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After I was fired from my job as a mechanic, I returned to craigslist and started applying for just about any opening I could find.

I applied for work as a bagel baker, a construction laborer, a screen printer, an interior painter, an exterior painter, an online pet memorial salesman, a landscaping foreman, a front desk dental office assistant, a video production assistant, an editor for a new blog (the job required a computer, and that you worked from home), a copywriter for a new sports blog (again, the work would be done at home), construction site cleanup, and a granite countertop measurer, among many, many other positions. I sent out resumes and short cover letters to every one of them, each tweaked to fit the new circumstance.

I tried to avoid getting involved in anything that might cause serious injury. At forty-four I valued my sometimes stiff, yet healthy, back, and I wasn’t about to risk vertebrae dislocation just to get some college student’s couch up two flights of stairs.

(Click here for Part 1)

craigslist part 2
But of all the jobs I applied for, I hardly heard a thing from any one of them.

You’re supposed to follow up on applications, the advice-givers say, but most ads on craigslist don’t include follow-up phone numbers or contacts. Usually, when applying for work through craigslist, you are sending your resume out into the ether with the simple hope that it finds its way into safe hands. There is a chance, of course, that some of these ads are run by crooks. It could be that they are phishing schemes—phony companies set up to lure you into providing them with your personal information—but you can usually spot these scams from a mile away. The grammar is bad or they have corporate logos that look like graphic design rejects. It’s true, you take a risk when responding to online advertising, but at some point you have to leave things up to fate.

I did get a few interviews through craigslist; some of these were mentioned earlier. One interview I had was for transmission repair franchise that was looking to hire a service writer. The shop was in one of those beige storefronts glued to another beige franchised tire shop, kitty-corner to a beige franchised sandwich deli. After a couple of phone conversations, I was asked to come in for an interview. A day or so later I met with the district manager—the guy who helps the owners of the transmission franchises find employees—and he gave me a quick tour of the place.

The front office was slightly bleak: soft country music and the smell of burnt coffee hit you right away, and the carpet was beige, the desk was beige and the furniture was beige. Behind the desk sat the ample wife of the owner, phone teetering on her shoulder, and she smiled thinly at me through heavy lipstick before turning back to her computer and her call.

After the tour, the district manager took me across the street to a cafe where we found a table and sat down; soon after, the owner of the shop came across the street and joined us. He was older than me by about ten years and had broken blood vessels on his cheeks from hypertension...or maybe he was a drinker. The interview went well, I thought. We chatted loosely while they asked me questions and outlined the job responsibilities. For the most part, the work would be service writing, but there would be some helping out in the shop when needed.

At the end of the interview the owner asked where I wanted to be in ten years? I said, perhaps a little recklessly, that I couldn’t see myself working in the auto service business long-term. I told him that most of the guys I knew over fifty who were still repairing cars were in poor shape. They were struggling with health problems: neck or hand surgeries and back issues. I didn’t want to wind up like that, I said. I was never called back after the interview.

One thing about that interview that bugged me was that the moment it was over, I noticed that the next interviewee was sitting at the table next to ours, awaiting his turn. When the interview was over, I got up, shook hands with the owner and district manager and then I turned to the other candidate and said, “good luck.” I left with an uneasy feeling. I didn’t think it was considerate to have us square off like that.

Another interview that was more up my alley was for a service writer job at a foreign auto service shop. This was a smaller shop—non-dealer—and after seeing the ad on craigslist I sent my resume and then took the initiative to drive over and introduce myself. I met the shop manager and he showed me around the place. We hit it off well. I met a couple of the mechanics and I described my experience in the business and the manager told me before I left that he’d be in touch in the next two or three days.

It was a Friday, three days later, and I still hadn’t heard from him, so I called and caught the manager on the shop phone. He was glad to hear from me, he said, and he told me they were setting up interviews the following week. They were extremely busy, he went on, and it had been difficult organizing the hiring process right in the middle of the rush, but I should expect a call. I told him, in all good humor, that that would be fine and that I looked forward to hearing from him.

By Friday of the following week I still hadn’t heard anything. So I called again and once more I got the shop manager on the phone. He apologized and reiterated how he appreciated my persistence. He went on to say that the following Monday they were definitely setting up the interviews and that I’d get a call on Monday or Tuesday to meet with the owner. I was relieved, somewhat, that I was still in the running, but the process was starting to drag on. This should have been a red flag, but when you’ve been searching for work for so long, you tend to hold onto any thread like it’s your lifeline.

By next Tuesday I still hadn’t heard a thing and I called late in the day and left a message on the shop phone. I didn’t hear back and I was about to give up on the whole prospect when, to my surprise, I got a call the next day from the owner, Todd, asking if I could meet with him at a café that Thursday.

Great! I finally had the interview with Todd. We met at a café the next morning and had a nice chat. After a half hour, he told me that Al, the shop manager, would contact me early next week for a follow-up interview and that that’s where things stood. I messaged Todd later that day and thanked him for taking the time to meet with me, and he responded with an equally amicable text.

By the middle of the following week, however, I had heard nothing. I texted Todd that Friday to find out how things were going. He didn’t respond. What else could I do? He had my number and email address. I knew that he received my text after the interview. Did they hire someone else?

Perhaps. It was hard to say.

I couldn’t tell what had happened from looking at the company Facebook page. Either way, I felt depleted and let down. Even if Todd had his doubts and he had a different service writer in mind, professional courtesy would have been to call me and let me know that they had gone with another candidate, right?

This experience is an example of the emotional roller coaster ride you’re on when money is tight and you haven’t had luck finding work. This would have been a good job, and my wife and I were hoping our luck had changed, but nothing ever jelled. Finally, after scoring the interview with the owner, we were once more optimistic. Soon enough, though, we were back at square one. An entire month was lost on false expectation. Pick yourself up and move on, is what you tell yourself. You’re a little less confident and a bit beaten down, but what else is there to do...

