« The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe

267: A Prick in Congress

2022-09-05 | 🔗
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover and that is certainly true with this week’s special Labor Day episode.  It begins with a true story written by Mike about a particularly industrious Dirty Jobber, and it ends with Mike and Chuck discussing the origins of Labor Day, America’s work ethic crisis, and the pros and cons of labor unions.  
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This podcast dynamically inserts audio advertisements of varying lengths for each download. As a result, the transcription time indexes may be inaccurate.
Well, hello, there and happy labour day unless, of course, you're. Listening to this end, it not labour day, but right now, it's labour day by golly, and this is the way I heard it episode number to sixty, seven and chuck after care, for consideration, I've decided to call this one a prick in congress. We think I think, that's a very good call very good call. Indeed that's the title of the story, you're going to read as yes. This episode started out as what we used to call an occasionally, and I was going to celebrate labour day Reading a story that I wrote some years ago called a prick in congress, but of course, as some of you may know, labour day is also the occasion of micro works is that's hard to say and afford the awkward Really it is it's hard to say an annoying they hear, but micro works. His birthday is also today.
You know what is happening here and I wish you a happy birthday does right, but, more importantly, is it my What works is, or micro works when you have to ask, is like that. It ends in and ass and then you out an apostrophe, it's the. What is it that excessive possessive exactly, and so I think it's fair to say. Micro works instead of micro works is Well, I mean, I hope, it's more than fair. I think anything, other than that really makes you think gosh, the guy, I'm listening to just had a stroke or something he stuttered here. Yeah, it sounds awkward and it looks awkward on the page. Two part of what I pride myself in not doing is getting bogged down in the sort of semantics and pedantry that you thrive in So that's what I'm here for two to just pull you by the ankles down into the mire of pedantry yeah and, by extension, a few hundred thousand people who are they were just dying for us to get to some sort of point. The point is
they might have really are the point, is it is labour day and that's a big day for our country and its also the birthday of micro works, which is a big day for me and for czech and for I hope, the seventeen hundred people we ve assisted over the last fourteen years, with a series of work ethic scholarships. So I was somewhat flummoxed as to why the occasion to celebrate because a lot of people just assume that I started micro works, labour day because micro works is in fact a celebration of hard work and skilled labour, which it is, but labour day, of course, has come to mean a great many things to a lot of different people. I thought perhaps chuck without veering too far outside of my lane, without taking the hornets nest. Without poking the bare, without engaging in any other animal kingdom metaphor, you might like to indulge us. I wonder if perhaps we
could have a conversation about this weird I'm that were in right now we're on labour day right here we are on labour looking at eleven and a half million open jobs in this country, you can google decline in america work ethic right now and you will find page after page of articles. These articles didn't used to exist so we're having kind of a work ethic crisis in our country and micro.
works, I'm really realizing not for the first time, but maybe for the most intense period. Micro works has some real differences to labour day and yes, I think we should discuss those things would say you. I think we're going to explore all those things, but I think the thing that really ties both micro works and labour day together is the concept of work ethic, and the story that I believe you're going to read, is just the epitome of work, ethic and entrepreneurship. A bunch of are things but work. Ethic is really the thing. The work is the thing and dumb before we go on, though I want to say there is one other thing that happened on labour day: two thousand eight, and do you know what that is trivialize tell me: oh fred, kinda fraid reign was Mary I'd. Oh, he was buried that day. I thought he died that day it was one of the other
I sure hope it arrogant and that I've brought it up and now we don't have it right. Well again, for those of you who don't know king was our high school music teacher and he was a huge influence in both of our lives. Talk about a work ethic man that guy was extraordinary yet to that It was a big here for me. Dirty jobs was the number one show on cable. I started micro works launched and on labour day. The same day my mentor died and so yeah. right. It really is an interest in combination with things interesting, because today and again I don't want to turn this whole thing in or rank before. I
The story that I'm dying to share but labor day today is used by many people as an excuse not just to celebrate hard work and skilled labor, and not just to remember the many important advancements that have been made over the years with respect to workers' rights labour day to day for many people is used as a, cudgel against corporations against entrepreneurs again sebastus owners, large and small. That's right! That's right! And this The thing I really want to get to this idea, that the only way to celebrate work is to vilify the management. the only way to honour the employee is to attack the employer. That's where we are today, in my estimation, and were suffering, I believe, from a real crisis in the work ethic space that are per
that's that's the thing we're trying to correct and so to talk about all of this on labour day, I think, does pose an interesting challenge because we're gonna ruffles some feathers, but look just to get right to it years ago. Somebody said MIKE. Was there a single dirty job that inspired micro works more than anything else, and the answer is yes there is that what this stories about the stories not a single day. I spent years ago of work, hard work, skilled labour. and at the end of the day, it was pretty clear to me what I wanted to do: This sounds familiar. You know a chuck, I think I'll post the video, because we actually I made a video based on this story a couple of years ago for the sweat pledge. Also a big part of micro works. Yes, as I recall it to exemplify sweat pledge number twelve, which is look at how you're going to run it you're going to get a sweat
I love this out such reference, something sharp that really hurt. I leave that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work, my butt off, so there you have a home in defence of work. Ethic is little story. I want to share with you right now. It's the true story of the day that inspired micro works. It is called a prick in congress for reasons that will soon be made self evident. I do hope you enjoy it almost as much as I hope you enjoy this heartfelt message from one of our many generous sponsors smoke. Good one do do do do do do do do do do dumb. I start drinking black rifle coffee a couple years ago, because I, like the company's attitude I like their twisted sense of humor,
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anyone ever the black rifle coffee companies, by people who love american and the people who defender they make? No apologies for any of that. but they do make a hell of a cup of coffee, see for yourself at black rifle coffee doc a gradual gaddafi. Missed me dot com that, when her. A couple years ago I went to congress to see if anyone there was still up for an honest day's work turns out. There was dave, morale us as well in congress. His whole career, but holds no elected office, he's: a third generation cattle rancher in congress, arizona, a tiny town and the sooner and desert Davis. Also
