Okay, okay, I’m sorry for not updating this blog as frequently I have in the past. But before I make excuses, I would like to wish everybody a very Happy and Belated Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a great one and that you truly did give thanks even though your current situation might not be that, well, great.
Secondly, I got another new job! If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I’ve had a job for a while now. This blog started out as an alternative to therapy when I finished grad school and couldn’t find a job besides my crummy part-time retail job. Well, as time progressed, I found a job in my field but it was nothing to write home about. The pay was low (in fact, it wasn’t much more than my part-time retail gig) and there was very little chance of upward mobility. However, it did provide me the ever-elusive exerience that potential employers always made sure to point out that I was lacking. Well, I’m happy to say I found yet another job in my field that pays more in-line with what I expected to make upon graduating while also providing chances for upward mobility (or so it seems). I’ll write more about my experiences getting this job in the future but I just wanted to make sure I updated this little ol’ blog.
And my apologies to all of you that posted comments but didn’t see them posted until recently. I have to approve all comments and have been MIA for a while so I apologize. You guys (and gals) leave excellent comments and I’m thrilled to see this blog has become an avenue for great conversation about people’s situations. You can post your comments anywhere on this site but a lot have taken to the “About Me” section. Feel free to direct your comments here and read everybody else’s great comments.
Back with more soon (I swear)!
Big news may just in fact be coming soon in more ways than one…
I’ll keep you posted!
By now, I’m sure most of you have heard the story of Steven Slater, the infamous Jet Blue flight attendant that had enough of putting up with psychotic general public and told everybody to go f*** themselves…literally. He then proceeded to grab two Blue Moons (delicious) and slide down the plane’s emergency chute. Good for him.
While going to school and leading up to me eventually finding a job, I worked in the service industry. I spent over 8 years working in retail for a big box retailer and those years were nothing short of pure hell. I’ve dealt with yuppies, idiots, arrogant assholes, hoodlums, psychotics, and the like all while politely grinning and bearing their bullsh*t.
Customer service jobs like those found at hotels, restaurants, and retail establishments have become so unbearable and intolerable. People in general have become so utterly rude, disrespectful, and demanding. They’ve been brainwashed into thinking that because they are handing over a dollar that they have the right to abuse and degrade the people on the front lines of these industries. Just because you are spending $50 at a store does not give you the right to prance around the store like Queen Elizabeth and treat the help like the peasants and servants under your rule. Just because you are spending the night at the Hilton does not give you the right to act like a Hilton. You must play by the establishment’s rules and conduct yourself in an acceptable manner. A $150 a night hotel bill does not give you the right to smoke where there is no smoking or defecate on the floor because someone else is responsible for cleaning up after you. Your purchase does not give you the right to act like an animal.
I applaud Steven Slater as he did what I wanted to do the 8 years I was working in retail. My part-time career choice should not have given maniacs the right to abuse me. Sadly, it did and anytime I tried to put a customer in their place, the clichéd response was, “But I’m a customer and I put money in your paycheck.” I can only hope that in this down economy, these very same people that sneered at retail help and people in the service industry are forced to get a job that was previously “below them” so they can get a taste of the crap they forced poor souls to endure for way too long.
I came across an article on MSNBC talking about the same old stuff that every other article on the subject has mentioned. Let me make it simple.
Gen Y – recent grads, no jobs, no money, lots of loans, living with Mom & Dad, underemployed, unemployed, and no end in sight.
Gen X/Millennials – 30-40 yrs old, economic troubles, also face layoffs/unemployment, and find it difficult to get a job.
Older generation – least affected group, generally cranky, hates Gen Y, and will not hire any recent grads do to their Jersey Shore-inspired opinion of Gen Y.
More or less, such was the gist of the article. However, what struck me were the comments left by readers at the end of the article. If you, meaning you younger folks that just graduated and are ready to spread your wings, can’t find a job, here’s why:
“I have been constantly frustrated with the lack of work ethic of the Gen Y or young Gen Xers. They don’t know how to arrive on time and everyone else becomes put behind schedule because they aren’t doing their part of the task at hand. When they get to work they are constantly on their cells,texting or going online during company time. I have opted to doing more of the work myself,it gives me less free time but at least I know it will be done right”
“An example of how these Gen Yers are in fact narcissists. A summer intern called me to rearrange MY schedule for the next day so that he could come in late. Seems he had a party to go to that night and knew he would be out late and drink too much! His exact words.”
“Too many people getting college degrees with worthless majors and then expecting to land a job that requires little real work while providing lots of pay. Not going to happen. These over-educated under-skilled people should have apprenticed as a plumber, or went to trade school to be an auto mechanic. Sewer workers are in high demand. Experienced pipeline welders are in demand. Not much demand for literary journalists.”
“What I have seen from the Gen Y folks is a propensity to get college degrees and then not use them. Also they expect when they graduate from college that companies will pay them 6 figure incomes straight out of college with no experience. I don’t think they are taught or shown how to write a resume that will get you an interview. If they do happen to make it to an interview, they certainly don’t know how to answer questions without saying like, man, or and-uh alot. I don’t see alot of ambition in this generation to do what needs to be done to not only survive on their own, but be successful.”
