I am beginning to think that I'll never have a paying job again. I send at least 20 electronic applications/faxes/emails every single week and I usually get no response whatsoever. When I do get a reply, it's always discouraging.
I have a few observations and complaints:
-Some companies still send letters of rejection- "thank you, but we have found our candidate elsewhere, etc"...I have quite a collection of these. It wouldn't be such a big deal except for the fact that some of these jobs are still posted and listed as open- sometimes repeatedly, for weeks.
I have even seen my old job posted twice...I considered applying for it, but they have cut the pay and added a background check to the job criteria. Oh yeah, I forgot-I'm unemployed because they fired me for no cause...I'm sure they want me back. Riiiight.
- On the positive side, so to speak, I don't have to worry about drug tests. By the time my potential employers look at my Federal arrest record and my dismal credit rating, they don't seem willing to waste money sending me to LabCorp. I haven't peed in a cup since I was on Federal probation, which ended in 2003.
-When I compare my rejection letters to the jobs that are still posted, I find that there are quite a few offices in Richmond that would rather have an empty desk than hire me...these are jobs that I am wholly qualified for, yet I am never called- I simply get a 'sorry letter'. I have good work and personal references, but none of them have received any calls about me.
I find that odd.
-Every week , I call my old temp agencies for assignments- they almost always have some sort of file clerk position posted...until I give my name.
After I give my name , those file clerk positions become filled.
In their lieu, I am offered 'production' (warehouse) work that involves repetitive heavy lifting, something that I haven't been able to do since my surgical mishaps of two years ago.
The agencies know I can't do the work, but they offer me the jobs anyway. Why?
- Following a job interview, I used to be able to ascertain- with near 100% accuracy-whether or not I was going to be hired. I had a great instinct for 'nailed it/failed it' moments.
For 25 years this was true.
Not any more.
I've had couple interviews recently where I felt like I totally nailed it- one was at the Public Library, a job for which I am a perfect match...the interview was very friendly, almost jovial- I had mutual friends with my interview team, nice banter ensued, I was taken around and introduced to the people that I was to work with...I was in like Flynn, thought I.
I didn't get hired. Instead, I got a letter for my collection.
My most recent interview wasn't as optimistic. It was at the Science Museum, an old train station converted into a children's museum, complete with IMAX dome and all...a pretty cool place, really.
In 6th grade, I attended a 'nerds' program there, where I was taught how to care for tropical fish- I liked it, it was one of the very few positive school experiences I had as a kid. There are certainly worse places to work.
The job, I thought, was for a seasonal ticket-taker at the box- office. Not the most prestige in the world, but better than a lot of jobs...better than no job. Perhaps it would lead to something better...
During the interview, it was quickly established that I could run a cash register and that I could use Excel without fucking up...now for the job description.
It wasn't what I thought.
The Museum, it turns out, has recently opened a roller-skating rink.
An outdoor rink.
The surface of this rink needs to maintained on a daily basis...do you see where this is heading?
Each morning, I would come in , dump a 50 gallon barrel of chemical sludge on the surface and manually wipe it down- a sort of human Zamboni.
Then I would sell tickets and dispense skates etc.
One of my interviewers was describing the giant mop-like device they had improvised to use for the polishing process...it was quite laborious...was I able to lift 50+ lbs?
"Yes", I lied.
I am so desperate that I am willing to tell lies that could seriously jeopardize my health- I am willing to do this for $8.80 an hour.
Or at least I thought I was.
I was trying to tell them that, "yes, I am available right away"...but my voice sounded weird. Broken.
I'm a DJ, I can usually control my voice- but it was cracking and I was powerless to stop it. I was likewise helpless to stop the tears that were welling up in my eyes as I thought about my future as a polisher of roller-rinks.
I feigned a sneeze. Maybe I could fool them into believing that I had a cold and cover the truth; the truth being that the thought of spending my winter mornings polishing a skating rink makes me question my will to live.
"Ah-choo", I exclaimed, fooling no one.
I didn't get the job.