Under existing cultural context, when one person in a couple is out of work it can put a strain on the relationship. When finances are tight and one person is carrying all the weight—paying the rent and all the bills—it’s easy for the other person to feel the effects of what I consider an imbalance of influence (a power disparity, in amateur psychological terms.) It becomes a kind of existential task for the unemployed person to assert himself in different ways.

When you are the one without a job, you find ways to contribute, even if the contribution doesn’t involve money. You do the dishes and the laundry and the vacuuming. You do what grocery shopping you can. You walk the dog. If you know something about cars, you check the oil and tire pressure and warm the car up for your wife when the mercury dips below the zero mark. When the breadwinner comes home after a night of work (my wife worked second shift in a busy mental health crisis center—the profession that infamously coined the term “burnout”), and your days of unemployment are stretching on, you give her a wider berth when she’s exhausted and under stress.

In Seattle, before our move, the shoe had been on the other foot. Back then, I was the one with the job and my wife had just finished her degree and was coasting on the tail end of her student loans while she looked for work. Now I was the one trying to keep the kitchen clean, the dog fed and dust from accumulating in the corners of the room. You do these things, not only to be helpful, but also to prove to yourself that you’re still useful. You do these things to distract yourself from darker thoughts…that you aren’t capable of success, or that you’ve somehow failed at life. You tighten screws on the electrical outlets and you wash the floor and you seal the storm windows.

Over time, though, tensions percolate and there are words and tears and despair. “We could find a cheaper apartment,” it is suggested. We could make cuts here and there in our budget. We’ll put off starting a family. We could move back to Seattle where we have friends and better connections. Wait, how would we get the money to do that?

We weren’t on food stamps, but we had been shopping at the cheaper grocery stores for a long time now and we rarely went out. My wife was a genius when it came to getting a two-for-one burger through the mail flyers and we started carrying around pocketfuls of coupons whenever we went shopping. In a worst-case scenario, of course, we could reach out to relatives, but we never let our situation appear that dire. I was forty-four, after all. To be economically unviable was shameful. Also, the running subtext in conversations with family (whether real or imagined) was that if you’re not making it, you’re not trying hard enough. Soliciting charity from relatives would be crossing over to the Dark Side. Nothing good would come of it.

Can this continue, you wonder? Is the situation sustainable? Do I need to shut up and put up with guys like Barney in order to get by? Was I fired because of some fundamental flaw in my character? I was strong and healthy and intelligent, but why couldn’t I get a decent job? But maybe the truth was that my resume was a joke…maybe, at forty-four, I’d simply missed the boat where a career was concerned.

These are the thoughts that haunt you, but somehow you press on. Your unemployed status is temporary, you remind yourself. You’re in transition and doing what you can to make things work. The path is obscured, but soon will come clarity.

At times along my craigslist journey, I started to wonder if I’d left reality and entered the realm of absurdity. All the applying and calling and emailing can lend itself to some strange exchanges.

One Monday, in the middle in the summer, after I’d been let go from my auto-repair job, I got an early morning message, around six o’clock, from a gravelly voiced caller reading off what must have been a scripted message. It went something like this: “Framers needed for two-weeks in central Minneapolis. Must have tools and transportation.” I called this number later in the afternoon and no one answered, so I left a message mentioning my name and that I’d been called. I didn’t get a call back.

A few days after that, the gravelly voice left a similar message. For some reason I wasn’t able to return the call, but he was looking for an experienced carpenter and left a brief description of the job. I wasn’t an experienced carpenter, nor had I claimed to be, but I started to wonder if this was one of the many staffing companies on craigslist that I’d sent resumes to.

Another day or two passed and I received another early morning call: same gravelly voice and the same obscure job description for a skill I didn’t have. I called the number back that afternoon and I actually got the guy with the gravelly voice on the line. I told him my name and that I’d got a voicemail earlier that day…and the guy cut me off. I could almost hear him shaking his head. He said, “Sorry, buddy. That was your third strike. You’re done.” So, before even getting the job, I’d been fired for work I wasn’t even qualified for. How’s that for a morale booster!

Another time I got a return call from an ad I’d applied to on craigslist looking for a carpenter’s helper…someone who had minimal experience but could work independently and who had transportation and a few tools. I remember this well because I was in the car with my wife when my phone rang and I had to pull over to call him back.

His name was Dave, and we talked about my experience and what he was expecting in an employee. I told him that I was excited to learn more about carpentry and I told him about my tile and stone background. We also talked a bit about my personal background: some biography and that kind of thing…why we moved from Seattle and so forth. As the conversation continued, however, I realized that he had a lot more going than just the finish carpentry he had pictured on his craigslist ad. There were painting and carpet-laying jobs he was doing. He was also installing appliances and doing other odd jobs. The more I learned, the more this guy seemed like a Tom Nelson type of character.

When he asked what I was expecting to get paid, I told him that fifteen per hour would be reasonable. He went kind of cold after that. He said that might be hard to meet, and he started to list my shortcomings: my lack of tools and lack of experience. He was angling for ten an hour. I told him that might be okay, but it would be up to negotiation after a few weeks.

“You know,” he said as the conversation was winding up, “I usually like to meet up with a guy before I hire him. Size him up, you know.” I told him I understood. “But I’m so busy,” he went on, “that I just can’t fit it in. As far as I’m concerned, you’ve got the job.”

I thanked him and accepted and we agreed to go over the details later. Then he went on: “You know, this is a big weight off my shoulder,” he said. “I got about ten other problems to deal with today, and nine of them are personal. Boy, if I could tell you all the shit I gotta deal with…”

After starting up the car and driving for a few minutes, I looked over at my wife and said, “I don’t think I can work for that guy.” She nodded. I needed the work, but she trusted me. She had been listening in on the conversation: “This guy doesn’t sound like he’s got it all together,” she said. Later in the afternoon I called Dave back and lied about a cousin who got me a short-term job setting tile. I left the message on his voicemail and I never heard back.

