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IamMikeRowe3855 karma

Your mother speaks the truth. It was April 1st, 1992. I introduced Item # J-H20, The Ice Pendant. It was in fact, an ice cube, dangling from a piece of twine. The most extraordinary fact was not that 12 people actually ordered the damn thing. It was that the people taking the orders at QVC believed the product was genuine.

That episode set the stage for my second firing.

IamMikeRowe3646 karma

Many jobs appear bad at a glance, only to get much worse at a second glance.

And some jobs simply get worse and worse with every subsequent glance, which is why (of course) many people watch the program with their eyes closed.

I was never in a position to close my eyes, and consequently, I enjoyed a front-row seat to a great variety of pits, and holes, that most people simply don't know exist.

One brief example might be the interior of an ocean buoy.

In the Coast Guard, buoy tenders are responsible for hoisting these giant steel contraptions out of the ocean, and refurbishing them.

In this case, "refurbishment" means "crawling into a woefully inadequate tube not much larger than the space taken up by your shoulders, and wiggling your way like a worm into the shadowy depths whereupon you begin to remove the barnacles and various other forms of nautical life with a stick or some other improvised tool."

I could go on, but I won't.

IamMikeRowe3571 karma

Thanks for the encouragement. The Skilled Trades could do with a few more fans, and I'm proud to be one of them.

Regarding barriers to dirt, there have been many, and for a multitude of reasons. The segments I was most interested in doing but found the most resistance around was that of a rendering facility.

Aside from the fact that "rendering facilities" are by their very definition optically horrific, there was another concern that I had not considered.

That concern can be spelled out with the following letters.


That's right - the Mob is still involved in a surprising number of rendering facilities. Why the Mob has such a rich history in garbage-related industries and rendering-related industries is a conversation beyond my pay grade.

I only know how relieved I was to finally find a rendering outfit that was not owned or operated by the Cosa Nostra.

That facility was in Northern California. And they were called North State Rendering.

To this day, I'm impressed with how brave they were in their decision to let us provide our viewers with an unvarnished look at what it takes to turn a dead cow into several hundred pounds of chicken feed.

Yes, I'm deeply proud of that day.

IamMikeRowe3418 karma

For a while, when I agonized over maintaining the illusion of fitness, I committed myself to a routine that centered around Burpees.

Also known as "the Prison Workout," Burpees require one to drop from a standing position into a squat. Then you kick your legs backward, and do a push-up. Then, you return to the squatting position. Then, you leap into the air as high as you can. Then you do it again.

And again.

And again.

Until you are either

A) No longer fat


B) Vomiting uncontrollably.

The end.

IamMikeRowe3238 karma

The short answer is: perception.

The number of people who depend upon a workable infrastructure and a skilled trade force are coincidentally the same number of people who currently inhabit the planet.

For a long list of reasons, parents, teachers, and guidance counselors have begun to emphasize one specific form of education. At the expense of all the others.

In this country, it's widely believed that a 4 year degree for the most people.

Unfortunately, that's insane.

Of the 3 million available jobs today, less than 20% require a 4 year degree.

The rest require training, and a willingness to learn a skill that's actually in-demand. On top of everything else, we have student loans outstanding in excess of $1 Trillion dollars.

In short, we're lending money we don't have to kids who can't pay it back so they can educate themselves for jobs that no longer exist.

That should probably stop.