Tag Archives: Family time

simple lab report

This blog post comes to us from a listener who wishes to remain anonymous. We think this story is worth sharing and will resonate with readers at About Men Radio, which is why we have agreed to conceal the author’s identity.

In writing about the hardships of being the breadwinner, being laid off and then the uphill search for work, this contributor touches on a growing trend in today’s economy and society.

As documented recently in an excellent story in The New York Times, medieval history essay topics finding a job is more frustrating than ever and then, once you have one, it maybe be unrewarding.

It’s a case of being too young to retire, of being considered too experienced to land a job you’re truly qualified for and of how, ultimately, it all feels like taking sandpaper to your soul. –Chris Mele

After college I worked for 24 years straight without a break. Three places of work, all in the same field and, overall, I enjoyed my time. There were ups and downs but generally I gave it my best and I was treated fairly through most of it.

After much turmoil as the result of a corporate transaction, I was downsized. I actually welcomed it, and was ready to give some time back to my family. I embraced being home and spending time with my wife and kids. I was involved with the kids’ schools and activities to the max.

I was out of work for almost a year, much longer than I ever thought it was going to take to find new employment. My advanced education and years of experience seemed to be more of a disadvantage in this economy for the jobs available. I landed a temporary job doing what I had done previously.

It was like starting over, and although I had more experience than most people at this place, I was the low man on the totem pole, but that was OK. I actually liked it in a way, having the least responsibility.

I did my work and went home. Work stayed at work.

It was very disappointing when I was passed up for a permanent position, as I would have been expensive to keep at that level.  So, I was back to being unemployed.

This time around was different as money was short and my savings was all about gone. I needed a job, period. It still was hard out there finding something. Six months went by and so did the unemployment checks.

It was a stressful and depressing time. My self-worth took a severe beating and I questioned some past decisions that may have set me up for this predicament.

It’s very bad to think this way and very self-destructive.

Finally, a really good opportunity came up. It pays well, but it is still a temporary position. It’s also a very long commute and I spend more hours a day on the road than I would like.

I just needed to suck it up and do it. Survival mode.

Some months later, I’m not really excited about what I’m doing, and I find it is very different than what I first expected. Is it just that I can’t do this like I used to, or is it truly a poor fit and poor judgment on my part since I was distressed when I made the decision to give it a go?

I’m not sure, but it seems to be sucking the soul out of me.

I miss spending time at home, as everyone had gotten very accustomed to me being there and depending on me, and now I’m gone over 12 hours a day.

Sounds like I’m whining, but I’m not happy with my situation and looks like I’ll need to try something else again. But what if I make a change and still feel unhappy?

I think being unemployed has spoiled/ruined me in respect to working.

Being unemployed allowed me to experience something that I might not have ever had the chance to do otherwise.

So what is my time worth to me? My time is almost priceless when it comes to my family. Whatever I end up doing to support my family will need to provide me a sense of worth and hopefully something I enjoy.

Or maybe I just need to retire.

I know this is not an option right now and I will need to do some serious self evaluation and soul searching in the coming months so maybe I can start planning for that day.

I can’t wait

Photo: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / fuzzbones

Movies of Yesteryear Are Family Viewing Time of Today

“Get to the choppa!”

“Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.”

“Game over man, game over!”

Classic movie quotes. Together with my good friends from About Men Radio, we quote our favorites frequently. We are all of the same era, most of us the same age, hitting the mid-century milepost in the same year.

We love these movies. We watch them over and over, but we unknowingly view them with the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia. With these specs on, our heroes and our movies can do no wrong. They are perfection. And boy, do we love to quote them.

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

But the true test of time for our beloved classics is the scrutiny of today’s teenagers. In the La Frossia household, I put up my classics to the viscious, modern critical eye of my kids.

All three of them teenagers, ranging from 13 to 18. Will they revel in the satirical violence of “RoboCop”? Or will they cut it down to size for the terrible sins of cheesy dialogue, phony sets or non-convincing FX?

“Your move, creep.”

What ends up being the most fun for each movie viewing is delighting in the reactions of my kids.

If the time is right, I will announce to the family that it is “Retro Movie Night.” It is sometimes received with a groan.

For them, they have to be in the “right mood” for a Dad classic. I usually win and I present a title for the evening.

I typically get bombarded with questions, especially when I mention a title and tell them to trust me and I do not give them a preview description.

Sometimes I get the most genuine reaction because they never heard of the movie, such as the original “The Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3.” My kids have never visited the Big Apple, so they have never experienced a subway, much less one from the 1970s.

And they didn’t need to. The expertly crafted movie that is TToP123 quickly engrossed them and they bought into the suspense and drama.

“We had a bomb scare in the Bronx yesterday, but it turned out to be a cantaloupe.”

But that was an easy one because it is considered by many movie experts as a timeless classic. How will they react to a Dad classic such as “Westworld”? With its ’70s special effects, ’60s computers and Yul Brynner?

“Your move. Draw!”

They overall liked the movie. Of course, the snickering at the hovercraft effects, the comments about the computer command control — they informed me that they held more power in their iPhone than was in that control center — and the comments about Yul’s accent for a western U S of A gunslinger were intense.

The banter though added another layer of fun to my classics and gives me a chance to enjoy them all over again, almost as if seeing it for the first time as I live it through their eyes and join in their commenting.

“Get your stinkin’ hands off of me you damn, dirty ape!”

Thanks to an extensive VHS and DVD collection as well as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon I have a wealth of classics to unleash on them. If they are to enjoy today’s future classics like “The Hobbit,” “Lord of the Rings” or the Harry Potter franchise, they need to see “Jason and the Argonauts” and “The Seven Voyages of Sinbad.”

To love “Pacific Rim” they have to experience “Destroy All Monsters.”

It’s my duty as a dad that they get that.

“I’ll be back.”