out of dirty job. So when he wrote in to see if I'd like to help him transplant a cactus, I sent shore Dave morales looks like work, he's deeply, tanned and big all over, probably through pounds, he wears an enormous cowboy hat and a fat mustache, the conceals a permanent grin, unfortunately, There is not much to grin about in congress these days and other drought and allows you economy of forced many ranchers there to rethink their business today. Dave pays bills by selling his cacti, which grow mountains behind his house Yesterday I was rancher. He told me tat. I am alive, and skipper. Go figure mccrone. I flew to phoenix in early august, we spent the night nearby wiccan burg and headed off. To the morale s ranch at the crack of dawn. Dave led me again
ass, the dusty yard, to a big pickup truck with a large iron cross built into the bed, not standard his hans, Dave, junior and Daniel. Were loading supplies, a tamping bar three sledge hammers to picks assault and acts. Some two by force a box of nails. water, there are also several long strips of indoor carpeting secured with dozens of cactus needles. Once loaded dave draw his truck toward a sunken a royal that snake through the back of his property and headed toward the hills. My crew and I followed in a tiny, Andy the last available rental at the airport and the only obvious choice for off road desert adventure. After twenty minutes of random twists and turns dave, informed us visa walkie talkie that he was looking for a very specific cactus near the top of a very specific hill somewhere,
often the not so specific distance. why his sites were set on one particular cactus was unclear since we, were driving past hundreds of identical candidates. There were all right. this towering spires of thorny defiance poking out of the forgiving terrain like enormous. Screen lawn darts, eventually we round the corner and came upon a bulldozer parked at the base of a long slow. ridge. We got out of our vehicles and walked over to the big yellow machine where this come from. I asked I parked in here: last night said dave we're gonna need it build the road. I'm sorry, it sounded, like you said, build a road dave, rend under his moustache, I'm so to my, but we to build a road to get to the cactus often the case with dirty jobs. There is no such thing as a singular task, so I wasn't
I ought to learn that the business of transplanting, a solitary cactus, would require a few additional steps. I did not, however, anticipate the construction of a highway in the middle of the desert. Really, I said a road straight up: a hill relax at Dave. It's only a few hundred feet. It's not like we're gonna pay it. Why don't just yank the thing out and carry it down here to the truck? I ask this was maybe the funniest thing Dave junior had heard in a long time. What's so funny, I asked you tell him Four guys can carry one cactus downhill. Now Daniel joined his brother, the chorus of snorts and tackles, as Dave, turned and pointed toward the top of the ridge. There backlit by the dawn's early light? I got my first look at our objective, a massive sorrow
anchored into the hilltop a hundred yards away. If central casting we're looking for america's next top cactus, this was it fourteen feet tall as wide around as a manhole cover with two beefy arms curling up and out of its massive torso, it appeared to be giving me the finger only crap, I muttered at big big, eight. The problem said if the thing weighs two tonnes, that's five hundred pounds, a man You really want to walk down here said. The rhetorical nature of his query. I responded with another question: how old is that thing well said: Dave based on its height I'd, say two hundred years, maybe more it was probably standing right there. When jefferson was. President Klaus
This was a key actors with a history, but as we trudged up the hill to give it a closer look, I realise that its resume did not include a willing MR relocate the base was completely in case in a slab of solid granite and the needles that protruded from its leathery hide. Look like punchy, sticks patiently, waiting for an opportunity, slide into something soft and fleshy. Would it be easier? I asked to take a different maybe one of those back, thereby the truck. This got the brothers having again dad I do anything easy said Daniel and besides, this is the one, the customer once I side and looked at Dave. Ok, then, the plan dave laid out in simple terms. First, we would build the road. Then we back the truck up there judge and raise the iron cross from its rusty bed. Then, while the captain,
was still in the ground, we'd secure it to the cross, it would be much hammering and swearing and according to day of a strong likelihood of bloodshed, then the real work would begin. The trick was to remove the cactus with the roots completely intact, which meant digging well below the rocky surface. Once the roots came, free, a hydraulic motor would lift the cross skyward, pulling the cactus up and out of a toll into the bed of the pick up and off to greener pastures. If we work fast said dave, we can beat the heat and beata here in three hours. This time I was the one who left on dirty jobs, the only thing that takes three hours is three hours and sure enough. Three hours later, we were three was behind. The heat was affecting our
I'm risen, causing technical delays and my own level of expertise on a vintage bulldozer wasn't helping by noon. The road was finally completed, but by the time we got the truck and the cross and the cat is properly situated, it was almost two p m and one huh ten degrees in the shade. I have no way of proving this of says. There was no shade to speak of, but the bloodshed Dave had predicted. Well, that's a matter of public record. I've been so but no less than a dozen times trying to wrap strips of carpeting around the contact points between the cross and the cactus for the record The longer needles drew the most blood and gravity. aid towards the area under my fingernails. But the short,
ones were no less painful. They got below the skin and stay there working their way farther and farther in any way the real work, as they ve called it finally commenced, and though it was four against one. I couldn't help it think Cactus had the upper hand armed with a sledgehammer from the civil war. I assume the position on the downward slope and began to work on the granite surrounding the base. My first swing bounced off the rock like vulcanize rubber and sent the hammer flying straight back toward my head? You got us harder said Daniel, like dad Dave, stood across from me. an even larger mallet, which he swung with the yes and speed of a whistle bat stone. Splintered dirt, flew sweat, poured dave, junior stepped in the pig and Daniel stood by with a shovel to clear away the debris I swung harder,
managed to chip away at ancient rock without knocking myself unconscious. at first. The sorrow seemed indifferent, humoring our research. By the way a horse tolerates a few flies. Then, as we began to accept does the root system. The cactus began to fight back, no matter how careful I was more needles of various sizes found their way into my shoulders and arms under Dave's mighty men the rock slowly gave way and the whole grew deeper, but the cactus itself remained solidly anchored into the hill. It appeared, to have a core of solid steel with a giant magnet buried somewhere beneath it. The day dragged on blisters pop used, sunscreen and sweat streamed into my eyes and little soul, four dots danced and my periphery pause,
for a refreshing bottle of boiling water. I marvelled at the interact ability of this primitive plant and quietly cursed. My decision to accept dave's invitation by three p m things have got personal I'd come to see the cactus as Excalibur and myself as a night on a hopeless quest when I broke. My second pick handle of the day day You gave me the iron tamping bar with a chisel forged onto one end. It was far too hot to hold, but just right for cauterizing. Listers, which is precisely what happened. The second. I grabbed it by four p m Dave employed his entire arsenal of tools to no avail. One of our four cameras: melted from the inside out and I began two giggle for no apparent reason, a delirium was