Dave kind of reminded me of a guy I worked for in Seattle before I started working as a mechanic. I was always running damage control for all the promises he made to clients and never followed up on. Also, when pay checks were cut every two weeks, I had to chase him all over town to get my dough. The hardest thing in the world for that guy to do was part with his money, no matter how devoted his employees were or how much we busted our tails for him. A piece of advice for bosses: when you owe an employee money, track him down and get the check in his hand. Be respectful and don’t make your workers run all over town looking for you on payday.

There were a number of other strange exchanges I had when applying through craigslist. One guy posted this ad: “Searching for a Super Hero Service Advisor.” He had a startlingly poetic post, complete with motivational quote from Black Flag front man Henry Rollins. I didn’t know what the work entailed, but if this guy is posting an ad with a Henry Rollins quote, I figured he couldn’t be that bad.

After I sent a response, I got a voicemail from the owner of company within a few hours. I called him back and we had a brief chat, but he said he was on his way to a meeting, and we agreed to talk more at the end of the week. “The end of the week” rolled around and he never called, and I never called him. A little Internet work, though, and I found out that the owner had some vague company that did vague marketing and advising work. But in all the places where his name came up, I couldn’t figure out what kind of business he was in.

One thing you start to learn when looking for work on craigslist, is that the less an ad tells you about the work they expect of you, the more skeptical you should be. And if the prospective employer is shoveling out the motivational speech on his or her craigslist ad, that person is most likely working through his or her own motivational crisis. I think this guy needed a “Super Hero Service Advisor”, not for my benefit, but to swoop in and either start or save his own company.

Just about the time I was waist-deep in my craigslist hunt for work, the news about the trial of the Craigslist Killer was circulating in the press. It worried my wife more than it worried me, but it kind of makes you think. One weekend I got a short job with a guy opening a booth in a trade show in a hotel south of Minneapolis. He told me to be at the hotel lobby at seven in the morning. When I got there I called him on my cell phone, and he told me that he would pick me up in a black van in front of the main doors. I went over to the doors and sure enough, a minute later I saw the van. It pulled up to the curb and idled.

My first thought was that this was a little bit weird. I didn’t know exactly what to expect with regards to the day’s work, but I never thought I’d be climbing into a sketchy van with a stranger. Where would we go? Were we leaving the hotel, I wondered? How far do I let this guy take me before I insist that he pull over and let me out?

As I climbed into the van I did a quick “survival” assessment. In a few short seconds I scanned for threats: weapons, or any type of material that could be used to subdue me. Nothing looked out of the ordinary. There was the typical stuff you’d find in any front seat of a van: folded maps, tissues, spare change in a coffee cup. Deciding that things looked fairly normal, I cast a glance into the back of the van and found a load of neatly stacked tote bins. Tim gave me the low-down on what we were about to do (we were going to set up a booth to display his pottery in a merchant trade show), and as we pulled up to the loading dock at the back of the hotel I realized that everything was going to be okay.

In some sense, I think he was about as nervous about me as I was about him. He was taking a risk, too, by calling on strangers to help him set up for his trade show. In the end, Tim and his wife turned out to be very a very nice couple and we parted with mutual appreciation. It was a short job, and not especially well paid, but it felt good to work for a pair of good people.

The following weekend, when I was trying to drum up work on craigslist, I noticed an ad looking for help to set up horse stables outside of the cities. It was about an hour’s drive into rural Minnesota. I told my wife as we were going to bed that I was thinking of responding to the ad. She flung her arms around me and said, “I don’t want you to go out there and get murdered.” With the story of the craigslist killer fresh on our minds, and my account of the harrowing meet-up with Tim, my wife wanted me to stay home that weekend. I couldn’t find any reason to object.

(Part 2 of 3)

Originally posted to Personal Storytellers on Wed May 07, 2014 at 04:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (129+ / 0-)

    Once more unto the breach..

    by Wolfbrooks on Wed May 07, 2014 at 04:00:17 PM PDT

  •  This is a fascinating tale (27+ / 0-)

    well worth the wait for Part II.

    Can I make one plea ... Please be careful with Craigslist!

    Never send out a resume containing personal details unless there are real contact points in the ad, and you have called to check the ad is legit.

    I know the desperation for work can overcome caution, but caution really is a must.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Wed May 07, 2014 at 04:10:19 PM PDT

    •  You're correct, but I'm in the same position (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg, Wolfbrooks, eyo

      Wolfbrooks is in, and I don't have a lot of choice. I'm sure scammers and spammers have all the personal info I've listed on my resume.

    •  responding to ads on CL (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg, Wolfbrooks, eyo

      Different jobs have different standards.

      I the area that I work in- temporary legal services - if you don't follow the instructions in the ad and send them the resume in the format requested and any other information within a day or so of the posting of the ad, you will not get the job.

      And there will be no phone number provided.

      If you snoop around and find a phone number to call before responding, not only will you not get the job, making calls that are not wanted is a good way to have your resume tossed out by the company and put on their list of people they don't need.

      You can check out the company's website if you're concerned, but there will be dozens to hundreds of people responding to an ad and phone calls will not be appreciated.

    •  Need to Read in Detail, but CraigsList = SUCK (0+ / 0-)

      Best to approach a Craigslist job hunt under the assumption that the help wanted section contains a combination of the bottom feeding dregs of the hiring world and slimy scamming criminals.  The rotting clumps of shit which have sunk to the bottom of the hiring employer sewer.  Then at least every positive moment in the job hunt is a step upward.

      •  I've gotten some good jobs (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JohnnySacks, Wolfbrooks, Odysseus

        off of Craigslist, but they were start-ups and often didn't last.  Yeah, a lot are the dredges. but the occasional small gold nugget is possible.

