications for the future! Those of us at the beginning of our careers take heed. Think about how a machine could do your job! Impossible? Maybe now. But if you are young, you may see your job done by a machine eventually.
That device you might be falling in love with could put you out of work before you are ready to retire.
If you are in or near retirement, technology will undoubtedly make your elder years easier, and could prolong your life. Hopefully, you will never outlive your money!
Oh, you are so good at what you do that a machine could NEVER replace you? After all, machines can do simple things, but cannot possess human “creativity.” Don’t bet the farm that it will NEVER happen. And, if your job involves very little creativity, take it to the bank that you’ll see a machine do it eventually.
You older folks may have been FORCED to retire before you had enough money. Or, you gave your children lots of stuff and didn’t put away enough for your later years. Is there a way to deal with this?
There are many ways to create an income stream just in case a machine replaces you, or to boost your retirement nest egg. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You might see a “people” business for which technological advances will only be a plus.
As for technology advancement’s pace, it’s out of your hands. You can resist it personally by not availing yourself of these new products and devices, but your protest will not stop or slow anything. Eventually, you will succumb. So, you might find your stress level reduced if you EMBRACE change, rather than resist it.
If birth rates are already declining among some population groups, imagine how much they will decline if humans “fall in love” only with devices.
Peter

NO ONE HAS TO BE A VICTIM

Upward mobility in America is a myth.
People can’t get ahead because the “system” is keeping them down.
Thomas Sowell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a syndicated newspaper columnist, shoots holes in those “facts,” in a March 2013 column. Despite those conclusions from academic studies, Sowell says that if you look at individuals, there are clear models of upward mobility in America today.
He cites Asian immigrants, who came to the U.S. with little money, little, if any, command of English, but who have persevered and succeeded. Their children often do very well in school.
Success does not have to be for the privileged, or highly educated, few. There are many ways out there to be successful, regardless of background, birth or circumstance. To take advantage of those many opportunities, one has to, first, look for them. Once he has found one that suits him, he has to be determined to work at it. Once he’s done that, he has to help others do the same.
One of the reasons for Asian immigrants’ success is that they initially get help from those who came before them. Their grit and determination is a shining example to follow.
Admittedly, some folks who have done just about everything right can encounter curve balls that throw off their meticulous life plans. People can lose jobs. People can be shown the door by their employers, and have their careers cut short, because they reach a certain age. People can get ill, and see everything they’d worked for eaten up with medical bills, many of which could be outrageously high.
EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT
And, everyone is different. Some people willingly take charge of their lives. Some have trouble doing that. But, the ability to move up the economic ladder is still very much present. It just may not exist in certain areas anymore, because of technology and productivity increases.
Perhaps that good-paying job you had has gone away, and is not coming back. That doesn’t mean the system is keeping people down. It means that individuals have to look elsewhere for opportunity.
It is easy to get frustrated looking for opportunity, and fall into a funk. Then, you start to believe mobility is a myth and the system is against you. Those folks would be advised to know that circumstances may not be their fault, but how you react to them is clearly under their control.
Opportunities of the past may have passed. One might think of a generation or two ago, when a person got hired by an employer, with good pay and benefits, and that person could stay for life if he wanted to. There are few of those opportunities left. Today’s employment situation is very fluid, and probably will become more so with time. One has to look at a job as temporary, with limited duration, and spend some time outside of work looking for those golden opportunities.
Then, if confronted with one such opportunity, one has to have the courage to go for it, knowing that there will be people around to help them, when they are unsure of themselves.
Take care with whom you trust. There will be people who will see THEIR opportunity in YOU, and show you little or no appreciation for it. If you are in such a situation, look at it as a way to support yourself until your own plan, takes shape.
To look at one golden opportunity, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. The value will be obvious. The opportunity will be strictly up to you.
Don’t let yourself be a victim. Don’t become a statistic that will help justify the conclusion that mobility is a myth, and the system keeps people down. There is a whole contingent of people who don’t believe that for a minute. You’d be taking a step toward your own success if you hung among them.
Peter

TECHNOLOGY AND EDUCATION: PART 1

“If I had only an hour to live, I would spend it in this class because it feels like an eternity.”
That was one student’s comment to Jason B. Huett, a technology guru and University of West Georgia professor, when evaluating one of his courses.
Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, quoted Huett for the Dec. 10, 2012, edition. Huett was making the point that education is slow to change the way students are taught, despite the technological advances.
But a larger point might be: must students be bored in school?
As Downey paraphrases Huett, a frontier teacher from a century ago would be agape at the changes in the world, but the classroom would still largely look the same.
That teacher probably was taught that school needs to feel like work to a student. School should be the student’s job. When the student finishes school, he would go to a job that would be tedious and hard, so they had to learn to endure that in school.
If you read a typical textbook of yore, it’s hardly something you’d take to the beach to read – unless, of course you were cramming for an exam in the sun.
TEDIUM AND DUPLICATION
But what if teachers concentrated on ways to make learning more fun, or at least enjoyable? Sure, learning IS work, but a century ago, it seemed we taught students how to be good employees – how to duplicate repetitive tasks that they would do in the workplace when they graduated. We taught routine. We taught doing what you are told, and only asking questions if there was something you didn’t know.
In yesteryears, we gave students information in the only way we knew how. Today, however, students can get their own information through technology, faster than a teacher can convey it. The jobs of the future are going to require more innovation, because machines will handle the repetitive and tedious tasks.
Incidently, there are ways to make good incomes through repetition and duplication. To check out one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau.
But, if we want kids to be more innovative, the education system has to be more innovative. If we want kids to be more collaborative – employers are looking for good, team players – we have to teach them that collaboration trumps competition with those on the same team. Sure, we have to evaluate students in terms of what they’ve learned, but what if the grading system were less about beating the person next to you, and more about the student’s and the person next to him’s mutual achievement?
Technology is changing our workplaces, but it is changing our education system at a much slower pace, Downey paraphrases Huett. Huett refers to the education system as a factory model that puts students on a conveyor belt at medium speed.
The workplaces of yesteryear had few innovators. To compete globally as a nation, innovation has to be encouraged at the earliest stage of life possible. Technology can make education more productive, and, perhaps, more interesting to students.
How refreshing it would be for educators to have more students in their classroom who WANT to be there? The jobs of the future will be less repetitive, less duplicative and more innovative – no matter the level a person works in an organization. Workers will relish the mutual success with those around them. It will be work, but it will seem less like WORK. Why can’t school be work, but seem less like SCHOOL?
Peter