This post by Alejo Aragon, where he writes about discovering the world behind the scenes of internet businesses via data entry is what inspired this piece. It really is something that should not be taken for granted, and I also know from experience. The world has changed. We do not live in the same arena we did 10, or even 5 years ago, and we are not going back.
In December 2001 I was finishing up working with a Masonry Heater outfit, and I was in a pretty bad truck wreck. I walked away from the accident, but barely. I was driving down a hill on un-sanded ice, under the speed limit on a Maine back road and the truck wheels lost hold, my truck spun out of control. Picking up speed down the hill, I slammed into, and wrapped my truck around a tree at the bottom of the hill. Of course I was wearing my seat belt, and if I had not relaxed my body to avoid stress injuries and slumped sideways to protect my head, the 6″ branch that utterly obsoleted the driver side window would have killed me dead, for sure, the permanent kind, as in “Rob no longer exists”. Too bad I am not some kind of junkie; I could have gotten free health care for my injuries. I suffered two bulged, and one herniated disc. I could barely walk; my pelvis was tilted and twisted. I could not lift my right leg 8 inches, but I could lift my left leg over my head and hold it there. It was really weird. The pain seemed multi-dimensional. I was fortunate that one of the best chiropractor and spine specialists in the US happened to live and work close by, so I was happy to spend what savings I had on sessions with him.
I spent most of the next three months on my stomach. I was doing a Winter house-sit at a place that had internet, so guess what? I started researching environmentally responsible products as they relate to construction, and I started teaching myself code. There I was, lying on my stomach, in the middle of a Maine Winter having crazy, seriously insane back spasms, doing research and learning code. I taught myself HTML, that’s what was mainly happening back then, and no sooner did I learn it, it became nearly defunct as a stand-alone programming language with the advent of CSS and a more pronounced dynamic internet dependence on a programming code called PHP (Personal Home Page Tools).
About 8 years of chronic pain which gleefully was not permanent, a few hundred hours of Yoga, many adjustments, and a world of experience later there are things I can do with my back now that I could not do when I was a Buck. From time to time I still have spasms down the entire right side of my body, those sharp pains that remind me how proud I am to have skills and to be a contributor. And since then I have tried my hand at a couple of internet projects where I had to use the HTML, the CSS and the PHP. It’s not easy. It really is not easy.
It’s the kind of sometimes grueling mental work where you bury your head in it and look up at the clock in what seems like five minutes, and three hours have passed. Then you look up at the clock in what seems like two hours, and only ten minutes have gone by. It messes with your head. The people who devise and work on this stuff are champions. That is why I have to express that Workhands.us is for real.
I have spoken with these guys, they have added me to their industry board, they respect my experience and my knowledge, and that of the others on the board. They are reaching out to people like me in building the business. I’m lucky. In the words of John Lennon, “A working class hero is something to be”, and these guys are working class heroes. All my new heroes are nerds. We come from similar working class backgrounds and they have a genuine appreciation and honor for their Blue Collar heritage.
Workhands is the bridge between the old world and the new world of labor. What is happening here, and what their plans are will definitely change everything, and it’s about time someone stepped up for the working people. We have to look out for each other since it is obvious at this point it’s not coming from anywhere else.
The world IS a different place. The old ways are not coming back. The people in politics try to blame the other people in politics for the difficulties people are having facing it, and rather than helping people face it they use it for political opportunities. But the digital age has changed the way we deal with information. All of our economic issues are not about outsourcing, some of it is about obsolescence, and those jobs are not coming back. I never would have thought in a million years when I started my Brickie Apprenticeshipthat I’d be doing something like this.
I guess when I had that accident in 2001 I was just lucky I was driving a very solidly built Ford Ranger, made in my Blue-as-hell-Collar home town of Detroit Michigan, where I was taught to wear my seat belts, that were insisted upon by Ralph Nader. So yeah, in this world of virtual assistants, digital storage, telecommuting, and performance based pay, some things change, and they don’t go back. But some things don’t change. If you want to learn something you can, no one can stop you, and maybe YOU’D BETTER.
Photo courtesy of: Onno Zweers