Saturday, December 08, 2007

Let Me Show You Around

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 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 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 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.


yellowdog granny said...

Im so disappointed for you...this just kills me to see such a smart, talented guy get passed over for jobs for past history...if that was truly the bush would be out of a job along with the rest of his asshole friends...Im so sorry sweety...wanna move to west?...I'll find you a job..the weather's nicer, the pace is slower and we have lots of bakeries..babs is coming...if i had my way ..everyone would move to west..ha

good luck...will light candle and say a prayer to the goddess for you..

billy pilgrim said...

how about joining a church? churches like to take care of their own love to have successful rehab cases to crow about. some nut going through resumes might really like seeing a church reference.

i'm sure there's a pretty hefty percent of church members that are there for something other than religion.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...


I know how hard this whole job search has been for you. I could offer you some platitudes here but I won't. However someone out there has to be bright enough to realize your potential.

angel said...

aw fuckitall allan...
i wish i had something intelligent and positive to say to make you feel better...

more cowbell said...

Bastards! I'm with Whim on the platitudes thing. THat just plain sucks. I'm sorry about the Library job in particular.

I have a really bright and talented friend -- she got fired from a small company for missing work when she was in the hospital for emergency surgery. Anyway, she had similar luck with the job search afterward, she was very discouraged, and it took much longer than she'd thought. But, she did eventually get a good stable job. It's rough out there these days -- my thoughts are with you.

Mr. Shife said...

Well that sucks for sure. I hope your luck changes here pretty soon. It is definitely discouraging, and I wish I had more than words to make you feel a little better about the situation. I did enjoy being out here on your blog for the first time and I hope to see you around again. Take care and good luck.

yellowdog granny said...

I took a visit and left a comment on city mouse's post about you...she'll probably be pissed, but take a good look at my face and tell me if you think it looks like a face that gives a shit..
really really great to talk to you today...hope you get good news tomorrow..js

Allan said...

JS- One day there should be a statue of you in West. A gold one.

BP- I would rather start a cult and use human gullibility to fleece people of their money and property...sadly, my conscience prevents this.

Whim- are right- there are some people who realize how awesome I am...there's you- and JS and Angel et al.

MC- You gals know me well. Fuck a bunch of platitudery!
Your friend's story is probably more common than we are aware of...the job market isn't so much depressed as it is hostile. It's vicious.

MR. S- Howdy! Nice to meet ya...I'll introduce you to my cousin.

JS- I don't think she was pissed- I just think she totally misunderstood me and that misunderstanding came at a very bad time for me, an insult on top of an injury (to her credit, CM couldn't know that).
It did hurt my feelings that she would write about me like that-without even letting me know. After I cooled off , I was finally able to tell her that.
I hope this teacup tempest is over.