descending upon the whole scene as the desert and everything in it conspired to drive us back to civilization. Meanwhile, the cactus stood firm. I could spend pages walking you through every detail and every set back of the great dirty jobs, cactus crucible- and maybe I should peopled out it's about manual labour, much anymore at least not the way they used to and believe me that afternoon in the desert would have brought the great ones back for an encore. George Plimpton would have waxed poetic. About the steady rhythm of sledge hammers swinging in sisyphean counterpoint, studs turkle would have captured the closeness that manual labour can foster between fathers and sons and charles career
would have turned a simple confrontation between a big man and a big plant into something even bigger in their hands. Dave morality,. would have become Hemingway's old man plucked from the sea and dropped into elliot's wasteland and homage to all those scratching out a living in the rough terrain of their own metaphorical desert Anyway, that's a long answer to a short question. Sometime during my visit to congress, I decided to look a little closer at our countries, relationship with hard work, as well as my own few weeks later labour dave. Two thousand eight I launched micro works for the make of a good story. I'd like to tell you that my decision occurred at the precise moment, a two tonnes cactus broke free of its two hundred year old address, but I I can say for sure, since I was hallucinating at the time, the act
we'll decision was probably made later that night after we finally got that cactus out of the rock and aunt the truck and into somebody's frontline on the other side of town by then the sun had set, and I was too tired to drink the beer. I've been thinking about all day, almost David, I said our goodbyes. He and his boys were headed home with great news. A casino in las vegas had just called with a rush order for fifty cacti, It was a month of steady work and it would begin at four thirty. I am the next morning the morale were jubilant. I was dehydrated. Back at the hotel liberated another dose sexy from the many bar and jotted
few lines in my journal before passing out most of it is illegible, but the gist of it had to do with starting over with reinvention with what it must be like to find out that the path you ve been on has come to an end and that the only way forward is on a road through the desert that you have to build yourself, I fell asleep before I finish the beer, but my last conscious thought, as I pulled another needle from my sunburn, shoulder is still scribbled at the bottom of the page. Hard work really is the thing that matters most and in spite of all the pricks, there still reason for hope, even at a place called greece, doo doo doo dude, doo doo, so california. Just passed a law that will eliminate gas powered cars by twenty thirty five,
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get it that's an amazing day, that's a day that is cemented firmly there. no short cuts, there is no. stunt coordinator, There was no, that's not double for you. You worked your back off that day. You know what, happily not literally, but yes, two things, first of all, that's all true and I didn't know any of it at the time you don't get to know. about those sorts of days until the world spends a bit and you look back and you go. Wow a lot of things fell into place, and I just didn't quite know it then, but I know it now. The other thing I knew about that day and it was maybe I think, one of the more important lessons of dirty jobs and I hope, some of the things we try to instil through the foundation now, fourteen years old, the idea that, for all that pain, for all of those exploding, blisters for all the dehydration for all of the futility of trying to get that giant. Green
plan out of the intractable granite. There was humor. There was laughter throughout the whole day and there's something about workers and obviously that's the thing I want to jump into, but there's there's something people forget about it. You know when we think about work ethic, especially with regard to labour, we think of hard labor and we think of drudgery and we think of pain. Well, you know what it is, but it doesn't have to be painful in this whole idea of being cheerful of finding humor Finding a way to laugh at the cat is, even as it gives you the finger right trying to find it wait a laugh about the fact that the Tampa bars so hot its carter rising the blisters that just popped on your hair. being in on the joke. That's a part of work ethic to it reminds me of that old expression whistle while you work, you know, because that's kind of what
This is finding a way to enjoy something that some could look at us drudgery. I wanted to ask you like outside of what you did in dirty jobs. What was the most strenuous hardest labour that you ever did? What job did you have cause? I think it's the same for both of us. really what tearing tickets to united artists how's? That was, so strenuous really. But it was a job that you got very like the united artist job that you got through me, because my mom worked at the plant was that warehouse yes, yeah, that was, where we loaded box cars and stacked palates floor along at least the eight hour day, yeah sometimes even longer, bodies is a peaches that we're like that. Enough thirty pounds, a peace, and you got a stack among palates about four feet high and then its need to be moved, you're on a dark so
outside the warehouse is right. There there's, maybe a little overhang, but it doesn't matter if it's raining or snowing or india or whatever you still have to do the job and the job has. Be done by people who move these things and man. That was hard work by was hard work? We had a good time. I think what we did But we also knew it was a summer job, We also knew that this was step. This was a wrong on some sort of ladder that we have just started to climb as kids and there were many other rungs on that latter worth. we get a little squarely is what do you say to the guy where the woman who is in a job like that and it's the last wrong. They're gonna get too for whatever reason they don't want to climb anymore or they can't climb anymore. It's just right, so labour, there seems to be rooted in the idea that those people doing
those kinds of jobs are fundamentally, victims! That's how we set the table. We set the table with those who work are oppressed and those who oversee them are the oppressor, I'm generalizing. I know that but in a real general way, look that's our labour It came into being and thank god it did eighteen, eighty two countries. Begin to the industrial revolution. People are working seven days a week. Fourteen hours a day, child labour is out of control, there's no osha, there's no safety, you know this is a time when unions were deaf brutally desperately desperately need, and they came into their own right and so labour day. We're postal, look back the kind of job you just described and were exposed to look in america's workers and we're supposed to feel
a measure of gratitude and wonder because that work ethic built the country- and all of that is true and fair. But man don't you feel like today. A lot of people still look at me. wide world of work as if it still eighteen, eighty two as if we haven't made the progress that we ve made that bothers me and It'S- probably a strange data complain about labour day, but it's one of the reasons that it makes me a little uncomfortable because our Country today is not what it was in. Eighteen, eighty, The state of work is a very, very, very, very, very different thing. You know I don't have a fast pool of friends
to draw from I mean. I know a lot of people and everybody I know works that isn't my experience with most people that their angry at their boss or that they despise the work they do Anything labour day for them has become just a three day weekend. You know it's a choice, and to get a day off too. Maybe take the friday off before and go away for the weekend. You know and do something fun girl, some hot dogs go to each do something like that sort of the official end of the summer. That's what it's come to me anymore. I don't feel you know it's not about that. I don't think we have those problems like we did between management and labour. They still exist to a degree probably in the jobs that I not involved. Are you sure you don't think about it? Look I just saw within this week, employees at apple have refused to show up for work.
