Where have all the young men gone?

Running a business today is much harder than it was 20 years ago. Although I know more now than I did then, and experience saves me a lot of time and money, there are just too many changes that have taken place since I began my venture.

Probably the biggest difference that stands out most today is the lack of a labor pool, especially that of the young man. Times today have created a void for us in finding a young male between 16-21 who wants to work and learn a trade for his future. Too many young boys and teens grow up in a home where they need absolutely nothing. They are given things now that you and I didn’t have until we worked and earned the money to buy them. For instance, our first cars. I paid $700 for my first car in 1978, a 1969 Chevelle Malibu, with 49,000 miles. I thought I hit the jackpot when I found that car.  Today, if you told your son he would have to drive a car that cost less than $1000.00 he would laugh at you. Today, as he would have it, he would be driving a leased Honda or Nissan worth some $25,000.00.

The point is, that teenage boys do not have the need nor the sense of urgency to go out and work as we did when we were the same age. Teenage boys today ride $300 bicycles, wear $100 sneakers and listen to music on their $400 I-Touch phones. The only way a teenage boy gets these things is from his parents. So with all the toys you already possess, what gives you the reason to work?

I hear a lot of people complain that the Mexicans have stolen away all our jobs. I hear that the Indians and the Asians are taking over all the local businesses. I hear all this but what I see is that there aren’t any young American males even applying for these so called stolen jobs. Americans have become lazy. Most Americans today think everything is owed to them. That’s why no one wants that landscaping job, that dishwasher job or that line cook job. No young male wants to paint a home, wash a car or dig a hole. Oh yeah, he will come in for a job and demand a salary that was once reserved for a seasoned, experienced worker even without the training or knowledge of the work he will need to perform.

I have been running our business since I was 23 years old. Okay, I am one of the lucky ones in so much that my dad put up the money to open the business. But I am also the one who sacrificed my twenties and thirties to build this successful business. I have tried in vein for the last 15 years to find someone to take over this business. I have looked for a young man with the desire and passion I had at 23 years old to teach my trade to. I always believed that I would someday pass the torch to the next generation baker to carry on my work. That dream for me died a slow death. I no longer believe in the young American male with a passion for anything. If he is out there, he is a hidden gem among a bevy of stones.

It is sad to think that my generation has given so much to their children that they took away the thing that made us who we are. Was it that we felt we needed to give our kids more than we had growing up? How do you now tell your kid he has to get a job for minimum wage and earn the money for that phone? I think parents are more concerned with pacifying their kids than parenting them. It is rare today to see a parent reprimand their child, tell them “no” and mean it. “No” today means “not now but in five minutes or so.”  No used to mean no, and then it was followed by a back hand if you didn’t listen.

What used to be taught to kids was if you wanted something you had to work for it. Nothing was supposed to come easy to us. That was the American way. You worked hard, earned what you got and no one could take that away from you. Today, everything is to easy to attain.

Where have all the young men gone? They are home playing video games……..

Just one man’s opinion

The Regular Guy

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