Welcome to the New World
It’s no secret that the job market is terrible. Except for the lucky few that are rather unaffected by this economic mess and are able to land decent, normal jobs due to shear luck or otherwise, most either cannot find a job or find a job that in a normal economy, would not even be on their radar screen. You have people that are skilled with a 15-year career being forced to a job as a dental receptionist because there are no other jobs for them. And then you have the eager, bright-eyed recent graduate that quickly discovers their hopes and dreams are nothing but just that – hopes and dreams. Their eagerness to join the workforce and build a career quickly diminishes as they put special sauce on yet another Big Mac working next to a pimply 15 year-old talking about Pokémon, Adam Lambert, or whatever the kids talk about these days.
Many recent college graduates are forced to work retail after spending $150,000 on their exclusive private education and pontificating on the effects of higher concentrations of blue-green algae on the lifespan of krill. Or after learning 1970s marketing skills no longer applicable to our digital age robust with social media and the Internet. Suits or business casual attire are replaced with name tags, helping uneducated low-lives and those off of their prescription meds navigate isles of Made in China crap that the person probably doesn’t even need. $40,000 a year salaries and a studio apartment have now become $400 a week and Mom & Dad’s basement. Retail companies want a neat, polished, educated, dedicated, enthusiastic, hard-working person willing to put up with retail hours and undue amounts of stress caused by maniac customers and uneducated Stalinist managers all while making $9.50 an hour. But hey, they get a 20% discount on stuff they can’t afford anyways. And what’s job security? You can lose your job in a whim when some whack-job complains you gave them “the evil eye” when helping them or that you were curt with them when they asked a question. Never mind that the sales associate might be losing their mother to cancer or their wife/girlfriend is breaking up with them and their at the end of their arduous 8-hour workday after being asked hundreds of questions in an environment filled with screaming babies and husband-wife arguments over which trash basket would look better in their bathroom. But wait, that stuff is supposed to be left at the door – forget that the sales associate is human, perhaps more human than the animals that shop the store and leave dirty diapers on shelves or throw-up on merchandise from drinking too much.
The economy is in a sad state and I feel bad for the recent grads whose cheery-eyed optimism is diminished after 6 months of job searching and no responses. I was one of them.