Tim cook, the ceo of arguably the most influential and powerful company on the planet has said, He literally said the words please, please come back at work Need you at work. We need the community that results from the her action that can only occur when humans rob elbows with humans. We need your enthusiasm, we need your attitudes, we need your passion we needed altogether. Otherwise, the whole we'll never become larger than the sum of its parts and that's what we need to be. We need you here and they say no. We are not doing it now. We can talk about the fact that the, I went on to argue that such a demand was rooted in racism. You have our conversation, but there is really no need, because, when it comes to work ethic, that makes the point employees at the most power
company. The world are saying no we'd, rather do it this way. So when you look at that will you combine it with eleven and a half million open positions that companies simply can't phil. Well, then the basis for a conversation. Why can't companies fill those position, now my friends on the left will say it's because the evil wicked business owners are greedy and rapacious and refuse to pay a fair salary but chuck you- and I know that's not true you and I No, the stigmas and stereotypes that keep people out of welding, for instance are rooted in the mistaken belief that you can't make a decent living, but you can you can make it figures all day, long right. What's going on in a country today, When millions and millions of opportunities can't be filled and miss in millions of people would rather not work would choose not to work now. My friends on the right are going to say
The problem is those people are fundamentally lazy. Those employed we are lazy, and my friends on I will say no up. Their bosses are greedy if their bosses paid a better wage That's what I mean to say. That's where we're stuck today and I respectfully disagree. We are having a work ethic crisis today. because we don't know how to explain the existence of millions of unfilled jobs. Half the country says it's because the fraternities suck and the other half of the country says it's because people are lazy, I think they're both mistaken to a degree. but I look at that and I see the makings of a lot of cognitive dissonance on it. National holiday that was founded, certain twenty eight years ago, in
to celebrate. The very thing were now bemoaning. Well to your point about tim cook and apple and the people that apple, I think there's a lot to unpack there right so all we ve just come out of two years of basic lockdown and everybody learned hey well, a lot of work can get done where you dont have to be in the office to get this work done and I think we are also in a time where there are all these open positions, it's kind of employees market. You know if this were real estate It's either a buyers market or sellers market. Its employees market rather Then in employers market, an employer are able to do this a because there was a lot of government money thrown around. The time and there should have been because the government came in and said: hey you got a shot. This down, you can't go to work, you gotta stay home, you gotta take one for the team and so the government needed to step up and needed to give people money. Now the problem occurs in that also it's like. Ok. Now, it's time to go back
to normal and TIM cooks as a normal. Is you guys come in here, but these employees of spent two years now not going into the office in going hey. You know what I still got my tv s, reports done or whatever the and thing from office space. I still got they done what's the deal Why is this and they feel like they ve got a little leverage. Now they can muscle a little bit will save that's right. They got a taste of a different life. like a little bit more and I dont begrudge it. I don't blame it, and I understand it look at our own company right. What no one can on friday and everybody else, sort of staggers out through the weak right, hostess I've been in one day this week. That's it one day right now we have a different kind of business. Apple is a different kind of business, then abc plumbing supply I run a foundation that attempts to encourage more people to explore careers that cannot be performed from home plum.
I we can't say: hey yeah, I'm going to keep doing my job from home. I kind of think the lockdown electricians can't do that right and so, again. Sometimes I'm guilty of doing the very thing I'm most critical of which is painting with a broad brush and making sweeping proclamations. Companies are different. People are different, but why disagree with him cook on a bunch of stuff. I dont disagree with the idea that it's not just about the teepee s report is not just about checking the boxes and getting your task done it's not even just about doing your job about showing up, because when you show up other things happen. The go above and beyond the business of implementation and when you reduce the job to a checklist and just the brute routines of completing a task
what are you go back to our summer job that you just reference? You can then create off the truck use the dolly used, a handcart stack it here. Do it again, then do it again, then do it again. There are so many different ways to think about it, But one of the things that has gone missing is the idea that merely showing up your presence at the office at the work site is important. in ways that transcend your actual job responsibilities. Yes, a look. I loved that job that we did. Absolutely loved it, and you know what we did it in the winter as well, which is why I remember the sleep in the snow and the rain, and it's like you had to wear coat, but you didn't wear it all day. Now, at the end of the day, you were covered in sweat, even though it was thirty degrees out, and you used a lotta muscles and you felt like you had done something it. I've heard you say before it's like if you work in an office here,
Your desk looks the same in evening when you leave as it does when you arrive in the morning, and that's just not the case for somebody in trades or whose doing manual labor in that way, even that job as mindless as it felt it's like. There's a train bach, Car that's empty. That was full and there's too seem wheeler trailers that are empty, yes network. For yes, but I'm trying to draw them distinctions in the parallels and the similarities between labour day and micro works labour day and the general celebration of the worker, as we understand it through that lends presupposes that the people were talking about which for a summer, was you and me in? supposes that those people are going to be there not for the summer and not just the whole year, but for maybe a decade, in fact it might be their job, and so everything that said comes through vat lens of this idea that that's what these people do and they can never do anything else and they ve got to the top.
