Happy Labor Day, from Victoree

Rosie The Riviter Honor Labor poster

Rosie says…

It’s the last party of the summer. It’s the holiday before we hang up our bathing suits and face the fact that last fall’s clothes don’t fit. After the heartburn from the hot dogs is long gone, we launch into the matter of school–beginning with, “what is school for?”

trinity-knot-clipart-1Whether we in this society state it clearly enough, consider that an active, successful producer in the workforce is the end product of schooling. We go to school to go to work and expect to work darned hard, too. Here’s a twist on that from the founder of Mindvalley,  Vishen Lakhiani. Over the years, industry has uncoupled itself from any responsibility for training and the task floated to education to basically prepare new entrants to the workforce. So, education and industry work hand in hand (or they used to). Instead, Industry and Education became like long-married people who grow apart over the years. This is why companies grumble when they discover they have acquired new hires who do not “come up to spec”. They feel somehow that they have been “cheated” and the schools have “failed” because the product they were promised never shows up. The relationship of school and industry is essentially a provider-consumer relationship. Then, we as a society hope that the schools we release our precious youth to, these educational expert partners we support with our taxes will somehow accomplish this:

  •  turn out good, patriotic citizens
  • caring, concerned parents
  • generally moral people

Yes, I said, “turn out”, because, let me repeat, the unspoken social contract school has with industry is that school will do the workforce preparation and industry will provide the employment. Religious institutions have the job of providing the moral piece. However, something has happened to “the triple knot” of home, school and business.

Whether you will be returning to school, college or work, remember on Labor Day (before the heartburn after that hamburger) that an honest day’s labor is an honorable thing to be celebrated. Work is not a curse. It is a blessing.

Happy Labor Day, from Victoree





Merry Christmas from Victoree

View of the winter bridge

View of the winter bridge

A season of rest at last!

All the planning, decorating, baking, stamp-licking, gift hunting and general flying anxiety is done!

Let it go, my brothers and sisters. Give yourself permission to let it go.

Be satisfied within your soul that you did a great job. Repeat after me: It’s beautiful! Congratulate yourself even if the cake fell and the roast burned to a smoking crisp.

Everything that did not get done by now, will not get done and it’s OK. Really. Hit the pause button on the job search.

It is time to relax, enjoy and celebrate. Here come the parties, the cookies, the wonderful flavors and the extra calories. Join the dance, if only for a brief while (be careful, if you’re carb sensitive like yours truly. Watch the meter! Eat mindfully).

Embrace the season. The old year is leaving the building.

Have a very Merry Christmas and may prosperity catch up with you and give you a big kiss in the new year.

-Victoree –

(Victoree is celebrating Christmas this week. She’ll be back by Hogmanay)


Retirement 29 Days Later: YOU Without The Company

Newly retired man looking to the future

Who IS that guy?

My husband told me that as a child, he had always known his grandpa to be a strong,vivacious, active person. On one visit to his grandpa a month or two after his grandpa’s retirement my husband relayed how grieved and saddened he was when he asked, “where is grandpa?” and was pointed to a silent, wizened old man sitting in a chair in a corner. Grandpa died not long after that visit. That story and several more have boiled for several years in my mental cauldron about the emotional space work takes up in our lives. Should I be so blessed, yes, the gypsy lady will reach the 3-score mark in 2014. (I’ll tell you when to save the date for the on-line celebration!)

There was a time that the average lifespan in the United States was approximately 50 years. Women died shortly after the end of the childbearing years. My grandmother probably did not worry much about post menopause because she did not live long after “Aunt Flo” stopped dropping by. 40 was old for a woman especially if she was not wealthy. Many men retired at 25 or so years of service–about age 50– and died shortly after receiving their “watch and roses”. I do not believe my grandfather worried about outliving his pension when he simply closed his eyes and stepped from life to eternity during a baseball game one afternoon. According to my mother, he was holding me on his lap.

“You without the company” simply did not exist for my grandparents, but it is an in-your-face issue for the gypsy lady and classmates–the boomer generation. We can very well expect to live another 20 years at least after the old standard retirement age of 65. This is the beginning of YOU without the company: 30 days into retirement somebody else shows up in the mirror.  Is that person friend or foe; familiar or total stranger?



Enjoy the ride

Today, we will begin a thoughtful look at  “retirement“. We enter the economic system on the first day of our first job and some of us exit the economic system on the last day of employment – elective or not. There is so much discussion about the subject around the cyber world and in every place else from board rooms to the halls of government, so let us broach the subject in these pages. Let us drill down to what seems to be the general western attitude about the end of work life, aging, and the like. The point of reference in these pages is the United States of America, but I hope it will inspire thought and research about working where ever on earth you live. You know the gypsy lady, the history buff, who makes connections in history and reads its meaning like tea leaves.

Let us walk back and stop at points of reference for the idea of retirement, then leap ahead to investigate new ways of being in this brave new stage of life.  We will visit early America before he industrial revolution came to these shores. The discussion will then travel briefly to 19th century USA, the times of the “captains of industry”, the “men who built America”, like Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnage, John D. Rockefeller and Henry ford, when some of the ideas about work and retirement from the labor force began.  I promise you we will visit some unusual places where we will see some out-of the ordinary sights.

On to the adventure!



Your Own Business, Part II: Orders of Beasts in The Work World-W2’s and 1099’s

caballero8Last time, we were talking about your personal, specific “reason why” after making the decision to “start up” or begin hatching a creature never seen om earth before–your new business. By the way, there are websites especially to help hatch and nurture start-ups including the one here: “Start Up Nation” 

There are many configurations of businesses. I am referring basically to the situation in the USA. A job seeker may harken to some advice to take the path of Independent contracting-consulting or the “1099 path”. This means whoever temporarily employs your consult is not responsible for paying you anything else other than what your agreed upon consultation contract includes.You have responsibility to provide your own benefits. Oh, no! Promises should never be made nor the handshake given merely on the spoken word. Better that a contract spelling out specifically the responsibilities of each party in the agreement be passed and signed.

Of course, I am naming these economic based relationships by the form used by the IRS to declare income .You see, in the world of work, people are either companies, employees,  or consultants/aka Independent Contractors. Employees are W2’s. They do a specific, described job for a corporation for a long term.  Employees are like spouses in the work world. Independent consultants are 1099’s. In contrast, independent contractors/consultants sell their services for a fee, are  not employees of the firm served and  only obligated to that company for the life of that specific project or job. Independent consultants are more like gypsy courtesans. They are specialists who are actually in business for themselves.

Some people actually uncover their next employment opportunity while doing 1099 contracting. They decide to “get married” and “take the name” of the company (Hi! I’m an accountant at XXX corporation). Independent contracting/consulting is an acquired taste, but some job seekers who discover it begin to  like the spiky taste of this lifestyle so much that being an employee and staying in one company for days of years begins to look like a glass of plain tap water in comparison to Long Island Ice Tea. Got the spirit of a gambler? Don’t mind ambivalence? Becoming a 1099 independent contractor might be just the thing.