        (aka NobleExperiments). ‎"Those who make a peaceful revolution impossible make a violent revolution inevitable" ~ John F. Kennedy

        by smrichmond on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:38:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Totally... the Key is Managing Expectations (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wolfbrooks, Odysseus

          And keeping your eyes open and mind working.  My son just landed a gig with a small startup from Craigslist and the interview process was incredibly better than what we do at my own massive organization.  I've told him it might not last long, but hopefully it will and he'll add enough to make it happen, and, first and foremost, it will be a learning experience.  But some of the others he's contacted or tried to contact... wow!  Run like hell!

  •  Very interesting and I'm enjoying (11+ / 0-)

    the tale. You're a good writer. Are you currently looking? I wasn't aware there's a Craigslist killer right now. I'll go find part 1.

    Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will

    by miracle11 on Wed May 07, 2014 at 04:49:29 PM PDT

  •  If I can meet the person (17+ / 0-)

    for whom I will work, I can often get the job. But just sending out resumes or job applications to, say, HR devils?


    I hope in part 3 to read that you snagged a read job.

    English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

    by Youffraita on Wed May 07, 2014 at 04:49:54 PM PDT

    •  Yes, true.. (9+ / 0-)

      I've always found more success when you meet an employer in person..

      Once more unto the breach..

      by Wolfbrooks on Wed May 07, 2014 at 04:55:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Meeting the person (7+ / 0-)

      without sending out resumes and applications to HR is a luxury that many people don't have. In many occupations, you can expect to send out a few hundred resumes before meeting anyone.

      And you may have $150K of student loans to encourage you to send out those resumes.

      I graduated from a top 10 law school, and if you went to the career services center with the attitude that you weren't willing to send out a ton of resumes and cover letters, they'd advise you to change your mind or change your career.

      I went to a school that was good enough to have law firms send attorneys to it to interview people. We were allowed to sign-up for 30 interviews. We were told we were crazy if we didn't use all 30.

      And this was the early 2000s, before the economy cratered and law firms started imploding.

  •  You might be finding your calling now, (26+ / 0-)

    by being a writer. Whether it brings in any money or not, this is a strong talent of yours. I'm glad you're writing down these stories and then sharing them with us.
    But that is one of the strange things about good writing. You do convey the frustration and discouragement of prolonged job-hunting very, very well. Your eye for detail, your descriptions of the people and places you encounter, and your narrative pacing are excellent. So it's not as though I don't appreciate how hard this search was, day after day after week; you've created a very clear picture. However, to read this struggle of yours told so well does elicit a kind of exhilaration in me, completely out of keeping with the tone of your story. As in--hey, this guy can really write.
    I intend this to be encouraging to you; I hope you see it that way.
    I used to assign an essay to my writing students that was written by an academic who had lost his job and had fallen on hard times, since he then was the sole support of his family (wife and four small children). His was a more extended effort, but no less compelling than yours. And he was a professional writer to start. [I found it, but it's behind a paywall: Don J. Snyder, "Winter Work: Diary of a Day Laborer," November 1995, FYI. I found his Wikipedia article, which is a total mess, but it's clear that he has had a good career as a writer. Everything has been grist for his mill.]

    Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Wed May 07, 2014 at 05:35:17 PM PDT

  •  So, without jumping to conclusions... (4+ / 0-)

    because your next diary shows you with a six-figure job, I would like to make some critical statements, all the while wishing you the best of luck.
    How economically depressed an area did you move to? Because having a plan that you can get work because you have a few journeyman skills, do some car repairs, some framing, some tiling, a little of this and a little of that, is not much of a plan in an area where people of modest skills are competing for a small number of jobs. People look for specific expertise. If you are a killer at tiling (a physically exhausting job) you will get work in an area with positive growth. I just read, maybe here at DKOS, that about 1 in 7 Americans live in NYC, LA or Chicago metropolitan area. There's a pretty obvious reason for that.
    But the bigger thing is your comprehensive vision: what you want to be doing, where you want to be doing it, who are the people you want to be around, how your work will make you feel, how it will sound, how it will look, how it will taste. What you will achieve at the end of the day, at the end of the year, at the end of your lifetime. If your visualization is random, you will get random results. If you will do any old thing to get by, most likely you will end up doing any old thing. Any old thing pays about $10 - $12 / hour. If your vision is clear, you will ultimately achieve that vision, or at least have a shot at achieving it. If you are applying for jobs you won't take because they are too physically demanding, too dangerous, then you ought to not waste your psychic energy even considering them.

    When I hear all the voice mail messages you get rather than jumping on the calls, I wonder what the terror level you have of being unemployed. Fear is an incredible motivator. I had a buddy who would call for restaurant jobs at 1:00 pm. Those jobs were filled by "lazy" Mexicans who showed up at 8 am, who had families to support, who will work their assess off and keep their mouths shut because they have no other options. He stayed an unemployed couch surfer until the economy turned around, and then he got call-backs all over the place and was able in about two weeks to get the best kitchen job of his life. Of course, he is still unhappy, because he is terminally lazy, wants to play Diablo on the computer all day and all night. But at least he is working, making OK pay with vacation, sick days and paid overtime at a clean, safe job.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Wed May 07, 2014 at 06:21:20 PM PDT

  •  Your story (7+ / 0-)

    makes for very captivating reading and I look forward to part III.

    My invisible imaginary friend is the "true" creator

    by Mr Robert on Wed May 07, 2014 at 06:21:53 PM PDT

  •  Someone committed a Craigslist murder (4+ / 0-)

    in Point Blank, Texas.  It was a car for sale ad.  The perps killed the seller, sold the car, eventually got convicted.  Maybe 10 miles from my home.
    Nothing to do with jobs.
    I bought a car once from Craigslist, but it was from a dealer.
    I awful
    I love the writing, look forward to Part 3, and hope it has a great ending.

    •  Thank you for reading the piece.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      on the cusp, Black Max, eyo

      Like twigg said at the beginning of this thread, alway be careful when going through craigslist.