of their ladder, and now we need to treat them not just fair but with great deference, because this is As far as they're gonna go micro works does not do that micro ex affirmatively says: look, there are no bad jobs, but its journey. If you're willing to go to where the workers if you're willing to learn a skilled, its currently in demand, if you're willing to share up early and stay late and take a bite of the poop sandwich. When it's your turn to swallow, then, you're gonna move past the loading die, and you're gonna move past all that entry level stuff and you will climb. and that's why admiral was is heroic to me he was a rancher. I said at his name's dave So that's what I was just thinking. I really hitched on that. I aid workers effects at a place. Gonna marry me allow for those with a guy named roused others date Davis, a hero to me because he and start out as a landscaper or a cactus removal. Guy he's
cut it out as a rancher. He had land. He had why Dont know where we started out, but when I met him ass we was he raised our food and we have bought fell out of that market and when he was unable to take care of his family. By doing the thing he set out too, do and by living up to the identity that he had embraced, you didn't throb his hands and quit he pivoted the round- and he said now what maybe it's not cows, maybe it's not cattle or pigs. What do I have? I have cactus everywhere who won some rich people down in the valley and it turns out a casino in vegas right. That's the story of the lock downs, that's the story of pivoting and that's a big part of what is really important to me. Chuck with micro works is to find people who think like entrepreneurs who aren't mere
really willing to spend a day. You ain't, gonna, cactus out of the living rock of arizona, but who are willing to do whatever it takes to get to the next wrong and that's the thing I want to celebrate on this day, whether its labour day or whether it through microbes did you do to do. Do do do. Do it doesn't really matter what kind of business you have if you want to survive in times like these, you have to know your numbers inflation. running rampant supply chains or all clogged up. The labour market is super tight That means your margins are changing every day, and that means you need nets it by oracle, I'm talking about them number one cloud actual system out their forget quick books nets. We gives you ve ability and control of your financial you're planning budgeting and, of course, you're inventory So you can manage your risk and get reliable forecast and improve your margins.
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MIKE. I think that when you said you want employees who think like entrepreneurs yeah. That was the whole lesson that robert key saki got from his rich dad. This guy didn't pay key saki or his best friend, who happened to be Rich dad's son didn't pay em and they hung out in a warehouse all day. hot had time to think, and it was like what they did with that time was to come up with ideas of ways to make money where they didn't have to stand around in the warehouse you're right. If you're gonna do that that we did on the docks for ten years. You're gonna be a broken person at the end of it because it will destroy your body you'll feel ten years older than you were yes, but even worse, your
when you feel like a victim. We're going to feel like you were used up, you were gonna feel like you were discarded and I don't want people to think that I may a case for employees or companies who misuse their people or who are treat them unfairly. That's not it. The problem is there are many jobs in the workforce that aren't designed to be careers. There are designed to be the thing you do as you grow and improve and think and pivot and change. Maybe it's a romantic notion of, work, but it's one that I have because I know two: how easy it is to get trapped. You get married. You have kids, you get a mortgage. You dig in its hard to move its glib to say I'll, just go where the work is. I get all that, but it doesn't change the fact that the real power, the rule,
opportunity. The real choice is with the worker, who is willing to constantly better him or herself learn new things pivot that sir important and I can't stand it when its left out of the narrative we have conversation just this morning. Ok about a similar thing in that you're feeling is that we are work life, your business. It's always it like. A shark sharks have to keep swimming allegedly, I don't know I've, never trust. Every meditates sharks have never asked them, but from what I might lose did two weeks of shark weak chuck twice I used to be an expert wicked. If they also have two penises by the way. Just so you know that's just that's where you can google it, you can look it up at the sharks have to. I don't want to look up a crx second penis or what I don't want to see his first anyway. But my point is that you're either moving forward or you're moving backwards? You're, never judges
standing still, and I think that you are right. There are a lot of people in this world who get a job understand the job figure out. The job. Do the job and then stop thinking about, ass. What's next, it's like a. I gotta do this. You know what and I get home at night and I'm tired and then again the next morning go. I gotta, go! Do that job again. I know how to do it. I'm gonna. Do it and I come home and I'm tired and then an rinsing repeat, as what I hear you saying is that as a people, we need to ask, we need to do a little self reflection and say we should never be to content. I mean contentedness is good to a certain degree, but we should never be so content that were not looking for a way to improve our situation. You know or our bottom line. Even so let us then dare to tell
The third rail, the topic, oh dear, that makes everybody's sphincter slammed shut whenever I am on this but thought. Let's talk about unions, Let's talk about organise labour. That was a a great thing that came out of the original protests for labour day. That's a great thing! that transform the industrial revolution and made our workforce sensible today, in my view, people still look at unions as you're, either for them or against them, and if you're against them you're a greedy rapacious capitalist and if your for them well, then your for fairness and your for the little guy and so forth and so on, and I feel like work. Has changed radically over the last hundred years over the last decade over Last three years, we're in a completely different world right now, and you just made the point per se.
Only if you believe as I do, that you must ways be in motion. If you and careers are like pop lies, as I do it's, either goin up or its coming down. There's a moment There's a moment where the parties lie is just hovering there. Yet hovering there, but I superbissima its super brief and it's not really fine gravity. It just looks like it because in a flash, it's gonna start to fall. What I have seen so many unions do is attempt to grab that moment, crystallize it and keep it there forever. keep that moment where the balls neither going up nor coming down just fix it. Ok, these our representatives. This is what they do. This is what they get paid. Their raises will be baked in one go shape. This will negotiate that, but, basically
you're, a union member. You just worry about your job, we'll take care of everything else. You don't have to think like a shark anymore. You don't have to think about your next career. You don't have to think about your next pivot we'll take care of all that, for you, you just shut up and do your job there's a lot of comfort. In that I respect it. I really do, but it's not for me, you know, and the people that micro works looks look of the seventeen hundred people that we have assisted over the years. I don't have the exact, where's, but I know that many of them are working and trade unions right now, and I think that's great. I also know that many of them, or working in florida and louisiana and other right to works great, looks too, and I think that's great too so am I
I to think both of those things are great. Well, a lot of people say no, no, you are not new bus pick aside and stick with it and fight to the death to defend it and that feeling that feed lying to me is more synonymous with the traditional trappings of labour day, which are wrapped up in the traditional trappings of organizing that feelings more synonymous with that. Then it is with the ethos you just described, which has learnt skilled. It's in demand go to where the word I guess distinguish yourself, but don't fall in love. For god's sakes, it's a job. Do what you need to do to get yourself well, positioned for the next one become indispensable. That's the relationship that I think should exist between a great employee and a great employer
This idea that you know what everybody who works for micro works, chuck right now feels and dispense. well to me. I don't know what I would do if Mary or you or jade, or libby or lar, our you know, you guys leave that that's terrible. I don't want you to leave. On the other hand, right Lastly, I would want to do is keep anybody there if it's time to do so, thing else, something great with your life. I'm glad you brought this. Because there's something I need to talk to you about yeah, so chuck the quits on labor day micro works is his birthday and you do it on a podcast, you, oh my gosh,
listen. If I quit, it will only be because I'm pre empting you firing me because he threatened due in two thousand and nine will that's funny shock. I didn't want to bring this up to two years, the labour day, fire, not labour day. That may even be a better title than a break in congress fired on labour to how're. We celebrating labour today a hundred twenty eight years after its founded, give or take. How are we celebrated were taken the day off its let the seller- right. The willingness to work on and do what necessary, by thrown another, brought worst on their grilled and joy, I'm in a downer well muzzled, throats and swelling up like that takes. We are. What are you doing? You celebrate christmas if you're a christian by going and giving by delivering meals by doing something consistent with the holiday. a break halloween. By put not a scary thing. It scaring the hell out of your best thread great, it makes sense y know really celebrate labour day.
