youngraven: A shamrock in flames with an instructional message (annoyed)
To better illustrate why the 99% aren't merely laying about doing effall when they should be out working as decent folk do...here are a few of the responses I've got from applications I've submitted in the past few days:

13 October 2011
Dear Leah,

Thank you for your interest in the position of Graphics Assistant - Requisition 998603 for RadioShack location Corporate Office and for the time you spent completing our online candidate process.

Unfortunately, we have decided not to move forward with you for this position. We will keep your information on file and contact you should our needs change in the future.

We wish you the best of luck in your career search.

Sincerely,

RadioShack

So, did I have have too much experience? Did I bollox the ethics test? Did I bollox the intelligence test?

Or was I merely one too many out of thousands:

14 October 2011
Greetings! Thank you for expressing interest in our position(s).

Due to the volume of resumes we receive, we can only contact those candidates whose qualifications match our needs for current openings. We cannot provide updates on where resumes are in the hiring process. If you are a match we will be in touch shortly to discuss your candidacy.

We pay particular attention to matching the right people with the right positions and will review your resume for any available opportunities we may have. We will also keep your resume on file for future consideration. Again, thank you for your interest.

19 October 2011
Your resume has been received, thank you!

Due to an overwhelming number of submissions, we may not be able to contact you in person, but your resume will be reviewed.

Thanks again, and best of luck to you!

Wait - what was that you said? 'Overwhelming number of submissions'? What does that mean in common speak, please? Am I one of hundreds? Thousands? Millions? Are there so many responses to each and every posting that there's no time in the day to give even one of them more than a cursory glance? Thus it's only the very first ones that ever go anywhere? This brings to my mind images of blackened-eyed human resources underlings howling 'uncle' from beneath literal rooms full of applications - as in if every received CV and covering letter were printed out the resulting run on paper would put Staples out of business. If there are that many people clamouring for work, then clearly Houston, we have a problem.

So, Monday, after admitting to myself that perhaps it is too much to ask that I find work in my field of experience (see how well I've been trained not to say 'expertise'), I registered with every staffing agency I could think of and/or find in a Google search. That summed to about six - and this isn't counting the creative ones (Creative Circle, the BOSS Group, The Creative Group) with which I'm already registered. One of them sent back this:

18 October 2011
We appreciate your recent inquiry regarding employment with Express Employment Professionals and your interest in becoming a part of our team.

We are in the process of reviewing your qualifications and comparing them with our current staffing requirements. If we determine that your qualifications match our present needs, we will contact you within the next 45 days, to discuss available opportunities.

Again, we would like to thank you for the interest you have expressed in Express Employment Professionals.

We also invite you to visit http://jobs.expresspros.com/us/search/ regularly and apply to openings that are suited to your qualifications and of interest to you along with calling our office to inform us of your online application and to learn of any other job opportunities that are available.

We appreciate your interest in Express Employment Professionals and wish you success in your job search.

Warm regards,
Express Employment Professionals

Forty-five days, is it? As in a month and a half it may take you to respond back to me? Janey mac, it's a good thing I'm not starving. Alright - fine, sure: the counter argument to that is you should never have let it go that long, right? But for people in hand-to-mouth situations, waiting as little as one day is letting it go that long. Really? Let's crucify them for one day spent slumped in the daze that comes from suddenly finding themselves in hard situations? Wow. And when you get to those famed Pearly Gates, have your explanation for that line of thinking ready for St Peter. He's put the kettle on and lit up a fat cigar; he's got the time to hear you out.

So, in forty-five days, I can expect to find out whether I've a future as a file clerk. Only maybe I haven't got to wait that long:

18 October 2011
Thank you for taking the time to complete the application for Express Employment Professionals. Unfortunately, after closely reviewing your application we do not have a position at this time that meets your qualifications.

We wish you success in your search for employment. Please feel free to view our web page and apply for any positions you would like for us to consider you for in the future.

Thanks Again!

The Express Team Dallas (West)

In short, I've been rejected by frigging Kelly Girls. 'Cos that's a fine ego booster. Indeed.

I'll share one last message, conclude, and then hold my peace for a while.

18 October 2011
Thank you for registering with Elite Staffing.

Please take a moment to login and make sure that the information you have submitted for your profile is up to date.

And…don’t forget to visit our Facebook page and “like” us for more information and to stay current with our career opportunities!

http://facebook.com/elitestaffing

Thank you,
Elite Staffing Inc

So...in short, you might chuck me in a bone if I'll advertise for you? Sigh. I know, I know - everybody's got to Do Business lest we all be sunk. It seems a bit questionable is all. I suppose by signing up with the agency and, in effect, saying to them 'I'm offering to make money for you', I do give them leave to say back 'Oh? Prove that by making some money for me in advance'. 

