His house sits in one of the most upper-scale and affluent residential area of Chicago suburbs. As I walked inside the double-door entrance with marble sidings, I quickly realized that the inside of the mansion is even more impressive and pretty that outside view. There are two separate staircases leading to the upper storey; there are multiple bathrooms on the main floor; the open ceiling concept has a catwalk that overlooks the family room; the kitchen alone is bigger than decent size luxury apartment…
If you look at the size of house, you would think that some millionaire lives here. Maybe, he is a millionaire; it is hard to guess his wealth out of his humble disposition and very friendly nature.
After a brief chit-chat, I asked him about his occupation. I knew he was not working much currently, but I was very curious to find out where he got the big bucks to build that big mansion.
“One second, be right back”, he briefly went into the kitchen and came back with two cups of hot tea – steam still floating over the edges.
“It was a good job, a very good job. Only 15 minutes drive from the house,” he reflected on his past occultation, the cup of tea resting on his thigh as he leaned back in the easy-chair.
For 15 years, I found out, Ramesh had worked for an electronics company as a quality controller. He does not have any special technical education –engineering degree or anything else of the sort.
“I started on the assembly line, but I was promoted to the supervisor within years”, there is a happiness in his voice as he walks down the memory lane.
“Everybody appreciated what I did for the company. I used to get letters of recognition all the way from Japan – our upper management headquarters.”
“So, what happened?” I asked curiously.
“Outsourcing!” he did not feel any further need to explain. But then, after a brief pause, he spoke with a sad tone, his voice lowered, “they did not need us anymore, they found cheaper ways to do what we did, in other countries!”
“Oh, I see!” I did not know what else to say.
For the past 4 years Ramesh has struggled to find a decent job. Most of the jobs that need his skills are outsourced. After trying for years, he gave up on the job market, and tried to do what one of his best friends does – real estate agent. Continue reading