By sitting on your ass, because it's the reward for the labour, it you deserve a day off, because your labour so hard the rest of the days. That's what I think, but I want to go back to what you were saying before about the union's and try to get you in even more trouble good. Do you? gatt, belize, ok, good! Do you think that the unions are what killed Detroit well? Detroit didn't die, detroit isn't, ed much like the career of an individual like dave, miraculous, It is in the process of some kind of pivot. Dave morales reflects on micro pivot. Detroit as a macro pivot, detroit right in the late seventies, I think there's one and a half million people living there today. It's something layer five hundred thousand, you can have an infrastructure that big you can have it,
city that big and have five thousand people suddenly living there same thing happened in new orleans after katrina. You know you can't keep the power on for twenty percent of the homes that were currently on the grid. You have to redo the grid so did, unions kill detroit, not sorry hold on a second. Let me be more specific, as I dont mean Detroit you're, absolutely right, Detroit in the middle of a pivot. What I mean is the union's kill the automobile industry in Detroit well, Geez I mean the short answer. Is yes, but it's more like the automobile industry was the victim of a mob. They got caught up in a riot of sorts and the unions were part of that mob. There were other things:
the mob too. There were other forces at work, big socio economic forces, political forces and so forth, but I know what you're getting at and the unintended consequences of a great union doing great work for its people the big unintended consequences. You don't want. A union or an employer assume the role of a parent, you dont want, when phantom lies an employee, you want to empower the and so I am not saying, unions do this, but I am saying that you set the table and is very very easy to start to abdicate a lot of things and autumn your responsibility to some other entity, be at your employer, be it union boss whatever, so I I do think in a general way that That is one of the unintended consequences that came from the organised labour movement, but I also think and
This is a bit of a stretch because I don't have a ton of experience. I know enough about Detroit and I work for forward for eight years. and I've seen big big labour and management disputes before. But to me you know what it always comes down to. It comes down like on a film said. If you see a cable stretched across the ground in a way that looks like well, you know what summit dangerous yeah, that's right, and if you bend down a touch that cable some steward is gonna yell at you somebody somewhere from I don't know I ought sea or one of them No, you don't touch that that's the job of this guy, this woman and therein other union there's so much pressure to stay? in your lane as a worker that I, wonder sometimes how the worker has, the opportunity to distinguish himself by going above and beyond.
There is no above there is, beyond the others. Merely your job description and if your job description precludes you from taking a thing, we call initiative yeah. Well, then, we have begun to reward the precise kinds of behaviour that we oughta be discouraging and vice versa. So, to that extent, yeah to the extent that union's infantilism there members to the extent that they discouraged initiative. Yeah. Those things worry me, Now again, I'm not saying that all unions are guilty of this, not in a million years.
but I am saying that employees feel different when they are constantly told what to do where to go when to take a break. The factory whistle right all that stuff all those old systems they need to evolve to. They need to pivot, too and, finally, to be fair. Maybe I'm wrong about, though working from home thing. Maybe that's a kind of pivot to the needs to happen in certain kinds of jobs, but I don't think it's the thing that need it to happen in Detroit. Certainly thirty, forty years ago and frankly, I still don't think it's a thing that should happen,
apple. When you mentioned I get it. I want to speak to a couple of things about unions in a positive way in a moment, but your don't touch that cable story reminded me of that old joke. Do you know this joke? How many teamsters does it take to change a light bulb. Tell me thirty four. You got a problem with that, so yeah yeah, that's great. That is the point. Look any good thing taken beyond the parameters, of its logical reach stops becoming a good thing. That's the moral of every work related story. I know it's the guts of the intended consequence of every single thing. We're talking about. Look I'll, tell you the story. This is that Can you don't know our dream?
not so long after we were unloading, those creates and peaches and bananas. All that, not so long after that whole loading doc thing, the our dreams came into focus, a dream of working and entertainment, the dream of somehow getting paid to narrate, shows and be an commercials and you doing plays. And sitcoms in me, impersonating a host and down that road. We go and I worked so hard, to be a member of the screen actors killed, it was so important to me. I wanted to be an after him and the screen actors killed for you. It was what equity right equity was the way in I bought my sag card. This suicidal equity because of equity yeah, that's right so I couldn't get into sag I couldn't get into after, because the agents wooden, send me out for sagen after jobs unless I was inside or after a, but I couldn't get a soccer after job unless I had an agent who is one who sent me out to get the work and so on? Cotton?
