Don’t Like Your Life?

This will be easy for me to write, as a white male in America. It needs to be talked about, so here goes. Let’s talk about opportunity in America.

The basis for my beliefs is this: I personally know, (and know OF many more) people of multiple races, both genders, and from all financial backgrounds, that have managed to become insanely successful business people in America. I would have left off the “business people” part, but it was recently pointed out to my by an astute colleague that “successful” means different things to different people. I will concede this point, and specifically talk about business success.

So, if I know people; black, white, latino, asian, male, female, from wealth, from poverty, from middle class… all of which have become successful business people…

… how can anyone say that opportunity is only for middle and upper class white males and for assorted “lucky” minority group members?

I hear this same line of crap almost daily, especially since I began this site. People send me tons of email telling me that my perspective is whacky because I’m a caucasian male from a middle-class family.

I don’t claim to know what it’s like to be in a minority group, but I know that being successful isn’t easy for anyone, including me. I’ve had a heck of a time getting to where I’m at, and I had to work my ever-loving BUTT off. I worked 10-12 hours a day, followed by 6-8 hours of classes, in addition to the normal life stuff. My first job involved hot wax and dimly-lit rooms (I swear… the truth) and I made just over minimum wage. Yup… me… middle-class caucasian boy.

I knew I’d better take those big 180 dollar checks and apply them to my future, lest I be earning 180 a week at age 40, so I went to the community college. You know why? Because the high school I went to didn’t have counselors to show us dumb 18 year olds how to apply for scholarships, so even though I was Salutatorian of my class, I didn’t get a single scholarship. I couldn’t afford to go to any university… so off to the community college I went.

Meanwhile, I worked my butt off at work. I exceeded my production quotas every day, because I wanted to succeed. My boss recognized my hard work, and since I was taking computer classes at the community college, allowed me to move into a computer department. Had I not been spending that fat check on school, and been working my butt off at work, I would not have been moved into computers.

I continued to work my butt off in the computer department, and exceeded my production quotas daily there, too. I finished my Associates Degree, and was promoted at my job. Not because I was white or middle class, but because I had gone to school, and worked my butt off at work, outperforming my coworkers.

Everyone in the department I began supervising said I got the job because I was a suck up.

So, at this point, I was feeling even more oppressive feelings and knew for a fact I didn’t want to be tied into a boring dead-end job for very much longer.

I bit the bullet. I lived in my parent’s basement so I could pay the out-of-state tuition at the University of Missouri in KC. Yes, Out. Of. State. 580$ PER credit hour. Plus fees. Plus books. That’s $10,000 per semester. $20,000 per year. I couldn’t afford to go out anywhere. Ever. Even living in my parent’s basement, I still racked up debt beyond belief. But I knew if I stayed on it, it would pay off. I didn’t have time or energy to date at all. I was literally working either on work or on school for 19-20 hours a day, 6 or even 7 days per week. You tell me, when could I have fit in a relationship? Yeah right.

People teased me incessantly about living at home. They called me the “weird nerdy guy that lives with mom.” And I knew I was just hanging on till the tables turned.

I finished my Bachelor’s degree and was immediately offered a promotion at my job, which I turned down, because it was in a crappy part of the country. Once again… I’m abitious, but I’m patient. Not six months later, I was offered my current job. Making a lot more money. Seriously. A lot.

Oh yeah, after my BA, I bought a killer new house, a new car, two puppies… the list goes on. I had to defer gratification for a long time… nearly 9 years, but you know what… without deferring the gratification, I’d still be working for peanuts in a dead-end job on a production line somewhere.

Could I have gotten this current job without all of the previous work experience and the BA? Not a chance.

And guess what, I’m doing the MBA now, because I know that if I stop spending the time and money to better myself, I’ll never be able to grow to the next level.

Now, once I find Ms. Right, the ducks will all be in a row, the stars will be aligned, and the hard work will have payed off completely.

But I ask you… couldn’t ANYONE do what I did?

Of course they could!
Regardless of age, race, blah blah blah.

You don’t even have to have good grades to get into a community college. But if you get good grades there, you get to go to the university…

Every decision you make, to do something, to not do something, to spend money on something, to not spend money on something, to spend time on something, to not spend time on something, has a profound affect on the rest of your life.

So, your parents hate you and won’t let you live in the basement? Somebody will. Even if you have to pay a couple hundred a month to rent a shabby room somewhere, you can still do this. It’ll just take a little longer.

So don’t give me your liberal, whiny, “the man’s keeping me down”, moronic, victim crap anymore. Do I think I’m smarter than anyone else? Heck no. The more I’ve learned the dumber I feel.

But I’m sure as hell a lot more dedicated, focused, and determined than a lot of people out there. Yup. I said it. I, Incredipete the Incredi, have a whole heck of a lot of drive and determination.

