Outsiders review of St. Louis

 Rick Sperling
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Star Rating 4/17/2012
Each city has 'pros' and 'cons' and St. Louis is one who has variances in each direction, but in different areas I have never experienced before.

About me, I have lived and worked throughout the world. I have lived and worked in countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. I carry professional certifications for my industry as well as advanced level degrees from a variety of international institutions.

a) Conservative - very "educated middle class" and and somewhat 'Right Wing'

b) Safe - Everyone watches out for each other. The best example is the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals Championship parade; no violence, no burned cars; I am a Cardinals fan just because of the Cardinals fans.

c) Clean - the people here even pick up their own trash after concerts and even put their shopping carts up after they finish shopping, etc. I am originally from Atlanta, and the city is going to the dogs - filth everywhere. The people here appear to care about their city and surroundings.

d) Cost of Living - the overall cost of living is attractive

e) Job availability - if you are seeking a professional, upper middle income profession, this is the city. St. Louis is starved for talent and if you have any outside (outside St. Louis) training and/or experience you would be "heads-above" all your peers.

a) "Where did you go to school?" - Once I explain this, as an outsider, you will learn why this question is not only rude and intentionally insulting. The locals do not care about where you went to college nor your professional certifications, they only care about where you went to High School. Yes, they judge you on where you went to High School and establish your social status upon this juvenile slice of information. Essentially, you can carry an MBA from Harvard or Oxford but if you didn't go to "their" upper class high school, then you are of little value. Also, they "incorporate" that High School environment/roles in the work place (think about it).

b) Stagnant - Very few people here in business have either traveled, studied or experienced business abroad. And when they hire someone who has, you are immediately perceived as a threat to everyone else. Be very careful when you tout your education, training and experience - it could lead to an adverse work environment.

c) "Good 'ole boys" - Being from the deep south I have to expect this, even in NYC they hire and promote based on friends, family and "Good 'ole boys". However, if you didn't go to a St. Louis High School, then you are not a "Good 'ole boy" and do not expect advancement unless you have "Top Cover" in your work place.

d) Housing - this city is backwards in relation to housing/homes and their prices. I have lived or worked all over the world and in St. Louis they price a $400k home for what I have paid $110k in other cities. These homes are what I would call "Home Depot" homes, they are built with what you would find a Home Depot. Very little high quality material and extremely overpriced. I actually had dinner and drinks with a general contractor about this issue, he willingly admitted he left building in other cities to build here because the people pay high prices for mediocre work and material.

e) Baseball Heaven - NYC may be the center of the baseball universe, but St. Louis is the mecca of baseball. Why is this a "con"? Easy, you are going to spend a lot of money going to very amazing baseball games with your family and friends. Very kid friendly so expect to pay out for the hats, balls, bats, etc. ;-)





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