As much as this thread hits close to home, and I feel the pain of my SA friends and ATS'ers, we CAN make it!
Let me tell you about my life. I finished High School in South Africa in 1994. I wanted to become an engineer - but my parents just did not have the
money to help me go to university. I was fortunate to land a job working at an electrical wholesale company, as a store man / slave (call it that). I
earned US$250/month.... Yes, you read that right US$250/Month - Before taxes!
I used to build shelves, lie on the ground in a uniform, getting all dirty to make sure the bolts and nuts at the base were solidly in place to take
the weight of electrical cables. I used to roll off SWA (Steel Wired Armored) cabling off huge wooden drums, and then cut them with a hacksaw for
customers - That S*it is heavy like hell, and Hard physical labor! And I did much more.
I worked hard, got a raise and promotion. Then another company approached me, hearing of my hard work and dedication. I joined the Architectural
Hardware world. The company wanted me in a sales position, as I had worked myself into that position at my current company.
I accepted, but ONLY on the basis that I spent 4 months working in production to learn not only the products, But how they were made, and what their
attributes / capabilities / capacities were. I worked mechanical presses and all kinds of machinery. Not only did this impress the directors, but I
forged a bond with the staff in manufacturing that lasted for my career there.
In fact, never ONCE did they deny my request for help when I was in sales, and a customer needed something urgent. Whilst I worked there for 8 years
(and staying with my parents), I saved up the money to study part time - All out of my pocket. (I still paid housekeeping to Dad!)
I worked Mondays to Thursdays 7:30 - 5pm, Fridays 7:30 - 3pm. EVERY Tuesday and Thursday I left the office at 4:30pm to go to lectures until 9-10pm at
night (I could leave at 4:30 because I NEVER took a lunch hour - gobbled my food up, and back to work!)
EVERY Saturday I was at lectures from 8am until 2pm. I had to complete assignments every semester, and man were they hard. Not to mention final
examinations! At this time, I was still going to gym 6 Days a week. A 4yr part time degree (BBA) was completed in 3-1/2yrs! I was exhausted..., but It
was part of bettering myself.
I applied to immigrate to Canada, and now here I am. My entire family lives back in South Africa, and I live here on my own, thankfully making ends
Moral of the story - Don't EVER give up! In 1995 earning US$250/month - I could have thrown the towel in, but I didn't. I took small steps to build
"the ladder" and climb to where I am now.
Guys & Gals - It's hard for us younger generation - No Doubt! But we must find the ways to overcome this global 'epidemic'. The Chinese factories
and government take advantage of their people - I know, we lost many jobs at my old company in SA due to this. However, how long can it last, before
the poorer nations people Demand a higher standard of living (wage)? What will happen then
(PS - I'm not a US basher - so don't flame me - but many US companies have sold their people out. I've seen many US companies here in Canada move
to China, India and Mexico for lower labor costs - hurting both US & Canadian workers! - so we feel it to)