this thing, and you know the story. I got an egg emma. What is with the acronyms with you the americans are everywhere is of so you snuck in sag through equity. I snow into sag through asthma and what happened I finally get in there. Now, I'm up for union commercial now. I'm up for union radio work. I can audition for anything. I want now sitcoms movies, all of it well nobody's hiring. We let them. Apparently, I'm not a movie star, and you know I did I mean so many audition stood so many auditions sure I finally get a crack at finally get a break. Its cuvier see it's ninety, like this december, What's my first steady paycheck in my chosen field, my trade, if you will I call sang, and I tell him about it and they say well just now it's technically. This is after you're, gonna need to talk to after, but they're going to have a problem. I call after and sure enough Yeah qvc is not a signatory they're, not part of that so
I'm in violation of global rule, one if I take the job at cubey c and there I am twenty eight years old, twenty seven years, like gonna, make a decision, and you know what I said: look I'm coming to follow the money I need the right to work. I need this job and so union said: they'd throw me out if I took it while they didn't. And so I stayed in the union and a few years later, your new home came along a show. I wound up hosting for fifteen years in baltimore, I called after a hey this net. No, you can't do that absolute lee. Not that's, not a union show, you can't do it, so I did it anyway then, of course the cherry on the sunday is dirty jobs. Discovery was at odds with the union's back in two thousand three. They said now you don't do it you're in violation? So what am I supposed to I m sitting here on labour day and I am absolutely
one hundred percent, convinced that our country would not exist the way it does today, without unions, unions saved the working class they saved manage as well. They came along and a massive refer, forms and massive changes, and it was all good, and then one day, it's not that it was bad. It's just that it wasn't universal and kinds of rules and the kinds of laws and the kinds of regulations that might impact a rod? Buster an iron worker, a plumber are very differ. From the sorts of things that might impact of voice over guy or guys just trying to find a toehold in the entertainment industry. but do those guys turn the screws man and they not told me not to do it. They not only told me we throw out, if I did, they told me he told me
To find the nearest mirror and walk up to that thing, and look long and hard at the guy look and back and you ask that guy what kind of man he is that would violate his unit and brothers out do I got it. Men, both barrels self, while a lot of people might have just said? Well, ok, you know I'll stick with the machine and that really chuck. Whether anything else is what I mean to say. Micro works offers work, ethic scholarships to people who believe that The foul ball is either go up upper coming down that the shark has to keep moving and employers. infantilism their employees by offering them a long list of benefits designed to keep them there. And unions, god bless him. Oftentimes,
wind up, doing the very same thing and that's in my view, not in the best interest of millions of people who are working for living. Well, I have a story of this strike of nineteen. Ninety nine going into two thousand. This was a big commercial stew. It was a really big deal and at the time I was doing really well in voice over and I had several territories with mcdonald's. So like every two weeks, I would go in and I would read six commercials we each for these three different, territory's outgoing remember where they work they were so well commercials, but they were different enough and this was all through the union, and so I was doing As for a while and making a ton of money, and so along comes the strike no the strikes coming up. The mcdonald's people know the strike is coming up. In fact, they are front loading. Everybody is preparing for the strike by getting actors to do more and more commercials in advance.
answer the strike, and I go to him. I go look at. I can't you know they're like oh, we totally get it it's on strike blah blah. I said I'll help you as much as I can up until the time that the strike starts is okay, fine, you know, and we front loaded a bunch of stuff and I got even more work leading up to it. Ok, but then the strike went on for over six months or about six months or whatever, and it didn't take long. You know because every two weeks they were changing the stuff take long for them to hire someone else. They hired a non union actor. Ok, which is all when good there within their rights, to do that, didn't come to me and say: hey you wanna cross over this line because they are I made it clear that I was not going to do that, but what happened was as when when the strike is over six months later- and I haven't worked for them in six months and they views this non union actor for that. Do you know what the union. Did you know I didn't go to this actor and say: hey man, you are a scab and you should not. Done that in due course
on your house and go into the woods and be alone know they said you're gonna have to join the union. Now and so this guy kept that job, so he pipe walk across the in saying hey I'll, do that job he's not in the union right right. He gets the job he does. for six months now, he's in the union he's doing the job that I had an that's when I kind of went well wait a minute. This doesn't seem right now, it's the bad news story, but the other thing I wanted to say is that I'm going to get a pension from sac, I'm going to get a pension from aftra, okay, the two unions that I invested in equity- or you know I didn't do enough work to get that- but this is a good thing, and I also know that I made more money for the jobs that I did do inside the union because they kept track of stuff. They made sure that I got paid residuals on things, which was:
but these two pensions when I was in my early twenties and looks you have been saying, I'm workin is an act. Your work, you know, I wasn't thinking about retirement in thinking that one day I'd be pushing. You know sixty and going. What am I going to do when things retire, but they were thinking of it and that to me was a really great thing and I a tip of the hat to the unions for doing stuff, like that, for our unions anyway, right you're both going to get pensions in those and that's how I gotten smarter about money? Yes, but when I was in my twenties, it was like woo hoo, that's right, Yes? Yes! Yes, all of that is good, but wouldn't it be better too spire people in their twenties too cannot wait for the union. John state, where it I was that its less alone, birthing in an education thing that will now you're, getting glad to educated it you're a very good co host because
this is how the plane starts to land. This is the point of micro works and it's the thing that makes micro works different from a union play or an employer versus employee play its the reason that I was here. have robert kia saki on this pod costs and the reason I would welcome any other. Like dave ramps, Dave ran specially Dave arguer, because guess what finance literacy is a part of any sensible definition of work ethic. And if you look at our sweat pledge, you'll find it it's right there. I would rather live in a tent and eat beans than borrow moral money to pay for a lifestyle. I cannot afford right. You can't talk about work ethic without Talking about financial literacy and part of what the in does again not a criticism, but observation seen through the lens of unintended consequences.
their little actor boy, don't wilt some of your hard earned money and will put it over here and a pension fund that we manage little actor boy. What you need to do is you just go out there and you do it you. Do you constantly lean on the arias yeah right so fair enough, fair enough? But anybody who looks at that dynamic. and doesn't conclude or believe like wakeham or something else gonna pop up somewhere else. As a result of that, there's gonna be an unintended consequence. We are encouraging people to abdicate, though fundamental things. They need to embrace an order of live, not The successful life, but to have this thing called job satisfaction the best. it'd be satisfied at your work is not depend on your employer to satisfy you. It's not to depend your union to protect you the best
ways to arm yourself with a skilled, it's in demand and peace. Ask yourself of a level of ambition that will keep you bring forward. That's what I wanted to do. Fourteen years ago. I wanted to try and do something that would allow me to get in front of people and say these things. Let me get elected for anything. I just believe when I look back experience in the union's. When I look back at the great good fortune I had from mentor like craig king and my dad and my granddad and you're so many people in my life. My mom right now check my mom. number one best selling book in the country. You know line work ethic every they for sixty years that old, broad. She never stopped right and she never stopped. I find myself in surrounded by examples.