It's times like these that make me want to go back up into the trees and eat a banana. 

Now then, let me head any who might accuse me of sloth for the time I've spent writing this entry. I've tapped Monster.com out for the day (I've even re-applied to positions posted last month - who knows, perhaps if I apply six or seven times, I'll get noticed). I've written to Freeman Leonard (another creative staffing agency) four times over the course of a few months, and I have got no responses. Not a form letter, not an acknowledgement, nothing but frigging crickets. I've addressed everything at CyberCoders that I could possibly do. Everything posted to CareerBuilder, I submitted applications to last week. Half of those are at Monster.com as well. It's very simple for me to shoot the bloody lot in an hour of a Monday morning. There's one position at craigslist to which I plan to apply. After that, the well done run dry, and that's the reality of it (incidentally, I've been turned down for retail as well). 

So, it's not that I'm some great lazy shirking thing. With great teeming hoards of workers from which to choose, employers not only have a tyranny of riches ('arrrgh...too many people...meltdown imminent...'), they've got all of the power as well ('but what I really want is a person who's versed in this One Thing That 98 Per Cent of All People Do Not Know, and I want it painted pink'). It's rather a task to stand out amidst the crowd when by 'review' what is meant is 'click-delete, click-delete, click-delete, click-pause for two seconds-delete'. I'm related by marriage to a human resources director: this isn't exactly hyperbole. 

It comes back to 'You are not owed a living'. I responded to somebody at Facebook (who'd espoused a similar statement) with: Alright then, what's to be done with these people? I wanted an honest answer, since I got silence (which could as easily be 'cos the original poster doesn't check Facebook often; I'm reading nothing at all into it), I've been pondering it on my own. This morning, I read an op-ed piece, which stated that the OWS bit first assembled at the Famine Memorial. I thought about my forebearers - people whose names have been lost to me by time (I know they came from Ballykrissane, but little else). I remembered being driven past countless famine graves disguised as empty pitches with grass and sheep on them. And I knew exactly what's to be done with these people. 

Fair play to you, society. 





youngraven: (Default)
There's a reason I eschew making politically motivated posts more often than I make them: I'll own I'm grossly under informed. I don't want to add to the static and hiss by chucking yet another half-baked theory based upon something somebody might have said in or out of context; I don't think that's part of the solution in the least. There's enough divisiveness as it is, I really can't be adding to it. 

But I've been seeing and hearing flickers and soundbites from both sides of this Occupy business, and it's got me thinking thinky thoughts. 

There seems to be a huge disconnect between what each side believes the other side wants - on a colossal other planet scale. The one side is claiming that the trust fund protestors are howling because they've spent themselves out of house and home, yet they want to buy iPods and shite, and the other side are claiming that it's more to do with the banks using their bailout money to pay themselves rewards. 

As well, I've seen the right wonder where the protestors are finding the time to be in the streets when they should be working to earn the toy with which they want to play. 

See the addled oversimplification? 'S why I usually hold my tongue. 

I'm trying not to skew my words in favour of one over the other, but I do tend to come out standing nearer to the 99 than the 1, for a variety of reasons. Oh - lest I forget, this post's inspiration is a photo that's been running round Facebook. It depicts a sheet of paper in which a college student has stated that s/he's got through school mostly unaided and free of debt. The one side is pointing to it and declaring: see? It can be done, whilst the other side is saying '...erm, are you sure the person is telling the truth?' 

There are inaccuracies meant to tease the mind and tug the heartstrings on both sides this row. I'd even go so far to say there are as many inaccuracies and spun claims on one side as the other. Persuasion's a dodgy art at best. I don't know whether it's possible for a student to come away from uni debt free and smelling of a financial rose. I know my cousin didn't do, and I can hardly call herself nor her parents daft wastrels wont to chuck their dosh at any shiny thing that strikes their fancy. I mean, they're thrifty. And she got scholarships. So...if my modest- living cousin came away from her experience with years and years of debt... I'm sceptical that it's all that simple. 

