What’s the matter with Owen? The new face of manufacturing

Nov 25, 2015

Panning into a middle-class living room, TV viewers find themselves witness to a conversation between recent college grad, Owen, and his parents. Owen is clad in khakis, a wool pullover and dark chunky glasses. Dad is wearing jeans, a gray T-shirt and a thick button-down shirt, open from the neck down.

Owen has just announced that he will be working at GE. Mom and Dad are pleased — he has finally entered the ranks of family members working in manufacturing. Of course, they think he will need Grandpappy’s antique sledge hammer to do the job. Owen balks, explaining that while GE does make powerful manufacturing machines, he will be writing the code for those machines, which will do the heavy lifting. No need for a hammer. The parents are confused, and Dad accuses Owen of not being strong enough to lift the hammer.

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