Sunday, July 01, 2007

American Loss of Jobs 

You could lose your job to a foreign worker�not because he�s cheaper but because he has better workplace skills and discipline. That�s the message Labor Secretary Elaine Chao hears from U.S. executives who are worried about America�s competitive future. Source, Sunday Parade Magazine.

U.S. employers say that many workers abroad simply have a better attitude toward work. �American employees must be punctual, dress appropriately and have good personal hygiene,� says Chao. �They need anger-management and conflict-resolution skills, and they have to be able to accept direction. Too many young people bristle when a supervisor asks them to do something.�

This attitude can be attributed to 40 years of grade inflation, dumbing down of curriculum and the belief that every kid has the "right" to do whatever, whenever, however. When students are given grades (versus earning them), when parents insist that their Johnny or Susie is the greatest student since Einstein, when students can do no wrong and are not held accountable for aberrant behavior, they do not learn the habits that are necessary for success in the workplace or life in general.

All the hoopla about working at home at one's own pace, with no accountability is just that - hoopla. One must learn to arrive on time, meet deadlines, find solutions to problems, and stop offering excuses because one has been coddled all his/her life.

It is time that parents start demanding challenges and stiffer curriculum for all students.

An anecdote - I give my college students a 50-fact multiplication timed test to drive home how fast computers compute (billions of actions per second). As a general rule, the foreign students: Africans, Asians, Eastern Europeans, Latin Americans significantly out perform American educated students. Bottom line - you need to know that 7 x 6 is 42, period.