I can’t speak for others in my generation but I can tell you that I’m hardworking, sincere, and dedicated. I’m not one of these “I can’t make tomorrow’s meeting because I have to go tanning” types. I busted my ass to get the modicum of “success” I’ve achieved and quite frankly, it’s left me a little bitter. Its left me bitter because I haven’t “made it” to any reasonable level worthy of my education. Its also left me bitter because I see incompetents, so-called “experienced workers” in high positions that are remarkably clueless and idiotic. Yet they are the same people that would label me as “unqualified” or “inexperienced.” Ridiculous.
Although I currently have a job and it’s in my field, it’s not exactly what I’m looking for. It’s not a job I can do long-term as the pay prohibits me from ever taking that “next step” – marriage, house, etc. Plus, it completely undervalues my education and provides me with absolutely no growth opportunity. I’m grateful to have a job in a horrible economy and get excellent benefits to boot. However, my goals require more – more opportunity, more money, and more job satisfaction. A while ago I had an interview that I was incredibly excited about. It seemed like a great opportunity for a position that was exactly what I was looking for. I pulled “ninja tactics” to land an interview as without doing such, I more than likely would have submitted another resume to the online black hole and have given the elves in Narnia another digital document to put in their pipe.
I made sure my suit was in order and made sure my tie knot was perfect. I gathered my portfolio and assembled it with all the necessities – pen, resume, paper. I made the arduous commute to the location of the interview and waited outside until I spoke with the person I had the interview via cell phone. She had someone come get me outside the building (the doors were locked) and led me in. I was handed a paper application and was told to fill it out. Didn’t I spend 30 minutes 2 weeks ago filling out a digital application that has more information than this sheet even asks for? Regardless, I diligently filled out the sheet ad nauseum…name, address, education, etc.
The lady I had the interview with led me to a vacant office, asked for a copy of my resume, and began the interview. I did well, answered everything effectively, and she was courteous enough to listen to me chat. However, I knew the interview was over 3 minutes in. How? She suggested a lower-level role as I did not have the “experience” necessary for the position I applied for. Didn’t she read my resume prior to inviting me in? Why make me trek in for nothing? And the position she suggested I consider is basically a walk-in-off-the-street type of position that would pay less, require more, and provide me with a terrible commute as compared to what I currently have. The interview was over 20 minute later and she thanked me for coming in. I didn’t press things as I knew in my head she wasn’t interested and I wouldn’t hear from her. I politely left and cursed under my breath as I walked out.
I came across an article from New Jersey’s Star Ledger that detailed the realities of modern day job searching. The article talks about Becky Cole, who lost her job two years ago due to the recession, and has steadily been looking for work since. Like most, she began attending every job fair she came across and didn’t like what she saw. Several recruiters refused to take her resume or give her a business card while others had plenty of brochures but no jobs to offer. Everybody told Cole to apply online instead, regardless of whether or not they had any openings. Cole didn’t get quick, in-person job fair interviews or have the opportunity to further discuss her resume. Rather, she received smug directions to the company’s career website.
The article suggests such practices are very common these days and are defended by HR managers as a means to process the plethora of resumes they now receive for a job opening. However, there are many job seekers frustrated and demoralized by the online process, as they have spent countless hours applying to jobs online only to never hear anything back. The article noted job seekers are actually happy if they receive a rejection letter because at least it’s something and proves that maybe someone actually looked over their resume. A recruiting firm noted that they posted a job for a front desk receptionist and received 500 applications in 4 days and larger corporations usually receive even more. HR managers are often overwhelmed and defend the online submittal process by noting they simply do not have the staff to look over all applications.
I’ve been there and done that. I went to a few job fairs only to vow never to return again. Not only wasn’t I impressed with the quality of the jobs being offered, but everybody directed me to their company’s career website oftentimes handing me a pre-printed card with the website link on it. There was simply no benefit to attending. Why bother traveling to a location only to be directed to a website that you already knew about? The online application process is garbage anyway because it’s essentially like submitting your resume and personal data into an online black hole, never to be seen or heard from again. I’ve submitted countless applications online and have only received a grand total of 2 responses, both of which were laughable. The only way I’ve gotten better responses was from having contacts inside a company.
I remember when I was an undergrad and watching an episode of The Suze Orman Show. I happen to like Suze as I feel her money advice is simple and sound, but I digress. She had this one girl on her show that was in her late 20s, saddled with debt, barely making any money, and living with her parents. Needless to say, this girl was terribly unhappy. In fact, she was an emotional wreck anytime someone brought up careers or finances. The girl featured on the show had her Master’s degree but was working part-time at Starbucks and felt like she wasn’t living up to her full potential. She knew she had to make changes, she wanted to make changes, and she wanted to become more financially viable. However, she didn’t want to go through the process of job searching again. The reason? It was so frustrating and emotionally painful when she tried years back that she essentially gave up on working in her field and settled for what was familiar – Starbucks.
Like most when they finish school, the girl scoured the Internet applying for an endless array of jobs only to hear almost nothing back. She found the process so frustrating and so painful that she just gave up on it. Back in the job search again, I can truly relate. When I was watching this girl tell her story on national TV, I thought the girl’s problems with job searching were a little far fetched – I mean the process wasn’t that bad, was it? Well, it really is. To accomplish yourself academically only to find out that no employers are interested in what you have to offer is very damaging. To spend hours each day applying for jobs only to hear nothing back is very frustrating. There have been times when I thought of doing exactly what this girl was doing – blocking herself from ever having to go through the painful job searching process again. If I was just a little weaker of a person that could have very well be me or anybody else for that matter.