Too many jobs & Anonymous

Subject: Too many jobs & Anonymous
From: Michael Andrew Uhl <uhl -at- VISLAB -dot- EPA -dot- GOV>
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 1998 16:56:56 -0500


I moved to the Research Triangle Park, NC area in 1991 and I am very
happy I did. Along with my wife, I owned a small business in Buffalo,
New York. In the current government and business climate, I would most
definitely *NOT* want to move or start a business in New York State. The
state government is hostile to business.

On the other hand, North Carolina was very helpful and friendly when I
started and then ended a corporation in this state. If I was a
businessman looking for a place to locate my offices, I would be very
attracted to this location, though not as much as a few years ago.
(Automobile traffic conditions have gotten much worse these last few

It is clear that there are some states friendly to business and some
not-so-friendly. Taxes, infrastructure, utility costs, legal factors,
cost of living, climate, and culture are important factors, along with
the labor pool, when deciding where to open new business offices.

My superficial impressions from newspapers, magazines, and television,
states such as Michigan, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvannia, Illinois,
California, Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, and most of the East Coast, are
that these are relatively expensive places to run a business. Places
such as North Dakota, South Dakota, and Idaho are a bit cheaper in most
ways but salaries: you have to offer outrageous salaries to get people
to move there. Gateway, for example, offers some very hefty salaries.
That's great if you like cows and wide open spaces. ;-)

Business leaders, look for the balance in expense--or go where *they*
like when they're willing to sacrifice a little profit--when choosing a
place to operate their business.

About Living in a Depressed Area

Here's some career advice I learned the hard way: if you live in a
depressed area of the U.S., you really ought to move. If you have lots
of family where you are, get at least some of them to move with you.
Otherwise, be prepared to work in fear of being laid off without any
other employers around to hire you. Or for example, if you own a house,
who will buy it when you're laid off? Ask folks from Schenectady, NY.
General Electric closed up shop and killed that small city. Selling a
house was almost impossible as just about any price when hundreds go on
the market at the same time in a place where jobs are sparse. Ask people
in Rochester, NY; Kodak and Xerox are withering and taking Rochester
with them.

My place of birth, Buffalo, NY, began a slow death in the 1960s when the
St. Lawrence Seaway redirected lake freighter traffic through the
Welland Canal. The Queen City is now an old widow on her deathbed.
Thousands of workers have migrated from Western New York south and west
during the eighties and nineties. Moving here was very good for me and
my family.


About Mr. Anonymous...

I have to agree with those colleagues who have suggested this fellow has
warped sense of reality and a severe lack of gratitude. Be happy you
have a job that pays well and in a profession with great opportunity and
excitement. As for money, those with even a little wisdom do not measure
success by the size of the paycheck. On the other hand, when you have
responsibilities, such as a family, you have to earn some minimal wage,
though not at the expense of your family's happiness and need for your
being there. Do you what you love and the money will follow. It sounds
like a cliche, but I have seen it happen over and over. Did you notice
how many TECHWR-Lers wrote that they're technical writers because they
*love* to write? BTW, I do it because *I* love to write, among many
other reasons.

In his letter to the Philippians (4:11), Paul writes "...I have learned
to be content whatever the circumstances." He was able to do this
because he did not build his happiness around circumstances. Build your
happiness around something greater than what the world can steal or
degrade; fix your eyes on a goal that does not change with changing
circumstances. Perhaps Shakespeare has an answer for Mr./Ms. Anonymous
in his Sonnet 116.


Conclusion: Be Happy

We are in a great profession. It's young, vibrant, growing, and so
wonderfully relevant to the new developments in our Information Age
economy. If you cannot be happy in this profession, the problem isn't
the profession; you need to make changes in your life, whether it's
changing jobs, companies, location, climate, elevation, or getting out
altogether, In today's economy and technological environment, we're
where it's happening. And as for me, I love it and am very content.

Michael Andrew Uhl (mailto:uhl -at- vislab -dot- epa -dot- gov)
Lockheed Martin - U.S. EPA Scientific Visualization Center
Ph. (office) 919.541.4283; 919.541.3716 (lab)
P.O. Box 14365 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

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