Monday, January 5, 2009


I was job hunting today. It's rough finding a job with the economy the way it is. I decided to go to the Chicago Manpower office. They are a temp agency and I'm pretty desperate for a job so I thought I would go and give it a try.

I ended up at the wrong Manpower office, it was the 'professional' department, helping accountants and such find jobs. It was funny though, they had these posters in their 30th floor office, that showed a person smiling, and the poster asked, "What do you do?" I told the woman there that it was an existential poster and that with posters like that they were lucky they didn't have employees jumping out the window.

So I went and applied at the other Manpower office, where I was told, like I've been told a million times now, to go fill out the application on their website. I've submitted my resume to a couple of job agencies. After waiting a week I've called them back, only to have them tell me that they will call me when something becomes available. I haven't heard from any of them.

This is some thing that frustrates me, online applications. What a convenient way for corporate America to put us working Joe's under their thumb. No face to face encounters, management has their pick of any number of applicants, without ever having to see any of them. So who do they end up calling back for interviews? Members of the same fraternity, family, drinking buddies. Online applications- taking patronage to a new level.

Now, it's not that I'm not qualified for jobs, I have a lot of experience in diverse fields, my BA from a prestigious university, and no criminal record. Yet, no calls. Now, I know the economy is bad, but the jobs I'm looking for are not fancy. I would like to be a waiter, for one thing. I have guest service experience, as well as experience keeping money safe. Yet I go to apply at some of these jobs, and they look at me like I need a degree in quantum nuclear rocketry physics with a minor in brain surgery to be qualified to take an order of cheeseburgers, carry the food across the room, and collect the bill. I just want to tell these Human resources people that the jobs they are hiring for could be performed by monkeys, and yet here I am with a college degree, being passed over.

I ended up going to the cities human services office. They assumed that I had been fired, and wanted to get me on unemployment benefits. No, I had to be the good employee who gave his two weeks notice and left on good terms with management. Now I'm inelligible for unemployment benefits. Next time, I'm flipping my boss the bird, telling him to shove it, and trashing the place until I get fired. Then at least I'll have money to pay my rent while I look for a new job.

Part of the problem is my resume. I have been working since before I was in high school, yet the stores, jobs and fields are so diverse, that jobs aren't able to fit me into a nice neat little hole. Some people have their x degree, and they fit nicely in the x hole. Some people have spent years doing square things, and fit nicely into the square hole. I'm less like a nice little peg and more like a crazy art student's project. I have plenty of experience, but because I have one year here, two years there, a few months at the other place, jobs don't know what to make of my resume.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this job hunt is the progressive political groups that have turned me down for jobs. You would think that when they say they will call you, they would actually call you, but then they don't. I was told that I wasn't hired for one progressive job because I was white and didn't speak Spanish. So who did they hire? A white kid, who didn't speak Spanish, was an alcoholic, had less experience than me, and who had references that would speak ill of them.

But all of that is really the frosting on the cake. It's the superfluous crap that distracts us from the real reason why I am not getting a job. We need to look at how the cake is baked. Capitalism needs the unemployed. I can have a great resume, a great go-get-them attitude, and so on, yet the only thing that matters to those in power, is their own wealth. They will throw you out on the street if it will save them or make them more money.

Well, I should apply to more jobs. The rent isn't going to pay itself.


  1. "Capitalism needs the unemployed. .... yet the only thing that matters to those in power, is their own wealth. They will throw you out on the street if it will save them or make them more money."

    of course. this should come as no surprise, and if you wish to get the benefits of the game you must, perhaps sadly, play the little game. just play-act. lie! if you really need money and they don't care about lying 'n stuff anyways...

    well, that's my advice. :)

    - Jocelyn

  2. well, or, just keep searching for something worthwhile.


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