Humiliating Job Search

Tuesday, October 25

Temp Hint

I get so tired of being jerked around. Just when I get used to having hubby at home he goes off on a temp job that is supposed to last for a ceratin amount of time. Only it never does. They always end it early. He is just that good of a worker and goes through the tasks at super speed. In any case, I just get used to him going off to work and there he is at home again, sooner than expected.

So my hint about temp jobs is never to expect them to start and end when they say they are going to. The first one he went on was as a replacement for some guy who went on a long vacation just as they were transitioning to another system. After all the hard work was done, the guy decided to come back early, bumping hubby out of a job -- until they called at the last minute begging him to come back for a couple more days until vacation guy got up to speed on the new system!

Tuesday, October 11

Journaling

I've been taking a workshop on creativity that requires writing in a journal every day. It turns out I only have so much daily energy to write and that leaves my blog hanging.

Would you believe, one of the things I was ticked off at the job counselor for is that she had the nerve to say "How's your health?" and then mention that I had told her I felt exhausted and she wasn't sure I could "handle" a full time job. I told her this in confidence before my "case" was approved to see her "officially," and yet that has all ended in my "government file"! Not that she has any medical training, but she had the nerve to suggest I go on antidepressants or something. Talk about crossing several lines!

I took a self-assessment workshop at JobLink and she wants to see my workbook. Now I don't trust her -- she might use the results to tell me the job path I am exploring will not be sanctioned by the "powers that be" based on her opinion of my life, as filtered through the relatively few minutes we have ever talked -- when she hasn't been distracted by phone calls, visitors, or whatever is outside her window!

In keeping with the theme or story of my blog, how humiliating is that, to have to submit to that just for the possibility of a little job training assistance? The research and mountains of paperwork that come later seem like typical government hoops to jump through, but the having your life in another person's hands who isn't qualified to judge is altogether a thorn in my side.

She seemed to have a problem with my "attitude" when I made the mistake of showing her my blog a while ago, not realizing that every good blog needs a focus, and "b*tch and moan" is a time-honored internet tradition -- heck, we had that on our message boards before there even was such a thing as an internet and we all had to dial up each other's computers for community access (that's how newsgroups used to move around, in case anyone still remembers those)! I only found out during our last meeting when she read my file and mentioned my "attitude" and then back-pedalled about her attitude in having said it! ("Oh, I didn't mean it like that!" Oh really, then why was that how it came out naturally before you edited yourself?)

Not to mention she seems to prefer "perky go-getters" and seems to have a problem with my style (I'm not into small talk, for instance, although in reading my Myers-Briggs profile last week I realized that is not a flaw but a characteristic.) Just because my personality doesn't light her fire doesn't mean that every potential employer/interviewer would react the some way! It's hard to call people out on their preferences, however, because most people won't cop to their prejudices, usually because they aren't self-aware.

I have my next meeting with her this afternoon, so we'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, October 4

Lots of Trauma

Sorry for the long delay in posting. Some stuff I couldn't bring myself to write about. I gave this link to my JobLink counselor and now hope she doesn't read this, because I am ticked off at the whole system and don't want to jeopardize my chances of help. They have a gov't program that wiill give a small amount of financial assistance to the people they deem are worthy, and I am chafing under the idea that it is up to her to decide if I'm worthy.

As for hubby, he recently got totally jerked around with a job offer. Both of these things will take more than one day to post about, so stay tuned.

Saturday, September 17

My blog exists!

I can now find my blog via Yahoo's and Google's searches, not to mention their new Google Blog Search!

I'm not in the mood right now to chronicle further humiliation. Now that I seem to be able to get back on the internet after a grueling few days, I'll need a breather before getting back into it. You dear readers need a breather so this blog is not a constant downer.

Saturday, September 10

Snotty Unemployment Gal

Hubby has gotten his first unemployment check, and that was a real disappointmant. For one thing, their maximum amount is only $450 no matter how much you made before, and we can't live on that! Plus, since he was a doormat as usual and went back to work for that temp job for one more day, the amount he earned was subtracted from his check.

(They had terminated him early when the guy he was replacing came back early from vacation, but then begged for help the next week when they found out the guy couldn't handle to new supply system by himself. And yet they wouldn't offer hubby more $$, and in looking at my bills yesterday I found out he spent almost everything he made paying for gas to get to that job! Suckage!)

