Monday, 5 December 2011

Small Son - Job Search

We have come to the end of small son's third year of study:  "International Import/Export"  Diploma. Sounds good, but small son seems blissfully unaware of the small field of jobs available for the 600,000 currently unemployed graduates in SA.  Partly the fault of students studying the wrong things: of course, we need scientists, engineers etc. but few wish to pursue those courses - they are just too darned hard and not glamorous. Small son also has always been more interested in his surfboard than his books. He also seem convinced that there is a way to earn easy money, or at least believes that he can find a job related to his field of study. NB. This is his first foray into the world of proper employment, his CV thus far consisting of a few modelling jobs in London and two years of delivering pizzas at night, plus a brief stint as a barman. He went for an interview last Friday, but although it went well, he is not impressed with the conditions of employment: a four-year contract, R10,000 per month in the first year, working in the store stacking shelves for five months, six days a week, working on all Public Holidays...  So he is not thrilled. He will refuse this offer and believes he will find something better. We'll see. I ought to reserve judgment: I think he forgets he has the wrong skin color to get any kind of job in SA. I might be wrong. He has one month before all parental support ceases - except that my husband won't let me eject him from our home. Then there's the other matter of him reversing into our electric gate last month, being too impatient to wait for it to open properly - the second time he's done this.  The first quote is R20,000 - much to small son's amazement.  We are still waiting for him to get another quote: luckily, I remembered not to transfer his monthly allowance (one month to go!) as this is the only way to galvanize him into action. More anon....


  1. You cover many topics rich for discussion! I must confess a certain amusement / sympathy with your ordeals fired only by familiarity with the subject at hand. You can hand a lad a set of oars but you can't force him to row! And now you know why I want to embarrass my son when my wife and I croak!

    The issue of education is another field rich for discussion. We have been over educating people in the US for decades. Now there is some thought that the universities are creating far more law schools than what is necessary, so not only will we have liberal arts students managing the local McDonalds, but perhaps a lawyer as well. A Japanese CEO said in the early 90s that America had far too many lawyers and investment bankers and too few engineers. Its true! Higher education becomes a business unto itself that answers to no one and prepares an awful lot of people for Graphic and Communication Design, Film Studies, Sociology, Economics, Psychology. Where are the jobs?

    The problem with engineering is that it is difficult course work then when you find a job the money is not great and the hours suck. Although that is still better than having a degree in film studies and flipping hamburgers.

    Well I hope you son can find something. It is a tough job market in the world today.

  2. I have been reading some of your old posts, and noticed several times that you wanted to know how to post pictures at given places in your text. I can only tell you how to do it with the old interface. I tried the new updated interface and had nothing but problems with it and went back to the old interface. That was a while ago, I should try the new interface again. I think I had the same problem with it rotating the photo, (garage shot of the KKK vacuum system).

    So on the old interface, on top of the editing window there are two tabs, EDIT HTML and COMPOSE. Use the COMPOSE tab. Write out your text first and get it edited & proof read. Now where ever you want to insert the photo, break the paragraph into two paragraphs separated by a blank line. Put your cursor in the blank line and click the photo icon. When the photo loads into your editing window, click on it. A small menu bar will appear, and you can choose a size and a position for your photo & enter a caption.

    I have had a lot of trouble with photos in my blog and have just accepted the fact that sometimes they are going to be screwed up. I have also found that moving the photo with the cursor sometimes works but usually don't. I would recommend deleting the photo from the wrong spot and reloading it to the correct spot using the procedure above. Use the preview function to play with the thing before publishing your post. It does not look the same in the published version as it does in the edit window. so you usually have to fool with it to get it right. I usually find I have to add a blank line from the above paragraph and remove a blank line from the text next to the embedded photo. You will have to play with it, and I have found it to be klunky at best.

    You can move photos in the EDIT HTML window by creating the spaces in your text. Load the photo, which will always load at the top. Copy and paste the photo's code to the blank line in your text, then delete it from the top. The code is about 4 lines of HTML gobbly gook and you have to get it all. Note how the text looks before you load the photo it will start with <> and end with with some command inside the arrows. I can't remember how to position it as far as left center right. It is a real pain in the ass (sorry but the acronym doesn't convey my sentiment).

    I suspect that some of these blogs where you see with perfect photo placement and the text just so are being written on external HTML editors and copy and pasted into blogger, or else the person just knows how to manipulate the code. I have never been wildly impressed with the editor in blogger.

  3. Thanks for these tips. I shall take note and have a go when my brain is in gear.

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