      Any time you want to buy or sell something that involves a large amount of cash, have a friend or two with you and make the transaction in the open.

      Once more unto the breach..

      by Wolfbrooks on Wed May 07, 2014 at 06:50:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I feel guilty about saying this but..... (4+ / 0-)

    I was in stitches.

    I know it's not funny to you but  I could just see a stand up

    comedian explaining his demise and wondering if things

    could get any worse... and sure enough does!

    Nevertheless, I wish you only the best and I'm dying to

    know what you have in store for PART III.

    Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by destiny1 on Wed May 07, 2014 at 06:50:20 PM PDT

  •  Not sure where you live (13+ / 0-)

    But start applying at any local Hospital system. They are all hiring like crazy because of the job killer Obamacare....

    I work here in Portland Oregon for Providence and we have 500 open positions currently. Lots of front line personnel to get all of the newly insured in to see Docotrs.

  •  Your story is fascinating and heartrending at the (11+ / 0-)

    same time. Oh, man, I know what you've been through because I've got relatives in the same boat:  prospective employers string them along and string them along and then end up not making an offer. In the meantime, a month has gone by.

    It's so discouraging. I hate modern life and the job situation! Sometimes I really do long for the good old days.

    Except...the good old days weren't good for women, or black people, or brown people, or gay people.

    Thanks for sharing your story, Wolfbrooks. Looking forward to part 3.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:20:01 PM PDT

    •  Thank you, Diana in NoVa!! (4+ / 0-)

      Once more unto the breach..

      by Wolfbrooks on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:29:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  At least in the "Olde Days" we had a manufacturing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diana in NoVa, llywrch, kfunk937

      base in this country.  

      I honed many of my fundamental skills working on the manufacturing side as a machinist and electronics technician.  

      I'm fortunate to have wound up on the service side before manufacturing totally hit the toilet.  I worked in the service department of a major medical device manufacturer for 25 years after starting on the production floor as a temp.  In those 25 years, what was a very diverse and skilled manufacturing area became an assembly center.  The injection molding area, printed circuit board shop and other skilled jobs were outsourced as the company pursued "Just In Time" manufacturing principles.

      The outsourced jobs initially went to US companies, but the continual flogging of the bottom line resulted in the  eventual sourcing of parts overseas.

      The result is diminished skill-sets of American workers because the assembly jobs are very repetitive, controlled, and don't require much skill diversity in the first place.  I describe them as "If a chimp could read, a chimp could do it".  The resulting products can often be of high quality do to good process control if the suppliers are held to standards.  Too bad we can't keep more of the work requiring skill here in the USA though.

      "Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person." David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World

      by Delta Overdue on Thu May 08, 2014 at 05:28:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting story.. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Delta Overdue, kfunk937, ladybug53

        Thanks for sharing it. Interesting to hear that you made it into the "service" end of the business and were able to elude the manufacturing chopping block.

        Once more unto the breach..

        by Wolfbrooks on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:00:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is an interesting series of events that led to (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wolfbrooks, kfunk937, ladybug53, Odysseus

          where I am.  Here's the "short" version:

          I worked for two years in the machine shop of a marine propeller manufacturer in Seattle.  There was a year in between installing air-conditioning in mostly new cars in Seattle.  (I was a "dash-man", installing the evaporator kit and the controls on mostly adapted in-dash kits that looked oem.)  I got laid off the from the machine shop job because I was kind of low-man and the Shop  Foreman didn't like the fact that I was studying electronics in school, not the machine shop trade.

          After being an unemployed student for awhile, I got a job working as a production tech for an electronic component screening business.  That job really solidified my electronics training, and understanding of discreet components.  It was way-back-when though.  I'd never get the fundamental exposure that job gave me today.  Component manufacturers got better so screening was no longer cost effective for most applications, and miniaturization really changed the industry.  (I remember marveling at a 64K UVEPROM thinking "Wow, 64K in that little chip" lol.)  That job was changing, so I decided to quit, erroneously thinking I had another lined up (at then-vaunted Hewlett-Packard).  That factory is long-gone now anyway.

          Being young and having minimal responsibilities (so I thought), I went with a friend from the Seattle area to Denver to work with a friend of his in a start-up business servicing computerized type-setting equipment.  This was 1985, and little did I know that my recently departed ex gf (now wife of 25+ years) was pregnant with our oldest child.  Kind of changed the dynamic.  But I still managed to get some computer service training (on Leading Edge PC's whose claim to fame was an 8MHz clock-twice as fast as IBM!-I'm such a dinosaur!).  I also learned a little about the Field Service business, and bought some tools and test equipment I still use.  Most of all, it looked good on a resume.  I did not realize it at the time, but what started out as a nice little business wound up failing in a hurry with the advent of desktop publishing.  

          Not knowing much about, or having any family in Denver, and having a child on the way, we moved back to Seattle.  A month before my son was born, I landed a job through a temp agency at a major medical device manufacturer that was doing a healthy business when many industries were failing.  By chance, I was a assigned to a product that was out of their ordinary line.  

          Six months later when I applied for a permanent job in their Service department, it was a combination of that product experience, and the fact I had "Field Service" on my resume that landed me the job, I am convinced.  These were both twists of fate as much as purposeful decisions.  After a satisfying (and frustrating) 25 year career and putting two kids through college, I was ready for a change.  Again as much by fate as anything the company went through a reorganization that made those 25 years pretty valuable, and I volunteered to be laid off.  This was almost exactly three years ago, and leaving the "security" of the corporate world might be questioned by some.  I'm fortunate to have a partner who supports me, even in cases like that.

          If a person is any good at medical equipment field service, finding work isn't too hard.  I also have worked a side business to keep things rolling and extra money coming in.  I'm on a new venture now that will hopefully be rewarding financially, but in more meaningful ways as well.  I've worked my butt off over the years, but it's the combination of that with luck and circumstance that have made my working career anything near "successful".  As I've said elsewhere in your threads, but for a few twists of fate, like taking a year off my union job, losing the seniority and then getting laid off from a dying industry...  It was a blessing in disguise at a time when I had no responsibilities, and did not suffer.  In my mind, doing SERVICE in the MEDICAL industry have been the keys.