And this business about how those protesting ought to be spending their time. Well, firstly - have you had a go at finding work these days? I have. I've spent months and months doing just that: baiting my hook and reeling like a mad, mad thing when a fish nibbles. I've been turned away every time but once - and that resulted in me being chucked back into the water again 'cos the Powers That Be had over estimated what their sales would be. You could say to me 'well, it really is your fault 'cos nobody's ever made redundant who didn't deserve it'. In fact, I welcome you to say that to my face - go on, do. 'Them's fightin' words' so say ye? Sure, possibly. But come down into the trenches with me and see how it is before you decide that I've made my own bed, and thus I should be made to lie in it. 

'Cos, a chairde, I did everything I possibly could to keep my household's head above water. When the company to which I'd given the whole of my adult years presented me with an awful dilemma (in short, they shut all of my department's offices but three: so I could stay, but I'd have to go), I uprooted myself and carved my life in half. They praised me, and lauded me, and they could have made an exception and kept me - hell's bells, they'd done it for others whom they'd deemed as irreplaceable as myself - only they didn't do. They whinged and moaned about how hard it'd be once I'd gone ('this is the thing I've been dreading' so said Fearless Leader - fucking dreading, sez he), yet they did little beyond begging me to extend my time by two months. 

Sure, thanks. No, really - it was a great help. 

You might be wondering why I simply couldn't transfer into another department, right? Sure, so did I. I had it down on paper that my work record was stellar. Stellar. Do you know how often I boast of my own skills or accomplishments. Never. In fact, I find doing so to be rather uncouth. So that I should stitch that word to myself ought to show how much weight it holds. I do not know why all other doors were shut to me. I'd proven my worthiness, and it wasn't enough. I was even told by one group that people from my department wouldn't even be considered, so I shouldn't waste my time. 

Wow. Grand. 

All of this I'm saying from the perspective of somebody who's actually farther from the brink of catastrophe than many others. Now then, one big nasty blow could shit the lot. I'm tangibly aware of that. 

So, I'm wondering how I've cooked up this stew into which I may yet fall and boil. What have I done wrong? I'm not addicted to anything (as has been bandied about recently), I don't spend all of my money on the women and the drink (I need a pair of trainers, actually, but will I buy them? No. I will not.), and I tend to believe that earning a meagre bit of brass is better than none at all (which I put into practise - knowing full well that we'd still be sunk should that Nasty Blow befall us). So. I can see how I'd tend to be one of the 99, but I fail to see how it was my own avarice and stupidity that put me there - and if this is true of myself, surely I'm not the only one. 

I think it all comes down to mis-conceptions. Would I be more employable were I, say, a nurse? Oh, absolutely. As the numbers of aged and infirm people grow, so do industries meant to serve them. It's a positive correlation. So, bootstrap it and go be a nurse or something, right? I could do that. There's no guarantee, though, that at the end of those four years (we're assuming - I've done no sort of schooling thus far that would prepare me for nursing in any way, it would be starting afresh) and 90,000 (if I'm lucky) I'll be in any better shape than I am in now. I doubt I'm eligible for grants or scholarships (for fuck's sake, I've been away from acadaemia since 1997 - how could I get scholarships - enter contests?), so if I want to pay for a new career, I've got to either get loans or divest my 401(k). 

In four years, I'll be 42 - nearly 43. 

Good luck with that, ducky. 

Sure, this might be an extreme scenario. I'm sure that there are other sorts of retraining that can had for less gold and in less time. It still comes down to experience (which I've got in my field. Damned pity that hundreds of thousands of others do as well, right? /ironical) Only I know the sort of time it took me to build up to that modest level I had with the fit hit the shan - it was fifteen bloody years. Sure, I can do it again; I cannot ignore that my age does put me at a disadvantage for Doing It Again. 

I've heard it said recently 'the world doesn't owe you a living'. I suppose that's true. 'The world', being a mental construct is incapable of owing anybody anything. I think what people are actually saying here is 'I don't owe you a living'. Alright...but shouldn't all of our lives be a damnsight more pleasant if I had one? If all of us had one? You're right in that there are some people who are dead set against doing a bloody lick of work at all if they think they can get by without doing. I am hard pressed to believe them the majority. My skin crawls when I've no work to do. I've spent most of today frantically doing the wash, 'cos for fuck's sake it's Something to Do. And I'm sure there are those who'd latch on to that, wave their judgements in my face and crow that 'Aha! You're freely admitting to wasting time. Layabout!' 

Really? 

I could go on, but I'm finding myself dangerously near to wasting time when I've other things need doing. So I'll close by saying this is why I can't point to the Occupy Everywhere lot and call them shirkers (it strikes me as odd as well that it's assumed that the same people are standing in the streets day in and day out). Will they effect any change? I suppose we'll wait and see, won't we.

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youngraven

April 2013

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