Sunday Discussion: Reflections On Nathan Young’s 28th Birthday


Geek Alabama Discussion

This is the 3,367th post on Geek Alabama, and I have put a lot of pride in every Geek Alabama post I have written.  I have written thousands of posts, taken thousands of pictures, and taken hundreds of videos.  And now, I walk several miles around each day to go to a wi-fi source like a library.  While walking, I have to dodge some drivers who yell cuss words at me, honk their car horns, and even swerve towards me.  This sounds like a not so glamorous life, but let me explain.

Since getting fired from my last job in July 2011, I decided to try something different, and this blog was born.  While writing, I have also been searching for a career, and while I talk about my job search and life struggles.  I have somehow made some people question my decisions and wonder why I am still integrated into mainstream society and not placed into a place where different people go, like a group home. To those people who think I should be placed into a program for people who are severely disabled, you need to get a different outlook on life.  If I was severely disabled, I would not be able to take video of high school events.

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Or take footage of severe weather events.

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Or get to interview Kid President, that was a great thing I did!

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You see, even though I am disabled.  Somehow, some people think they can take advantage of people who don’t deserve to make a living, because they are disabled.  I helped a local TV station in East Alabama set up their social media, without pay.  I took pictures of some events in Anniston, and they said they would pay me, but they never did.  I replied to people who wanted me to review or talk about their things, not to be contacted back.  And the bad hits keep on coming.  My gut feeling says part of the problem is the area where I live at.  And in Anniston/Oxford, the economy is super bad, like South Park bad!

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For example, I have told several people via e-mails, social media, and in person to not open a small business in Calhoun County.  Because the success rate for a new small business in Calhoun County is almost at 0%.  Over the past few years, many new small businesses have opened, then closed down a few months later.  And yes, to send a message to leaders in this county, I often talk about small businesses that have closed down in this county.

If you need a another example about how lazy people can be in Calhoun County, I look at the local streets and roads, which the local governments have to maintain.  Here is Coleman Road, which is maintained by both Oxford and Anniston.  On the Oxford side, the city is lazy for not painting road lines where they are needed.  This is a problem on many streets in Oxford.

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And in Anniston, they repaint the lines on the road, but they are very lazy in the way they repaint the road with crooked lines and bad paint quality.

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And now with the declining populations and tax money, the city of Anniston is about to eliminate more city positions, but it did not stop them from hiring someone who claims to bring in jobs and retail, in my words, good luck with that!  If the city and county is too broke to provide animal services and pick up stray dogs that are roaming around the apartment complex where I live, the city should not have hired someone who claims to bring “economic development.”  And yes, I have taken to social media to highlight the stray animal problem in this town too.

And then I want to talk about how people who lead in Calhoun County are trying to bring the county back, by promoting eco-tourism?  Like that is going to work.  So, the city of Anniston is about to cut a big number of jobs, while spending money painting bike lanes onto the streets?  And other organizations like the chamber is putting out commercials promoting things not in Calhoun County like the Talladega Superspeedway.  Hey, money spent at Talladega benefits Talladega County, not Calhoun County.

And the icing on the cake is when I made this presentation called How To Turn The Anniston / Oxford Area Around.  Yeah, many people who run things in this country did not like me calling them out about why this area is one of the worst economies in the United States, I call this a badge of honor on my part!

So, what is my next move while I am finishing this article in the middle of the night behind a laundry mat so I can use the free wi-fi and not be noticed?  I don’t know!  You see, I know that what I do right now, write on my own website, will not make me hardly any money.  I do get some money from the ads you see on this site every few months, but that is it.  I have been criss-crossing across Alabama and the southeast trying to find a job career.  I have been to many job fairs, and have hundreds of copies of my resume in my apartment.  I have also filled out just about every online job application you can find, with nothing to show for it but rejection e-mails and phone calls.  In fact, I am up to my 1,215th job rejection, and yes I do keep track of it at home.