          To anyone that read this far, best of luck with all your future endeavors!

          "Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person." David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World

          by Delta Overdue on Thu May 08, 2014 at 10:34:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Glad I caught (6+ / 0-)

    part 2.  Looking forward to part 3.

    Really hope you have a happy ending.

    •  I don't know about it being a happy ending.. (7+ / 0-)

      but it's not a bad or sad ending.

      Thanks for reading the two first parts, though!

      Once more unto the breach..

      by Wolfbrooks on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:31:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not really "the end" anyway. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wolfbrooks, kfunk937

        Just Part III in your continuing saga.  It would be nice to hear you've landed a stable and rewarding job with a future though...

        As I mentioned last week, my story could very easily be yours.  The path I follow chose me as much as I chose it.  I recognized it's value very early on, and am thankful for it's presence.  I marvel at how those early experiences dove-tail into what I do now.  It wasn't a plan, but twists of fate presented in a time when more opportunities existed than today.

        "Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person." David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World

        by Delta Overdue on Thu May 08, 2014 at 05:36:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I never had any success with following up. (7+ / 0-)

    If they want to hire you, they will contact you. I could see it maybe being successful for a sales position, but only where they deliberately want to test your determination and closing skills.

    Feed the hungry? Clothe the naked? House the homeless? American Jesus says "Nuh-uh."

    by edg on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:35:26 PM PDT

  •  Take a look at this diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolfbrooks, Chi, No Exit

    Dewstino posted it a couple of years ago. Maybe you should try his strategy:

    Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

    by JamieG from Md on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:51:36 PM PDT

  •  I can relate to your story (10+ / 0-)

    After three years of similar experiences I gave up trying to return to my original field.  Now I work part-time and spend the rest of my time writing.  Financially dubious, but infinitely more satisfying...

    ~ Trendar.

  •  I recently spent nearly two years unemployed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolfbrooks, llywrch

    I don't think I could be as up-front and honest about the experience as you are. It's just too personal.

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:18:20 AM PDT

  •  Try being over 55 and trying to find a decent job. (5+ / 0-)

    The fact is that in today's world, the older you the less you're worth. Most of those doing the hiring are younger and look at older people as if we're already dead. They can't see that we might have a life of experience that could help them and their business. Or they think that we'll take a job and won't be there for a while. Well, NO ONE works at jobs for a long time anymore. Younger people will use a job as a stepping stone to something better.
    Further, you never even know if a job on Craigslist is legit. No longer do potential employers list salary, or even give job details. And you know they're looking for young kids with no experience when the ad says "energetic" and "grow with us!"
    I had good jobs earlier in my life. But circumstances (layoffs in journalism, caring for an elderly mom) took those jobs away. And there is NOTHING out there.
    I am employed, by Trader Joe's, and the pay isn't bad, but the work is hard. And there is a great deal of age bias even at a so-called progressive company like TJ's. If you're older, you are perceived as "slow" even if you work harder and faster than your younger coworkers.
    If it were up to me, Craigslist would vet job ads to ensure there really is a job there and they aren't simply "resume trolling." They should also demand that salaries be listed. No salary, you can't list.
    Let's face it, today's job market sucks. And the older you are, the harder it is.
    Republicans want us to wait until 75 to get Social Security. Really? How can we work to 75 when we can't find a job now?
    Good luck on your hunt. You're still young enough that you might get something. But I've found it hard since my 40's, so it won't be easy.
    Hang in there!

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:40:22 AM PDT

    •  OtoH I have met employers who value (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      older workers as being more stable and reliable.  usually these were smaller firms or non profits.

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." - John Kenneth Galbraith

      by leema on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:37:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      catwho, kfunk937, ladybug53

      We have a TJ's nearby. I've been watching it. It's full of smart, fun, articulate folk. Everyone's got a college degree, I'll bet. It's a developing paradigm. The guy buying the box of wine might be making 120k and the guy selling it to him has the same education and is making 12/hr.

      Please allow for a little hyperbole.

      Once more unto the breach..

      by Wolfbrooks on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:07:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have a job suggestion for you (8+ / 0-)

    I am a Realtor and we can NEVER find handymen (or women) to do the little jobs that come up, such as resetting a toilet, replacing a lock, repairing a screen door, touch up paint, etc.  Yes, we could call a plumber, a locksmith, a screen shop, and a painter, but because each job is about 15 minutes worth, it gets expensive when you have to pay for the service call time each time.  Those agents who DO have a handyman won't even share their names with other people because they so jealously guard their names.

    It sounds like your background would be perfect for this work -- varied, smart, willing to try.  It also is usually not very difficult physically.  If you printed up about 1000 flyers  or bought some business cards with your name, your phone, email and "handyman" on it and took it around to all the local real estate offices and put one in each mail slot, I would bet you would have your own business (that you could then hire other guys) before you know it.  

    In our state, as long as you don't take more than $500 for any one job, you don't need to be licensed.  

    The GOP -- Hating Women, Gays and People of Color since 1854
    PS Despite the dumb screenname I picked, I'm female!

    by Former Chicagoan Now Angeleno on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:18:54 AM PDT

  •  I wont be one to 'solve' any problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    you have by telling you do this or do that. Quite frankly, I am not a big beleiver in skill or talent and think almost everything is a matter of luck. Good or bad.

    I will say you have a craft for writing, though. But often it is difficult to write outside of personal experience. So you might try and practice writing other stuff, including fiction. Maybe youll have some luck, maybe you wont. But at least others will get to enjoy your writing.

    •  Definitely luck involved but without skill, (0+ / 0-)

      you'll never make anything substantial of a streak of good luck.  My life's story involves plenty of luck, or fate, or whatever, but it wouldn't be much if I didn't make the most of those opportunities.