Don’t like your life? It’s your fault. Fix it.

  31 comments for “Don’t Like Your Life?

  1. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Dhanzaess This reminds me of a conversation I got dragged into recently at my pub. It was something about some young guy whining because his parents were spending family money rather than giving it to him. Let’s just say my opinion regarding “That’s not money that YOU earned so you have no RIGHT to it!” wasn’t too popular.

  2. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Steph aka “Ste”tard Don’t mean to make excuses for anyone. The sad part is that the victim-group leadership in this country works the blame and entitlement strategy, which is ineffective. Some times I think a lot of adults are children in big bodies. I am afraid my little friend will go on to make very bad decisions; there will be people along the way to tell him he needs to change, and when he doesn’t, he can’t be helped. But ultimately, you’re absolutely right–the opportunity is there for the taking. Some people just won’t climb up to get it. Be thankful for what you have and admire those who overcame great odds to get to great places.

  3. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Incredipete So my point doesn’t get lost… I think it sucks when children get “left behind.” But the truth is, some day he is not going to be a child. He’s going to be a grown up, and all grown ups in America are allowed to make whatever choices they want to. He has a bigger hill to climb with what I’m sure will amount to very low self esteem. I think often we let someone take the excuse of a very screwed up childhood and let them use it the rest of their life. That helps no one.

  4. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Steph I work with a child regularly whose mother never shows up to work in the classroom when she has agreed to, whose father has abandoned him, whose uncle killed himself, who never has a parent accompany him on special parent-child field trips, who has nobody at home who cares whether or not his homework gets done, who is never told he is smart or funny. He is a very lonely and sad little boy with no self confidence. All the other mothers do their best to fill in, but he knows the difference. He has no after-school activities, no sports, no piano lessons, no notes from mom or dad at Back-to-School night (I wrote one for him instead, and sent him a mother’s Valentine). He will be in a gang by the time he’s 16. I believe he’s given more opportunity than most kids because he’s in a program full of mothers who care about their own kids and other people’s kids, but he’s going to be in a gang, just as soon as he figures out that those men “care” about him. Finally someone to care. I’m a conservative (voted for Bush twice), but I know how things work. Incredipete is an example of what makes this country great. This boy I describe is an example of shitty parenting and why sometimes opportunities in the best goddamned country in the world go unrealized. Sad and true. It happens all. the. time.

  5. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Incredipete Well, “Where am I?”, assuming you aren’t using a proxy server, you’re in Dubai, UAE.

  6. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Incredipete’s Heterosexual Gay Friend I don’t usually post. This is because I usually suck the website off the internet and view it offline so that Incredipete can’t track my stats. 😛 I’ll vouch for the dimly lit rooms with hot wax though. But as I remember it, we also used razor blades and worked horribly late hours. Now there’s a good combination.

  7. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Where am I? Just curious…you sed you could track IP’s. I am meaning no harm….

  8. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: wilberteets Incredipete, you are to be commended for what you have accomplished. You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT in what you said. A guy told me awhile back how “lucky” I am. I’m lucky that I get paid as much as I do to do work I love. I told him that it’s amazing how the harder I work, the “luckier” I get. Incidentally, the person who was smirking at my luck is a guy who doesn’t keep a job and hasn’t gotten anywhere in life so far. I guess he’s just not lucky like me and you.

  9. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: odaresilv Gosh, I go out of town for one day and miss a lot! Don’t mind the haters there are those of us that still love you! And for those that check from your old work, aren’t they wasting time checking and reading your diary? Plus the time it takes to read and reply to all those personal emails lots of them get everyday, some of them almost pornographic at times. I know someone is supposed to be watching us on our computers now at work, but why hasn’t anything been done about that yet? Sorry I’m bitter too but aren’t we all at sometime. Keep up the good work!

  10. You
    November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: You know You know Incredipete, you seem to have alot of time to on your hands, if you keep excel spreadsheets of people who hit your site, plus, take time to figure how many hits come from your former employers. I mean, really, who cares… What a waste of time to keep track of it. I hate to say it but, you brought alot of these things that happened (or so called happened) on yourself. I’ve read a few of these postings that you’ve put on here and at some times, you seem to be a bitter person. And when someone calls you out, you can’t take it but, you sure can dish it out. I feel sorry for you.

  11. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: incredime You know, if you don’t put the trash out i can’t go through it!! GEEZ!! Sorry the cookies made you sick, I put rat poison on them. Hee Hee. Sorry I missed the excitement from the old employer, Sounds like same old stuff different day huh? Anyways, just remember some of us miss you buthead.

  12. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Incredipete When I get my dander up, the only thing different about me is that my blood pressure spikes and my ears turn red.

  13. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Nightmare Wow when I get my dander up I make all kinds of gramatical errors and bad speling and stuff. I’m looking very ghetto. knowwhatimsayin?