When I called EDD (for those who haven't gone through this humiliation, that is the Employment Development Department, i.e., the U.S. unemployment office), after being on hold for what seemed like forever (probably closer to 40 minutes), I talked to a snotty little bee-atch. When I was trying to determine what effect temp work would have on hubby's check, she made sure to tell me that if he "refused work" he wouldn't be eligible at all. She really sounded like she relished saying that, whereas everything else was related in a bored voice and unintelligible diction.

So here is a warning to anyone who may be in the same boat. Do not look for temp work, so that you do not have to "refuse" it. Otherwise you could be stuck slaving away at unlivable wages and have no time to conduct a search for a real job.

Here is what I found out later, no thanks to her:
The formula is that you get to "keep" 25% of what you earn, and the rest is deducted from your check. If you make over $600 for the week, you would not get a check but you could get it in a week you didn't earn anything. If it is less, however, you get the reduced check and lose one of your weeks. It is so disgusting I don't even feel like describing how much that sucks.

Another item for the Tip Jar:
I had to fill up just over half a tank the other day, and it cost $30. Obviouslyu we don't have that kind of money. But I have to tell you, I have always been so responsible with our budget that even when hubby had a job, I would never spend $30 at one time unless it was a really special occasion. We would only eat out when I had two-for-one coupons, never went to movies, etc. How sad we had to take the birthday check hubby's dad sent him and put it in the gas tank.

So it is infuriating to be put in this no-win position of contributing to the billions of dollars of weekly profits for evil oil execs when we are gradually dwindling away to potential homelessness. Again, I am too disgusted to continue.

Monday, September 5

"O-F-F"

I have to digress from my main story to publish this exerpt from an email exchange with a cousin, who wrote this a couple of days ago:

> Yes, it is a shame Bush doesn't have time (gag) for the hurricane victims.
> Heaven forbid that it cut into his vacation time. I don't know one person
> who has said anything good about him. More relief should have been taken
> down to those people by now. The children are starting to dehydrate. I was
> watching the news with my neighbors and we just sat there with tears in our
> eyes and shaking our heads. Then Bush came on and it just came out of my
> mouth before I could stop it, "O, great, now we have to listen to old F[ ]ck >Face!"
> I went to put my hands over my mouth, but my neighbors stood, clapped
> their hands and laughed. They said they were going to remember that line.

I had to laugh out loud reading that!
"O-F-F" always makes me want to barf. I'm glad my cousin was able to find some humor in it.

> On a brighter note ­ where did you and Hubby go for his birthday dinner?

I took him to Red Lobster, which he enjoyed. When he was telling me what he had heard on the radio about this very issue and what the mayor of New Orleans had said about lack of preparedness and support, however, I almost burst into tears right in the restaurant and then Geoff almost did too. I wonder what the waitress thought. The Bahama Mama I ordered was vile, but not enough to make me sob!

(This was a couple of days before monkey-boy ever showed up in Nola. There was a puff piece in the paper yesterday saying how he was out there with the victims and kissed two sobbing women on the cheek. I would feel poisoned. I would say, I'd rather have a check for housing, since you personally have billions. A kiss on the cheek is like a slap on the face when you think of what he is not actually doing for those people!)

Other than that, it was a good meal. They serve cheddar herb biscuits, which is something we had made ourselves, coincidentally, the week before when I had some fresh chives (theirs, on the other hand, seems to be made by sprinkling a garlic herb salt on top -- of course ours was way better!) I had a coupon, and we still had some $ left on a gift card from Christmas :-)

Comrades in Humiliation

Another blog found mine! It has people making posts about their job searches. When one gal said she just got two "no" answers to jobs she had forgotten she'd even applied for, I had to reply.

We went to a bunch of job search workshops, and one of the presenters said you have to go through 50 "No"s to get to a "Yes." So I found a document where Hubby had typed the word "No" 50 times and then some "Yes"s. Every time he gets a "No" or a "Yes" he goes into the document and strikes through one of the words. I wonder what he'll do when he gets a job, go back and tell the guy it didn't take exactly 50? Lol :-)

Friday, September 2

Tip Jar

This could be considered humiliating, putting up a tip jar up on my site. But I figure if I make my monthly goal of $40 for internet access, it will be worth it. Or maybe someone wants to sponsor me for a $25 annual Flickr Pro account, or the $15 BlogShares premium membership (I'm doubting that will make their server move any faster, however -- I'd rather have Flickr!)

Or maybe someone wants to see us have a little stress relief and do something we'd never pay for ourselves, like go to a movie (oh, how I longed to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when it was on IMAX!)