      "Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person." David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World

      by Delta Overdue on Thu May 08, 2014 at 05:42:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That was a good read. (6+ / 0-)

    Just this morning I had a long conversation with my sister about her job search; she has a bachelors degree, years of good work experience in her field, and she just had to endure 3 interviews, a computer-administered psychological test, and a urine screening to be offered a $8.50 per hour job at Best Buy. And she took it. We both got emotional over it.

    If it helps, I am a CNC machinist and my shop employs many refugees of the auto repair profession. You might want to look into local trade schools or community colleges for classes in machining, the job market isn't great (I'm in Florida) but it's probably better than most (we have unfilled positions because of the very specific skills required) and if you can wrench on cars you can definitely run a mill or a lathe. And even taking just one class a week will help you feel more positive about your situation.  Plus it's air-conditioned in most decent machine shops.

    •  "Computerize or starve." (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Delta Overdue, llywrch

      Optionally that gets an "and/or."

      "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Paul "False Prophet" Ryan von Koch

      by waterstreet2013 on Thu May 08, 2014 at 10:29:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We lack in vocational training and awareness (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wolfbrooks, ChuckChuckerson

      The importance of a "college degree" overshadows the need to evaluate what a person is good at.  Plenty of examples of highly educated unemployed people all around us.  How many high-schooler's even know what a CNC mill or lathe is?  Or know they might like doing that kind of work?  I got a job in a (union) machine shop at age 19 because I loved dinking around with metal, and took metal shop nearly every quarter of high school.  Upon graduation, I could run a Bridgeport or Clausing, and weld minimally.  (My shop teacher always pestered me to really learn to weld.  I wish I would have listened.)

      I doubt many high schools today have these kind of shop classes, but there still needs to be a way to identify people with these skills and get them the education needed to find meaningful work.

      "Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person." David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World

      by Delta Overdue on Thu May 08, 2014 at 06:07:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed, (6+ / 0-)

        and I think at least part of it is geographical.

        I went to high school up north (PA) and we had a fully equipped sheetmetal shop, multiple Bridgeports, MIG and even TIG welders, plus an auto shop with lifts and diagnostic tools, and even an elaborate construction and carpentry program in their own part of the building.

        I moved to Florida in my junior year of high school, and even though my high school was well-respected it had absolutely nothing for industrial education. No metal shop at all, and a laughable carpentry program.

        All these kids from poor backgrounds, being "educated" as if they were going to coast straight into a four-year college with all expenses paid like their lives are some movie. It's an unbelievable tragedy.

        Somedays I want to drive by bus stops and yell "A good plumber can make $25 per hour, easy!" at the kids because  that is probably the only way they will get this message.

    •  Man, what a hassle for your sister. Crazy. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChuckChuckerson, kfunk937, ladybug53

      And taking some machining classes sounds solid. I shall explore.

      Once more unto the breach..

      by Wolfbrooks on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:24:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The good thing about (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wolfbrooks, ladybug53, Odysseus

        a background as an auto mechanic is that if you develop some machining skills you can get into the racing industry. My shop specializes in internal engine parts for racing and most of the manual machinists (the guys that port heads, cut for larger valves, lighten/balance cranks, etc.) are former auto mechanics.

         Since I do CNC I basically just work in the manufacturing side of the business, but the skill sets are very complimentary no matter what kind of machining you get into.

  •  Any chance you'd have been able to offer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolfbrooks, icemilkcoffee

    at-your-home preventive maintenance car work through Craigslist ?

    Oil change, replace spark plug wires, belts and hoses..... that stuff ?

    In Minnesota that's summer work, obviously. Unless they've got a suitable garage.

    I got an office computer network company started -- at least half our business before we could afford advertising -- with tools parallel to Craigslist, back in the early 1990s.

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Paul "False Prophet" Ryan von Koch

    by waterstreet2013 on Thu May 08, 2014 at 10:27:25 AM PDT

  •  I am enjoying your story (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolfbrooks, llywrch

    And agree, you have a way with words - it is easy to read your diary, and I want to know what happens next.  

    Looking forward to your next installment.

  •  I've long ago come to the conclusion... (6+ / 0-)

    ...that there is no more dehumanizing experience (save MAYBE being homeless) then job hunting.  Unless your last name is Bush (or Cuomo, here in New York State) and your richie-rich relatives can get you a nice sinecure somewhere, sooner or later you have to go through it.

    For someone with three degrees, including a Ph.D., and 20 years of lab bench experience, I can say it's no less dehumanizing then what you had to go through.  In a strange way, it's even harder; jobs such as I have to look for don't even exist on places like Craigslist.  You have to network you way to them, or get them created for you.  Very very tough.

    The thing that struck me most, though, was the "power imbalance" you mentioned.  I live with my well-employed best friend of 20 years, and that power imbalance is part of my day to day life; I do all the things around the house he doesn't have time to do, plus my job hunt and tutoring.  It gets to the point, sometimes, that he has to remind me that I'm not the "little woman" of the house, and aren't responsible for EVERYTHING here.  I also fill him in, frequently, on my job hunt activities.  Thank heavens it's my best friend; it takes some of the sting out.  But it's still there.

    As for my fiancee, well...until I get a job, we live half a country away from each other.  That's the reality.  My career crashed and burned before it ever got off the ground, so no marriage, no kids and no household.  And that may last until she gives up on me...but so far, thank heavens, there's no sign of that either.

    The other thing that struck me is the risks the unemployed have to take, with identity theft, scammers, even serial killers.  Most of us, with a little intelligence, can avoid those risks....except when we're unemployed.  Then we're forced to march straight into the line of fire chasing that ever-elusive thing called "a job".  We have no choices any more.  It's all part and parcel to how dehumanizing the whole experience is.

    Well, this comment has gone on far more then long enough; I look forward very very much to part 3.