that really make me believe. Yes, yes, yes, I know the sweat pledge is kind of hokey in some people have criticised it, but that's still matters that stuff is still foresail today. more than ever because back to, existence of opportunity? Opportunity there exists or it doesn't and when The country is telling me that there are no opportunities out there. I point two eleven and a half million open jobs, and I see really really and they all those don't count, because, because why? Because not union jobs, because they were Why? Because you can't be at home when you do them whatever it is, I don't want to hear it. I just want to say the opportunities are real and their there for anybody who was willing to take the responsibility to chase them down agreed
Get the cactus get the cactus out of the rock man? Yes, that's it! That's all you gotta do get it out of the rock. It's gonna hurt, speaking of getting cactus is out of rocks. What are you going to do with your labor day weekend, because in real time we are doing this before labor day weekend? I know that's going to blow the listeners mind I dunno, if they can even That's a lot to process you're asking me what I'm going to do now on august thirty, first for september. Fifth, essentially: well I mean there's the third in the fourth, but I'm talking the weekend the labor day weekend it's a week at ok, I'll, tell you what I'm gonna do I'm going to write three episodes of dirty jobs. The shows have been shot their being put together. Now we have eight gonna premier later in the year, I'm gonna look at the next tranche of three by the veto for all these things. You know their production company sent it to me and I look at it and that we take it and we go back and forth each one takes about five hours to do so now
what're, you gonna, do that. I'm gonna write wraps. or how america works, which is coming back for season three by the way october. Seventeenth, I think so america works is on fox business. It's basically dirty jobs without a host anthony It was well. Maybe somebody listening isn't chalk. Ok, maybe not everybody is so far up. My ass, I dialed laughingly indignation. Maybe ignore him. Listen to me season three of hell. America works is back. It is a lot more dirty jobs without a host, and this show by the way, is important. It really gives you're an honest look at dozens of different industries. There really help the. Work. Some are union shops, others are not
We look at aluminum. We look at salt, we look at cargo, we look at infrastructure, we look at steel, we look at entertainment, we look in big big industries in and how they work. People. Like my my doing this thing it foxes ex business well I'll tell you why in part, because I love the show but the end of each. these episodes. Now I get to invite people, on camera sitting right in this chair. I invite them to go to micro, works, dot, org and investigate careers in the industries that we profile. So I don't take much credit for it, but it's all kind of come together- dirty jobs, how america works and micro works all crammed together. Even this podcast. Here we are talking about all of this. It's pretty cool chuck because is those seventeen other people we ve helped, are real and they're out there and there are three in their chosen field, I don't care if
the union's involved or not. I don't care if they're married with kids or not I don't care if their living and main floor to California or seattle or somewhere between none of that matters. The only thing that matters is that we find people who signed the sweat pledge who believe it and that we help them do it can be done, and then we direct them to people like Dave morale us who went to bed one evening, the cattle rancher and woke up the next day, a landscaper and prospered. As a result, those people gimme hope for the cap. Treat those people, I think, represent the future of work, and while I am one hundred percent down with celebrating and other labour day, either in the back yard, with some brought worst or with conversation like this. I Even more enthused bias aside about celebrating another year of micro works. Grateful for everybody
my modest little organization, including and at the moment, especially you, because here we set looking back reminiscing about a summer job from nineteen. Seventy eight sitting here today trying to figure out how to give away another couple million dollars to people who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. I say happy birthday to you. My friend happy bird, data you as well, god bless fred, king and rest his soul. Let's keep micro works. Goin. We gave away one point four five million dollars this year, and then the Charles coke foundation came around afterwards, because we had so many people apply that we couldn't give stuff too it came around and we were able to give another thirty more recipients, three thousand dollars each because you have them in the last minute. So
you know what thank you for pointing that out. I didn't properly thank them on the facebooks, but this really here's a good runway to put this plane down on. You were talking about that summer. Job yup, I hadn't thought about that thing. In years I mean, like I've, got a bunch of jobs that I sort of think about. You know my first. I want a trash truck for the state and blah blah was right. I had forgotten about that one, but seven, eight years ago, I'm not supposed to talk about this, but I was invited to give a sigh all means continue. I was invited to give a speech at the back dan dan dan. That's a very controversial. It shouldn't be It is it's the oldest club in the country to men's club. Its members are by and large, very successful people president's of countries. Presidents of this country, in many cases captains of industry titans. I was invited to speak to these guys and I did
years ago and I was preparing to leave, but these men they came up with this kept talking to me. They wanted to and I was invited to stay for a couple of days- and I did The moral of the story is hundreds of men in the twilight of their years liked what I had to say they enjoyed my talk about work and all of them to a man shock. They wanted to tell me about them. job right. They wanted to tell me about the time of their life when they paid their dues when they were just getting start when they were on the way up. They wanted to talk about their hopes and their. means in their passion and they wanted to tell me how they. Cheerfully bidden to the crap sandwich when it came around it and it was
gleeful almost in these old man, they just they just revelled in it. One of the guys who I met on that trip happened to be Charles coke He is supported our foundation ever since generously and it wouldn't have happened, but for a story of work ethic, that's what's wrong. well. Those are the scholarships we offer work ethic scholarships it should go without saying that micro work start work is the place to go. If you want to investigate that- and god knows, we still accept contributions. If you find a little girl to frighten Little dachstein jingle walk little the narrow in a whole amazon smile yeahs that works to amazon smile. Great way to do it. I do that yeah anyhow, I will be. a great labour day somewhere between the brought worse and beer drink, a toast to micro works and I'll join you virtually. For that see exe,
This episode is over now. I hope it was worthwhile sorry, it went on so body if it makes you smile your satisfaction in the way that people do. leave
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Transcript generated on 2022-09-06.