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Some people have criticized me for being mostly negative, and I am sorry if I make your day not so good when I post something negative on this website or on my social media pages.  When mostly everyone you contact rejects you on things ranging from my disability, the way I act, my job history, what I cover, my size, or anything else, you are going to have a negative attitude.  When you were just about to land a volunteer opportunity in Birmingham to work with kids, but got turned down at the last minute, you are going to feel let down.  When a job offer comes through and you think you will be hired, then they call you back telling you not to come, you are going to feel let down.  When people call the police on you because you are walking on the side of the road, you are going to feel let down.  When people at the apartment complex you live at spy on you because you are different, you are going to feel let down, and I could repeat this over and over again, this is not funemployment!

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Face the facts, if you were in my shoes currently, you are going to feel depressed.  If you were in my shoes, you would feel some no positive emotions and mostly think about negative thoughts.  I know, I have seen the stories and social media posts telling you that you need to “think positive.”  But when you are rejected time and time again, all of your positive thoughts will sail like on the Titantic, when you look forward to seeing your positive thoughts hit that iceberg and sink into the ocean.  I would like to make my comparison to someone famous who just passed away.

As you know, Robin Williams committed suicide right around my birthday.  He battled depression and other issues throughout his life, and sadly he could not overcome his emotions.  We will never know what caused Robin Williams to take his own life, but I bet you something bad happened and he thought there was nothing he could do.  When people are rejected time and time again from everything from job rejections, volunteer rejections, love life rejections, and anything else, that person who was rejected will probably do something not so good.

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Some people rejected might commit suicide, some people rejected might commit a crime and go to jail, some people rejected might turn to drugs or alcohol, and yes, some people rejected might give up hope in America and travel to join terrorist groups, like ISIS.  People who are rejected from society time and time again will eventually do something to try to turn around their luck, and quit hitting all the Whammies like on Press Your Luck.  Since I draw some cool road drawings, let me show you a visual example.  Imagine if this is a go-kart track, and while everyone else gets to keep riding the cool track, you have to go to the corral and get out of the go-kart and feel depressed while you sit on the sidelines while everyone else is enjoying the go-karts.  This has been my situation for the past three years.

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Other people have said to me time and time again that God has a plan for you, and when someone says that, I think to myself “it won’t happen”, or I would not be unemployed for three years now with some people in the area thinking I am a weirdo who should be placed into a group home.  Yeah, one person on social media thinks I should go to a group home, and that no one will hire me on their team because of me having high functioning autism.  Let’s get this straight, yes I have Asperger’s Syndrome, and there are other people with the same disability who are in a great life with a good career and family life.  In my opinion, I think the people in Alabama who thinks people who are different and needs to be away from mainstream society; needs to get the real facts and change their opinions.  In other words, grow up!

I want to feature this piece of paper which is important in my life.  This paper is a test where you pick your favorite colors to reveal your best career field.  Guess what is the top career field, creative!  I guess it makes sense since I am one of the top bloggers/media people in Alabama and America, who is also unemployed.  I am friends with many other bloggers and writers, and I often have new bloggers or writers get some advice from me!  I find it weird that I am this popular, but remain in the unemployment line.  Other people I know have gotten jobs at a TV station, newspaper, or website, and have less experience than me, this does not make any sense!

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For now, I will continue to write, take photos, take videos, review things, and do interviews.  Even if some folks in Alabama and other places thinks all weirdos should be locked away and separated from mainstream society.  And I will continue to job search, and keep growing the job rejection number I keep in my apartment.  So, for the 3,368th time, I am embedding my visual resume with close to 10,000 views now.

And here is my two visual resume infographics.

Every night when I go to bed, I think about what it would be like with a career and income so I can talk about the people who are doing great things in Alabama and the southeast, interview the people with great things coming up, take awesome photos and videos of events, review new small businesses, and much much more!  I wish people here in Alabama and the southeast were more tolerant to people who are different, and would not spy on or call the police on people who are different.  Yes, I do think Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism is facing a PR nightmare, because some people think they are not real disabilities.  But for me, my Asperger’s makes me who I am, and you can not force me to change, end of story!  I can do something, but I need someone to give me that shot!

