“Stuff” they didn’t teach us in school: how George Carlin might have described it to parents

Our parents sent us to school so that we could learn “stuff”. Math stuff. Chemistry stuff. History stuff. How-to-play-with-other-kids stuff. Geography stuff. Drawing stuff. Industrial arts stuff. Home economics stuff. You know. Stuff.

Then we graduated from primary school and went on to high school so that we could learn more stuff. Higher level stuff maybe, but still stuff. Trigonometry stuff. Inter-algebra stuff. Chemistry stuff. Biology stuff. Physics stuff. Latin stuff—seriously.

This time, when we graduated we celebrated because, in the fall, we were going on to higher education. We’d be starting classes later than kids in public school and high school and wrapping up at the end of April instead of at the end of June. Bonus! Longer summer vacation. Major bonus!

Now we were going to be learning ultra high-level stuff. And except for first-year courses where attendance was compulsory, we were totally on our own. Awesome!

It wasn’t until we received our grades at the end of first year that we discovered how tough university really was and is. We actually had to work at studying stuff. We learned what it meant to pull an “all-nighter” and how it feels when no one’s on your case to hit the books.

The economy isn’t stuff: it’s reality and it can be harsh. Many of last year’s and this year’s graduates, the unemployed and under-employed ones, didn’t read the memo that said:

  1. Labour is expensive and employers have become very good at keeping the cost of it down or eliminating it altogether. Once you’re a part of the job market, you’re labour.
  2. In a global economy, good enough just isn’t good enough.
  3. The easiest way to be disappointed about stuff is to not see it for what it is. Education as an incentive for employers to align their needs with what you studied is that kind of stuff.
  4. One of the best ways to improve the odds that you’ll find and land the job you want once you’ve written your final exam is to start thinking about and acting on being the answer to some employer’s prayers before you start university.
  5. We never write the final final exam because life never stops testing us.
  6. You’ll learn more about work stuff in the year after you graduate than you did in all the years before you graduated.
  7. The only jobs governments create are within government.
  8. You should have been paying attention to truths 1 through 7 before you chose your alma mater.

There’s nothing trivial about not being able to find work, let alone the work we were hoping to find. When we were kids learning how to ride a two-wheeler, we were wobbly at first, lurching along and losing our balance until we got the hang of it. That’s how it was with finding full-time work a generation ago. It isn’t that way any more.

Companies are not one great big happy family. You have to learn how to keep one eye on being a team player and the other on your colleagues, the ones competing with you for promotion and upward mobility, assuming you find a permanent position with benefits—or want one. You can learn about the Microsoft Jim Balmer’s leaving by clicking here.

There are ways to deal with truths 1 through 8. PDD knows what they are and we’ll not only teach you about them, we’ll show you how to apply them. Because we know our stuff. To see firsthand that there’s nothing trival about what we do and why we do it, please drop us an e-mail or call.


Neil Morris
Personal Due Diligence Project

905 273 9880

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