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Sportswriter or sprinkler installer? Trib's McGrath ponders...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Cousin Jeffrey, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

  2. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    About two years ago, I turned down a chance to jump to a job installing fire sprinklers in buildings. I felt the monotony would almost suffocate me due to my extremely adult ADD brain. Still, I sometimes wonder if I made the right choice.
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    All buildings need fire sprinkers. No one needs journalists, it appears. You do the math.
  4. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Cousin Jeff: Thanks for the link. For some reason, I felt optimism after reading McGrath's column.

    Maybe because it reminded me of my first job ... at Jewel, a grocery store chain in Chicagoland. One day, the 16-year-old me and lots of other pimple-faced baggers went into the breakroom to learn about the newest innovation: plastic bags.

    I'll never forget one line: "In a couple of months, no one will ask for paper bags anymore."

    I just went to the grocery store this weekend -- 21 years later -- and had my stuff put in a paper bag. They still hold more stuff and work better than plastic.

    The moral of this story: It's easy for all of us to be pessimistic that in a couple of months, "no one will ask for newspapers anymore." But old habits die hard (thankfully)!
  5. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    How is that a depessing story about a journalism career?
    In the end, the sprinkler fitters union hasn't even run apprentice classes since 2007 because THERE ARE NO JOBS!
    400 of their 1,400 members are UNEMPLOYED (that's 28.6%). Hundreds of others are UNDEREMPLOYED, working only 2 or 3 days a week.

    Once again, fellas, the grass in not always greener. The "outside" world right now is just as ugly as the newspaper industry.
  6. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    Well, seeing as this isn't a sprinkler union web site, it's depressing for journalists, because he's even entertaining the thought (not for himself, but for writers in general). There are more cuts coming at the Trib in a week or so, so this has a foreboding to it. not that his story makes the overall situation more or less depressing. i thought it was excellent.
  7. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    If you think about it ... since a lot of old buildings are already retrofitted because of fire codes, where do they install sprinklers mostly these days? In new construction. How much new construction is going on right now?

    I went home over the weekend for a quick visit and the unemployment rate in my old hometown is 16 percent. My old neighbor said it never got that high even in the Depression in that town.

    If you have a job now, it's best to stick with it and ride it out.
  8. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Great work if you can get it. I spent two glorious summers flushing scale and muck out of sprinkler systems and inspecting them. I learned a little about pipe fitting along the way, too. It was at a manufacturing plant, so I'd have to climb enormous extension ladders to get to reach some of the sprinkler heads. I'd be sweating bullets halfway up from a combination of pure fear and the heat at the top of the warehouses. I also was responsible for a flood that wrecked about 10 palettes of cake mix the second summer when I failed to correctly shut down the system before removing a sprinkler head. The best part was that we got our own golf cart with a flashing red light.
  9. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Old habits might die hard, but the people who have the newspaper-buying habit are dying same old ways as always.

    If you had seen only old-timers sticking with paper while younger generations were quite content to go with plastic bags, you might have a different situation at grocery checkouts now. That's where the news bidness is different. The kids don't want paper bags anymore!
  10. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    I like the sprinkler system piece better than this one:


    Awfully rah-rah for a guy who was the paper's sports editor before he recently got demoted. It includes this:

    "It was one of those nights when you just felt good about being from Chicago," Tahlier said, "like when President Obama got elected."

    Michael Jordan might want to remind the Tribune that Republicans buy newspapers, too.
    Sometimes they even advertise in them.
  11. stix

    stix Active Member

    That's a good point.

    Even the porn industry is suffering. Still need for bartenders, though. Hell, in these economic times, people are drinking more than ever.
  12. CM Punk

    CM Punk Guest

    I don't find it depressing. I find it encouraging. It reminds me that whenever the economy starts to pull out of the recession, there will remain a hell of a lot more opportunity in most other industries while the news corporations will likely continue the death spiral.
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