  •  I used to work at a non profit (a good one at that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolfbrooks, Odysseus

    where we would routinely lose applicants because it took us so long to go through the process of hiring.  In large part because so many people had to in on the approval ...requiring multiple interviews.   OtOH somehow we managed to get consistently good employees.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." - John Kenneth Galbraith

    by leema on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:34:58 PM PDT

  •  Careers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Sounds tough. Did you ever think about a career you could stick with and earn a decent living? Catholic protection technicians make decent money and are in demand. A little math and science.

  •  Studs Terkel for the 21st century (4+ / 0-)

    Your writing is brilliant, and reminds me very much of "Work."  Except I feel it needs to be updated for modern times: "Unemployment" or perhaps "Un-Work."  People from all over the country, all walks of life could be interviewed on their un-/under-employment experiences.  You do such a wonderful and understated job of expressing the effect of unemployment on your psyche, your relationships, etc.

    Your story read much like a version of Jack Kerouac's or Jack London's wanderings.  Except in a manual-labor, non-corporatized society that categorically excluded much of the available workforce, they were always able to pick up odd jobs.  The world has changed, but the people haven't.

    Too many of us are not fully/gainfully employed in modern America, and they are too much in the shadows.  Stories like yours are so valuable in changing the conversation.  This is not the fringes of America.  This is America.

    Thank you.

  •  My story is much like yours. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolfbrooks, kfunk937

    I've held many temp jobs over the last 4 years but nothing that could be called 'gainful'.

    Before I went to college and graduated 2 years ago with 2 degrees I was doing menial work at grocery stores and restaurants. Fired from every one of those jobs too, partly because I couldn't handle the work with my disabilities, and also because I wasn't one to put up with workplace abuses.

    I guess you could say the real reason I can't find a career isn't because of any lack of skills, but because I spent most of my life simply learning to function rather than forming connections, which is often how people get jobs in the first place.

    I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

    by Homer177 on Thu May 08, 2014 at 06:27:33 PM PDT

  •  Best of luck in your search. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolfbrooks, llywrch, ladybug53

    Four things. The first is, you can't pick and choose too much who you work for; word gets out. The second is, don't throw out 100 different skills out and hope that one will stick. Just list the work skills that are specific to your job. The third is, when you fill out an application, write in complete sentences. For instance, "I worked with customers to resolve their billing issues. I engaged in personal service by meeting with customers face to face. During my time at XYZ, our customer satisfaction rate went from 70% to 85%." Fourthly of all, see if companies with people you know that are working for them are hiring. Employers are much more likely to hire someone they know than someone they don't know.

    "The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression." - W.E.B. Du Bois Be informed. Fight the Police State.

    by Eternal Hope on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:03:48 PM PDT

    •  Very true and good advice.. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      llywrch, Odysseus, kfunk937, ladybug53

      One problem I had was the lack on networking. Didn't know a soul in town, really. Actually..that's not true. There were a few people we knew, and in the end that was where I concentrated my efforts.

      I guess I was trying to say that it's hard to adhere to your fourth rule when you don't know many people in town. But, yes, I agree with you.

      Once more unto the breach..

      by Wolfbrooks on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:05:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wolf, I'm enjoying your writing... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kfunk937, ladybug53

    you are a very good writer and, on top of that, it's a very sorry economy.

    You're putting into wonderfully expressive words what many of us have and are going through.

    Very much looking forward to part 3.

    The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today. - August Spies

    by joegoldstein on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:43:20 PM PDT

  •  Several years ago I needed some help with a gig (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolfbrooks, Odysseus, kfunk937, ladybug53

    Clearing out a place where an old horder had passed away and nobody wanted the junk (mountains of it) so I placed an ad on CL with brief description and my email address to reply to. Within three days I had more people begging for the job than I could possibly hire to empty five neighborhoods much less one house, but I hired a couple who did a great job, paid them and to this day I still haven't deleted all of the responses. Within a few weeks I'd guess several thousand people contacted me. At first I tried to respond to them all to thank them, but that was turning into a full-time job itself.
    I guess it works both ways for looking for work as well as looking for workers. I wish I'd had more work for all those people because so many of them sounded really desperate.

    Jesus only performs miracles for people with enough time on their hands to make that crap up.

    by KneecapBuster on Fri May 09, 2014 at 12:16:21 AM PDT

  •  forget craigslist, go to Minn Unemploy Insurance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolfbrooks, ladybug53
    They can help you locate a new career.  If you can't find a SAAB garage then forget it.  You're specialized as a mechanic.  
    You need money so go to Chili's Bar and Grill. Get a job waiting tables 3 nights a week.  They make about 100 bucks a night in tips even if they aren't any good.

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up!

    by Churchill on Fri May 09, 2014 at 02:41:57 AM PDT

  •  It's a big world. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolfbrooks, melo, ladybug53

    And lots of people do lots of things.

    Another day or two passed and I received another early morning call: same gravelly voice and the same obscure job description for a skill I didn’t have. I called the number back that afternoon and I actually got the guy with the gravelly voice on the line. I told him my name and that I’d got a voicemail earlier that day…and the guy cut me off. I could almost hear him shaking his head. He said, “Sorry, buddy. That was your third strike. You’re done.” So, before even getting the job, I’d been fired for work I wasn’t even qualified for. How’s that for a morale booster!
    I don't have a lot of experience with "day labor", but I did  a few gigs as an "office mover" and similar jobs.  There's a fair amount of work that is structured to be dispatched "immediately".  There is a cattle call where there are "ten spots on the team", and even a few hours delay means that you, and quite possibly the employer as well, have missed your window.  Even when the "report time" is ten hours later.

    You can criticize this business model, but when the work is "take these 50 desks across town", there is no room for overhead.  And, for lack of a better word, "politeness" is overhead.

    -7.75 -4.67

    "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

    There are no Christians in foxholes.

    by Odysseus on Fri May 09, 2014 at 12:11:08 PM PDT

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