This was in 1994 or 1995. I don't remember the exact occasion. It was either in the context of me looking for a job or talking to someone while I was fixing his computer; I don't remember any of the details. I only remember one thing: talking to some guy from some industry and mentioning that I was interested in a career in robotics. The guy proceeded to give me several very good reasons why going into robotics would be a bad career choice--no one was really adopting robotics, the skills weren't really portable, the Asians were the only ones who really used robots, blah blah blah blah, etcetera. His discussion was well-reasoned and well-supported, and what I took away from all that was that I was better served looking for a job in some other field.
Fifteen-odd years later, of course, I've learned that there's more than one way to build a robot. It doesn't have to have an arm with six-axis servos to be a robot. A CNC machine is a robot, and there are all kinds of CNC machines being used in manufacturing these days. And they need people to maintain and repair them just like any other machine.
...so I want to go back in time and hit that guy with a tire iron.