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If you want to contact me via e-mail, do it at: NathanYoung@GeekAlabama.com

Learn more about why you should hire Nathan Young at: http://geekalabama.com/hire-nathan/

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Animation Monday: 2014 Labor Day Political Cartoons


Geek Alabama Animation

On this Animation Monday on a Tuesday, I am highlighting more political cartoons featuring the topic of Labor Day.  I have been unemployed for over three years now and these cartoons below highlight the struggles of unemployed people on Labor Day.  So, enjoy the cartoons!

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Sunday Discussion: Nathan Young’s Ice Bucket Challenge


Geek Alabama Discussion

First off, I have enjoyed a little time away from the computer, mostly to reflect and do some job searching.  Even though I did not post anything for a few days, I still got a lot of traffic!  So that does prove that I have a loyal fanbase, thank you to the Geek Alabama fans!  Now, while I was away, the Ice Bucket Challenge took off.  The challenge is to pour a bucket of ice and water on top of your head and donate $10, or donate $100 to the ALS Association, and avoid getting soaked.  Many people have taken the first option, and have gotten soaked!  Now, here is my Ice Bucket Challenge video, and it comes with a twist!

Since July 2011, I have been unemployed, and I have searched the ends of the Earth for anything.  Now, I have gone over 1,200 job rejections, and my challenge is simple, I will do the Ice Bucket Challenge, when someone hires me!  And I really want to do the Ice Bucket Challenge, but being rejected over and over again is tough for anyone, especially me.  I have already lined up the person who will pour the ice over my head, and it’s the person below who photobombed this Batman photo.

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And, I have already lined up something crazy to complete the challenge, but nothing will happen until I am hired, even if I have to move away from Anniston Alabama.  Which has become one of the worst places in America for unemployment and the economy, thanks to Forbes, 24/7 Wall St., and other publications.  I am not discounting the insane amount of money raised towards ALS research, which is great, but if I can’t buy the ice and water needed to do the challenge, what can you do?

So, every day starting on Monday, you will see this picture posted on Crowdsourcing Mornings, and on my social media pages.

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I have been rejected from a wide variety of jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, and even a couple of TV show opportunities as well.  Yes, even people who are a Aspie can be successful in a job, this is something some people don’t get!  To help anyone who is thinking about giving me a shot, I am embedding my visual resume, cover letter, video resume, and visual resume infographics.

If you want to contact me, e-mail me at NathanYoung@GeekAlabama.com!

View The Kryptonite Is My Weakness Music Video


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The beginning of this music video poses this question?  What do you do when you have been rejected 1100+ times and live in the worst metro area in America for unemployment/economics, make a music video!  In this parody music video staring me called Kryptonite Is My Weakness, you see me struggling in the job search while going around in the community.  The entire music video was shot with a smartphone and was done in two days.  The song in the background is from the 3 Doors Down song “Kryptonite.”  So sit back and enjoy the video!  And if you know of anything e-mail me at NathanYoung@GeekAlabama.com

It’s Official, The Anniston/Oxford Metro Is In Deep Trouble


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The Anniston/Oxford Metro has struggled over the past few years, mostly due to Fort McClellan shutting down and the job cuts at the Anniston Army Depot, BAE Systems, and other places.  Now, I can honestly say that the Anniston/Oxford Metro is in serious and deep trouble!  And there are several factors to look into when making a statement like this.  First off, The Anniston Star had an article talking about the Anniston/Oxford area having the WORST unemployment spike in America for the last 12 months or one year.  Over the past year, the unemployment rate has jumped to 7.8% in Calhoun County, (it was 6.8% in March 2013) and out of 372 metro areas in the United States, the Anniston/Oxford area is one of the worst places in America to find employment, the worst!

