It must have been super comfortable. The height of manufacturing in North America when you believed it to be fact that you would work at the factory until you retired, at which point your killer pension would kick in and you’d be set until you passed away quietly in your sleep, or your ungrateful child accidentally poisoned your Metamucil then pushed you down the stairs.
It really didn’t matter though, because you knew you’d be comfortable. With your house paid for, your roots had been deeply grounded.
We all know how this has changed over the past couple of decades. The familiar story of factories closing because they can’t compete against the cheap labour in Asia, factories getting bought by American interests, then are shut down and their contracts moved elsewhere, or factories closing just to reopen elsewhere without a Union present. Workers getting screwed out of their pensions, and a new era of work uncertainty and a hope that this job will last longer until you reach 65, despite the drastic pay cut you’ve had to take.
This wasn’t just factories either. People had jobs in offices that they kept their entire careers. That, too, eventually eroded in the interest of share holders and efficiency. Now those white collars stay in one place for a two to five years and move on. Sometimes by choice, and sometimes by being walked out the door.
In short, job stability rarely exists. Particularly for those in my generation or later. If you think you’ll stay with one company until your 65, your setting yourself for grande disappointment. Sorry.
I say all this because somehow it’s still the norm to by a house, plant your seeds, settle down, and raise kids. We do this, meanwhile up until you’ve dropped that downpayment, you had moved around every year or two–both homes and employers.
Since 1999, I’ve moved 11 times (sometimes back home, sometimes to new apartments). During that time I’ve also had something like 10 different employers. The longest of which was for four years–which doesn’t say much for my tenure at every other place I’ve worked.
I’m not going to lie. I have an itch.
And really, it’s not just me. I talk to so many others who have tried to “settle” down and they find it difficult. We’ve developed a form of location attention deficit disorder. LADD. We want to keep moving and continue to have new experiences. When you settle down, you still have new experiences, but most of them are home centric and end up being time fillers. Lawn care. Renovation. Fixing shit.
Does it get easier to stay in one place the deeper the roots get? Or is this the itch that’s on the bottom of your foot, protected my your fully laced boots?