  14. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Incredipete Strangely, the stalkers almost never leave comments. They prefer to show up at my house, or mail “fresh” cookies, or go through my garbage, etc…

  15. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: warcrygirl Ste: with all due respect that’s a load of bullshit. In this day and age you’d have to be one stupid idiot to believe that no one in this country had any opportunity. People who use the exuses you listed above simply want the easy way out. Please understand that I respect your opinion, I just don’t agree with it.

  16. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: syn_ack89 And all of us wannabes stalkers were *this* close!

  17. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Incredipete Alright Nightmare, I admit it… My address is….

  18. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Nightmare Well Crap! I missed the stalker info?!! Shit. Now my weekend is completely ruined! I want to comment on how right you are and how wrong I think STE is. You are right. and there is no BUT, Big or otherwise. Studies have shown that kids no right from wrong at a very early age and that environment doesn’t really matter. You are either a bad or a good person, you either want to learn or you don’t. I feel that one of the smartest people I know is my best friend who is alway broke, or in jail because of the bad choices he makes all about easy hustling. So Incredipete you are correct and I hope that someone will give me that stalking info so my weekend will get back on track.

  19. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Incredipete Suddenly I’m generating a lot of traffic from my ex-employer. Interesting…

  20. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Incredipete For the rest of you, the comment I deleted gave out specifics of my current employment. The person’s intent was to insult me, but what they ended up doing was make it incredibly easy for anyone reading their comment to figure out where I work, and subsequently make it easier for the crazies that frequent this site to stalk me. I’m mad for both reasons, compounded by the fact that the person that posted it is clearly someone that knows me personally but doesn’t have the guts to admit it was them.

  21. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Incredipete I’ve been thinking more about the comment I deleted. You know what… I think I’m mad about it now.

  22. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Incredipete My question is, chicken or egg? Do the teachers not care because the students think it’s “uncool” to learn? Or is it the other way around. I personally know a guy who teaches at one of the inner city schools in KC. I went to his class to observe a few years ago. The kids absolutely refused to pay any attention. They wouldn’t do homework, they wouldn’t do anything but talk and gab while he taught. But in all reality, he’s one of the more brilliant, passionate teachers I’ve ever seen. If they’d stopped for 5 minutes to pay attention to him, they might have learned something. I don’t think the problem starts with the teachers. Although I do agree that your options are limited if you can’t read, I don’t care WHAT school you go to, if you want to learn to read, you’re gonna be able to learn it.

  23. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Wombat Funny Stuff there, Steph, i laughed out loud at your comment.

  24. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Incredipete Comments relating to the specifics of my previous or current employment will be summarily deleted. And to the poster of the deleted post, the answer to your question is absolutely affirmative.

  25. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Steph Dear

  26. Ste
    November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Ste Go ON, Incredipete. You rock. Fundamentally, you are right. BUT. I have a big but. SOME people are presented with challenges that blur the vision of opportunity. If everyone you know is a drug dealer or in jail or has a kid at age 14, what does it all mean? If your grandmother who raised you NEVER told you that you were intelligent and taught you that racism and disappointment were all you could expect, as was her experience, what would you aspire to? I know children who are NEVER told they are smart, are NEVER read to, whose parents don’t care one bit about school or character (!), and it affects them on a very deep level. If your father couldn’t get a home loan and just gave up, because, fuck it, what’s the point? Who would be your mentor? Why would you bother if it was only going to be taken away? What if your mother was mentally ill and hated you for being born? What’s a checking account? My point is, I know that there are circumstances that hold people down from the inside. LOTS of people are not nearly as bright as you. A short walk through Wal-Mart will bring that point home. These people need encouragement and education, and beyond that, if they cannot or will not take the opportunities given to them, they need to realize they have only themselves to blame. Not you, not me, not the government. Not everybody will be successful. In my opinion, handouts are counterproductive and only further engender feelings of dependence and helplessness. But if somebody wants to argue that this country, the best country in the world doesn’t offer opportunity to all (I believe this IS your main point) then we’re going to have to fight. MY hard work and YOUR hard work only create opportunity for others; it does NOT preclude anyone from aspiring and achieving. Envy, unfortunately, seems to be guiding a lot of liberal, socialist policy, and like you, it drives me nuts. MY own point is to remain compassionate toward people–you don’t always know their whole story. I am NOT advocating welfare and special victim status for these people, just thankfulness on your part for your God-given talents. Thank your parents and other role models for your character.

  27. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: mental oh god. I’m no longer html retarded. How wonderful!

  28. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Judd Dude, we SO live in the Age of No Accountability.

  29. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Incredipete Yup, you go, Melissa! I now have one more reason to love you!

  30. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: mental was it unlocked?

  31. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Kathy Amen Brother!

Comments are closed.