Futile Job Search Sparked Church Shooting

Todays’ USA Today shows this headline for the horrible shooting that took place at a church in Knoxville, TN yesterday.

“It appears that what brought him to this horrible event was his lack of being able to obtain a job, his frustration over that, and his stated hatred for the liberal movement,” Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen IV told reporters on Monday.

Authorities also discovered a letter from the state government telling Adkisson he was having his food stamps reduced or eliminated, police said.

“He did express that frustration, that the liberal movement was getting more jobs,” Owen said. “And he felt like he was being kept out of the loop because of his age.”  The gunman, Jim Adkisson, was 58.  He had been working as a truck driver but neighbors didn’t think he had been working steadily in the past six months. 

There are so many ways to respond around this dreadful incident.  Obviously I believe there are still opportunities for work in America.  They don’t look like the old jobs — but they are opportunities nonetheless if we can reframe our thinking and expectations.  I know owner-operators have been hit hard with the current gas prices – and it may be wise to move on to something else.  But trucking companies are simply raising their prices and are still paying their drivers well.  Yesterday, I drove a truck back from Indianapolis to Nashville and spent a lot of road time reading the back end of trucks where the companies are looking for more drivers – at $.49 a mile.  At 400 miles a day, that’s still $1000 a week. 

Landscapers and construction managers are telling me they can’t find enough people to keep up with their work commitments.  Many of them are working their available workers 12 hours a day in an attempt to keep up.  I have a construction project that we would love to have completed, and the contractors I have bidding on the job are saying they are 2-3 months out in work committed. 

Change can lead to frustration, anger and murder – or it can lead to seeing new options for different, but meaningful and profitable work. 

At the risk of sounding too simplistic, let me end with this:

“When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us.”  —Alexander Graham Bell

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6 Responses to “Futile Job Search Sparked Church Shooting”

  1. Joanne Miller Says:

    I suspect that the man in this article had a lot more going on than just not finding a job. Few people get so frustrated over one aspect of their life to do something so drastic unless it is the culmination of many other aspects of their life having gone awry. Often people blame career issues for their messed up lives when in reality the root is much deeper and more complex. JFM

  2. Lisa Parnell Says:

    Dan and Joanne, I whole-heartedly agree with the statements “reframing our thinking and expectations” and that the Knoxville church shooter “had a lot more going on” than anyone will ever know about. And I’d add that the shooter probably didn’t have a family-and-friends network of support of any kind!

    Since 2002 change and stress has been seemingly constant in my family, the most recent is me being cut from a Nashville publisher after 15 years. I had been in an off-and-on job search for almost three years, and it has been frustrating to have no job offers because I am over- or underqualified or making too decent of a salary or for the various vague reasons given after interviews.

    So at 46, now I am in the stage of reframing thinking/expectations. If I find something else in a corporation, my husband will be ecstatic, but first I am going to try and be a freelancer in editing, proofreading, and page design/layout. My parents were not risk takers at all, and one of my challenges will be to NOT “look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door” and miss the open doors!

  3. Toks Aruoture Says:

    This is a timely message for me! I recently had to move my beautiful boutique online as we’ve had drastic changes to our lifestyle, which involved moving to England temporarily. With a husband, three children 7 and under and 8 months pregnant, I had to come up with a quick solution to save my business, walk away from it completely or move it online myself after being fleeced by 2 web developers.The last one cost me over $8000 and still didn’t produce a working website. And was expecting a balance of $5000 in order to release a faulty website to me.
    In one last attempt I decided I can do this. I quickly educated myself on web design, tapped into my creative side and http://www.punkin-patch.com was born 4 weeks later. Armed with my newborn son, I went a step further and produced one for the European market, http://www.punkinpach.co.uk due to be launched officially in a few weeks. This ties in completely with Henry Ford’s adage, I can testify that he is absolutely right considerng my background is in Pharmaceuticals and not web design or information technology!

    I do however still find myself looking back regretfully as I miss working in the store and my old life. With your advice Dan, I can look at the open door of expanding to Europe and look forward to sweet success! Thank you so much!

  4. Toks Aruoture Says:

    This is a timely message for me! I recently had to move my beautiful boutique online as we’ve had drastic changes to our lifestyle, which involved moving to England temporarily. With a husband, three children 7 and under and 8 months pregnant, I had to come up with a quick solution to save my business, walk away from it completely or move it online myself after being fleeced by 2 web developers.The last one cost me over $8000 and still didn’t produce a working website. And was expecting a balance of $5000 in order to release a faulty website to me.
    In one last attempt I decided I can do this. I quickly educated myself on web design, tapped into my creative side and http://www.punkin-patch.com was born 4 weeks later. Armed with my newborn son, I went a step further and produced one for the European market, http://www.punkinpatch.co.uk due to be launched officially in a few weeks. This ties in completely with Henry Ford’s adage, I can testify that he is absolutely right considerng my background is in Pharmaceuticals and not web design or information technology!

    I do however still find myself looking back regretfully as I miss working in the store and my old life. With your advice Dan, I can look at the open door of expanding to Europe and look forward to sweet success! Thank you so much!

  5. Julia Stewart Says:

    Hello Dan and Joanne,
    What a sad story. How different this man’s life could have been if he had simply taken the time and effort to examine his life in order to find out what he really loved doing and then made a career out of it.

    I believe, as you do, that everyone has God given skills and passions and if we can just tap into what those are… the sky is the limit! Perhaps if this man had gotten this part of his life right, it would have made a big difference in the other areas of his life.

    My husband and I have tried to help our two boys discover their unique gifts and interest in order to find a career path that is right for them. We were delighted to find out that our oldest son had your book on his required reading list at Lipscomb University. He loved it!

    These days we all have to think “outside the box” and keep up with technology in this fast paced world. As landscapers in the Nashville area for over 25 years, we have had to take this traditional work model and tweek it a bit in order to stay ahead of the competition.

    We decided to embrace technology and start a landscaping business on the web. Talk about a different work model! Who would have thought you could do landscaping on the internet? At our site http://www.flowers-plants-gardening-advice.com you are able to get expert advice on gardening whenever it’s convenient for you. How cool is that?

    Thanks Dan for helping us see the possibilities!

  6. Jay Peroni Says:

    It is a sad day and age we live in. My church in response to recent church shootings has had a police officer in the parking lot and stepped up security. The troubled economy is bringing out the worst in some people. This is why your work is so important Dan – helping people find purpose, passion, and work they love is critical! Thanks for the blog post!

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