Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Headache of Trying to Get Just Any Job!

You see people working, everywhere. You wonder why everyone is working and you are not.

The President passes some fabulous law which will remove the burden of $1,200 a month on "just-in-case" health insurance to 65% being paid by the employers and 35% paid by you, effective from September last year. Only you don't qualify, because you were laid off just six days too early (August 25th.) So you wonder why this doesn't work for you because in reality, you have a far greater need than all of those "chosen few" who just happened to get in at the right "event time!"

Oh and the other thing going on is that you cannot get any more unemployment benefit because the benefit just ran out after six months... So you apply for the benefit again, hoping they won't turn you down. The nice thing is, you are dealing with an ethical government office. They'll play it straight provided you do too. Sure enough, they approve your additional emergency relief. However, this only gives you ten weeks! At least it buys you some time!

After all, you played the whole thing straight, while there's some woman driving a Mercedes Benz and living in a mansion claiming food stamps! Huh! That doesn't sound right, does it... Makes the stuff AIG are allegedly doing, sound like small potatoes. But wait a minute, I thought all the skullduggery was over, no?

So what have you been doing to find work? Well, forget about "job" jobs. You may as well go and stand in line down on San Fernando Road along with those friendly folk from South of the Border, and wait to be chosen for semi-agricultural work at $7 per hour, except that you really don't want to jeopardize what you may have coming in from the Department of Employment Development.

So, what about Craig's List? Hmmm, they seem to have regular jobs every day. But wait, these are so competitive, that for every one you apply for, there are 10,000 others applying in the same second you apply. And wait, Craig's List themselves tell you that 89 - 99% of these jobs may not really exist, because this is the amount that get "flagged" for non-compliance with their code. Yes, you got scammed at least a couple of times. One scumbag has all of your details. God knows what he will do with all of this information. You do some damage limitation. First of all, what does he want the information for? Hang on! We need to know why he is a scammer first, right? OK - here's how we know... because we leave our browser open at the exact same page on Craig's List where his posting was yesterday, and it says right in the middle of the screen, "This posting has been flagged for removal" - so we go to the link under the word "flagged" and that is where we find the conciliatory note which explains why they prefer flagging over moderation,and, frankly, I wouldn't want that job either... Enough said.

Wait a minute, didn't we send off a resume, containing all of our information in good faith? Yep, we did! Bummer! That means that we will either be spammed to death by this guy or it will pose a security threat to our personal information. The key question to ask is "What did he want to do?" Well, the answer to this may end up being in your email a couple days later (if he's smart) or the next morning or the same day, if he is not smart. Mine came the next morning. "If you want this job you have to go to this site - link to click. Don't click it. But there may be clues in what he sent you, which will give his game away. This one was fairly straightforward. You actually click on the link and there's a page telling you that all employers need a person who really wants to further his education. There are three options, all of which take you to that famous alma-mater in Arizona somewhere, otherwise known as the fast-food university. You click on "No Thanks!" and it gives you one further option to sign up for something you really don't want!

This is mild. Other scams are after identity theft. Yet others will explode your screen with porn and other nasties, provided the browser you use doesn't intercept it first. (Mine does.) Nowadays, people are pretty well protected from this. That is why the scammers have to be so clever, and make sure that it all comes from the clicks made by the person they are scamming!

Enough of scamming! Back to the legitimate job search... And so, you very judiciously signed up for the Federal Jobs email, religiously emailed out every day, listing hundreds of jobs, albeit for careers like Marine Biologist in Taiwan etc... (These are all the 39,000 federal jobs that Jessica Holmes made such a big journalistic thing about the other morning on the KTLA Breakfast Show.) But let's not lose hope, eh? One day we'll see something there which will match your skillset. Along with these, we are seeing a whole new slew of jobs from the FBI. However, most of these are for Washington, DC and somewhere in Virginia. Now, the County, they still have openings, but wait, isn't there a hiring freeze?

Which brings me to the jobs that actually exist, but which have not been filled yet, but which you have to know somebody to get even the interview. These are around, but, as I say, if you don't know someone, forget it... I just really don't know how employers have the face to advertise a job and bring someone to an interview, and then change their mind. Others advertise jobs which don't exist. And employees at some recruiting companies, not all, mind you, are like hungry dogs....

So there are a bunch of people who are nice enough to phone you and see how you are doing... One has left a message. You phone them back. "Hi June! How is it going?" is your friendly opener.
"It's been so quiet. There is nothing for you right now... tell me how you have been getting on?"
So you tell her. You had a really successful interview and you are just waiting to hear... Wrong! She now wants to know which company. You stupidly tell her. And then you are surprised that the job is no longer open when you call the company back to find out what the next step is going to be!

A couple of kids came to my door the other afternoon. "Hi my name is XXXXX, and mine is YYYYYY!" they chirped, with a professional polish you would only hear in SoCal, as their father stood down at the street, watching every move. "We want to share with you our fund-raising drive for our school", as they opened an envelope with a glossy magazine and a list of hand-written names. I didn't wait for them... I told them that I had been unemployed for quite a while, and I didn't really have any spare cash to hand out.... Then I went to talk to the Dad. It turned out that he was unemployed too! Maybe not for so long as me... but he pointed me to a couple of web sites, albeit useless to me for job-hunting in my line of work, but then again, isn't that just how the Internet has turned out?

So what is the word on the street? In this inquitous society we live in, there is nothing obvious about how we get this business of finding a job done. The Internet, despite Monster, Dice, BrassRing,, Craig's List, CareerBuilder, Yahoo Hot Jobs, and a hundred other job boards, won't help you get a job.

I am told the only way is to go round banging on doors the old fashioned way. Trouble is, who is going to offer you a job if you don't know anyone?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Today's economy downturn's every one has worried about job, some people worried about better but some worried about just job its true.
Samuel Peterson from Job Listing