But that is not all my friends, over the last three years, the Anniston/Oxford metro area has seen the loss of nearly 2,000 people.  Gee, I wonder why this area is losing thousands of people, that’s right, it’s because there are no jobs here!  And earlier this year, the Milken Institute put out a list of 179 small metro areas in America based on economic performance.  They said the Anniston / Oxford area is the second worst performing small metro area in America for 2013.  This is not something I am making up, look at the picture below or click on the link to see for yourself.

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And now, I have a couple of charts to show you documenting the destruction of the economy in the Anniston/Oxford metro.  From the website called Department of Numbers, the first chart is the CES Employment Change.  As you can see, from 2006 to today, most months have featured job losses.

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And this chart shows the total employment from the Anniston/Oxford metro.  According to the chart, CES employment for Anniston peaked in March 2007 at 53,700.  Since then 8,600 jobs have been lost in Anniston.  CPS employment reached a maximum of 53,442 for Anniston in March 2007.  7,872 jobs have been lost in Anniston since then.  And if trend keeps going, more jobs are going to be lost and the chart below will continue to nosedive.

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And if you are lucky to have a job in the Anniston/Oxford area, how much money are you making?  Probably not a lot, because a 24/7 Wall Street report has said the Anniston/Oxford metro had a 2.4% drop in the average yearly wage, the WORST in America.  Here is what the website said about this area.

No metropolitan area suffered a greater decline in average weekly wages as Anniston did in the fourth quarter of 2012. The public sector, which often pays higher wages than the private sector, declined 3% during that time. In addition, the number of jobs in trade, transportation and utilities declined by 4.2% during the year. Job cuts and wage reductions are likely to continue in the Anniston area in 2013 as the federal sequestration hits the Anniston Army Depot, which makes up a large share of the area’s workforce.

So, how do we fix the problems dragging down the Anniston/Oxford metro?  For starters, the people needs to vote out the current people in the legislature like Del Marsh, and the person from the US House Representative Mike Rogers.  Kind of ironic that a Republican stronghold is responsible for the worst economy in the United States.  Second, leaders in this city from the chamber to the mayor and city councilmen needs to make recruiting jobs the only priority.  With the charts saying the area has lost over 8,000 jobs, and only around 2,000 people have left the area.  That means there are around 6,000 people out of work in Anniston/Oxford, I don’t know if the number is accurate, but there are thousands of people out of work in this area, that’s for sure.

And third, leaders in this metro area needs to listen to their citizens, and not just ignore them.  For example, I have written about ideas to turn this metro around, and when I have gone to a mayor or other leader, I get passed up.  People in this area has ideas to turn around this area and bring in jobs, the leaders just needs to listen to them.  Because of the unemployment problems, many people, including me, are on some type of welfare program like food stamps or disability.  And I don’t blame these people, because there is nothing here.  This area can not survive on retail and fast food businesses, it can’t!

People are getting so frustrated they are escaping the Anniston/Oxford area to improve their lives.  And for the folks like in the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce, this area is not improving and jobs are not here.  And let’s be honest, how long it will be before the Anniston Army Depot closes down and gets moved to another fort?  Many people are afraid that the depot will close down because the chemical weapons are now gone, and the US Military is cutting back and consolidating their bases and depots.  Let’s be real, Anniston, Oxford, and Calhoun County, this area is in deep trouble, and making Anniston an eco-friendly town is not going to save this area.

I have been saying this, and I will say this again, the Anniston/Oxford area needs new blood or leaders.  For the folks who are unemployed in Anniston/Oxford, like me, who has been unemployed for three years and has filled out over 1,000 job applications, you will have to move on and leave Anniston/Oxford, there is no other choice.  And for the ones who are barely surviving with a part-time or low wage job, you need to leave the Anniston/Oxford area as well, it’s your only choice.  Unless you want to be on welfare for the rest of your life.  Congratulations Anniston/Oxford, your metro area is worst than Detroit when it comes to the economy, let’s celebrate!

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