Or something healthy like organic veggies instead of cheap processed crap that makes us fat and then kills us, but hey, it's "affordable." :P

I would be begging for a health plan, but hubby's parents have offered to pay for some minimal, catastrophic coverage (although I don't know where the money for high deductibles and co-pays is supposed to come from).

I'm still wondering how that chick who was so irresponsible in getting herself deep in debt got people to donate to get her out of the jam she got herself into. How could I market a "help me pay my mortgage" campaign?

Monday, August 29

Job Offer #2

So the other assistant store manager offer came in today. At least this one had details (about a 30% decrease in pay from what he did before). We're not that desperate yet! I tried to tell hubby it is the beginning rather than the end of his discussions with them, since now he gets to arrange to speak to the regional HR director and explain why he is more qualified to be a store manager. Why would he want this? Fewer hours, less of a commute, and more hands-on managing vs. paperwork.

He was ready to let it drop, assuming he did not "wow" them enough to change the interview in mid-stream. It's a lot easier for them to humiliate you if they can trigger a bout of low self esteem. I am more inclined to think he just wasn't talking to the right person and presenting the right info. Really, since he had a Director-level position at a major national retail department store, to assume he was qualified to only be assistant store manager of a much smaller store is quite unreasonable. That's why he needs to talk to the HR guy about other options.

Did I mention his temp job ended Friday? They called today begging him to come back. The boss was trying to prove to his higher-ups that they needed an extra person to help run their new supply system, and I guess being a man short for one day really did create havoc.

Being honest, hubby didn't go behind the temp agency's back, but had them call the agency instead. Of course with the price of gas he said they'd have to up their rate of pay. In the meantime, he agreed to go back for one day when the lady from the temp agency offered to get him a contact with someone in non-profit. His "dream job" is to become a director at a non-profit.

Friday, August 26

How to Stand Up for Yourself

I was very proud of hubby for not accepting that crappy job offer for once in his life. So the headhunter said there is another possibility of a better job closer to home. Let's hope that one works out! If he hadn't refused to be jerked around, they never would have brought up the other possibility. Let that be a lesson :-)

Of course in the meantime we are still bleeding money. His temp job ends today. I hope he can get unemployment insurance to lessen the bleeding until he gets a real job.

My savings aren't going to last forever. Good thing I was saving for major repairs like a new roof and major bathroom repairs, not to mention our IRA contributions. All of them on hold, and I can only hope not permanently off the table. My stomach hurts. (No insurance, of course!)

Wednesday, August 24

Crappy Job Offer

So one company where hubby applied to be a store manager, even though he is qualified to be two or three steps up from theat job, wanted to interview him for an assistant store manager job (which would be career suicide as well as not paying the bills). At least they were honest.

Another company was interviewing him for a store in Fresno (talk about suicide!) but then came back with an offer to hire him for an assistant store manager position in another town, supposedly on the "fast track" to store manager, at which point allegedly he would have to move yet again after 3 to 6 months.

Having gone through this sort of thing before multiple times in his career, I can tell you we have never seen a company keep those kinds of promises. Every time he has agreed to start below the position they say he's qualified for, they have kept him at the lower job title with the lower pay rate and worked him to death doing the job they refused to position him into in the first place.

One notable example was a retailer who has since gone bankrupt who said they wanted him as a store manager but hired him on as an assistant. Then they had him moving from store to store as acting store manager, doing exceptional work without the pay or title, trouble-shooting major problems that existing store managers had caused and/or couldn't fix, pulling their fat out of the fire constantly without ever getting that raise or promotion. The excuse was that the boss' position in charge of making that decision turned over 4 times during that period.

The reality is that there is always going to be turnover in the decision-making positions, and the new guys are always going to want to start from square one and never honor the promises that were made by the previous regime. These high-level retail guys (even the women) love to swing their dicks around and are often incompetent managers. So if you agree to their downgraded promises, you end up a chump.

I beleive that is standard business practice. Now I think he needs to start applying for jobs that are one or two levels above the job he actually wants. This acquaintance of his did get a store manager job with the first company I mentioned. Hubby thinks that a change in vice presidents resulted in a change in policy, that now they want to "hire from within." I'm wondering if it is just that his acquaintance may have applied for a district manager position and got a downgraded job offer to store manager.

Hubby was most recently above a district manager position. He was a senior manager at the corporate level doing Director-level work. Naturally they hired him in with the promise they would create the directorship for which he did all the work, but no surprise, they never got around to it.