Let's just eliminate all the bullshit, shall we?

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Job Thang

"So what do you 'do' for a living?"
"I'm a professional plucking job hunter. Whatcha got needs doin'?"

To say that things are bad here in 10%PLUS unemployed Georgia is an understatement.

The Department of Labor (which, as a government engine of efficiency and reliability, is , of course, a joke) has now started telling people who call, simply, "No jobs."

When they recently posted a listing of about 35 jobs in the area, I excitedly hopped online at the library to search what I was qualified for, only to find that every position had already been filled.

The little green piece of paper that you had to fill out in days of old? Detailing when and where you went and who you talked to to prove that you had been searching for work? They have discarded it. You just call or register online. No worries; they already know it's a waste of time and there is nothing available.

Of course, I had prior experience with the Department of Labor, from when I wasted time trying to get my overtime pay and holiday pay from a previous employer. Since I had the burden of proof, and I wasn't a major company, I received the S.O.L. discount.

More recently, with Movie Gallery, the dispute was taken to a hearing to prove I was unlawfully fired from the company. In the hearing, the employer rep was caught in a lie during the hearing, and after she further lied under oath, I presented my audio taped evidence. In her own voice she admitted that I was fired, and the proof was given to GA DOL. (The problem was that MG was lying and saying I walked off the job with no notice, and was thus ineligible to receive benefits.) They still ruled against me. Legalities pending.

Needless to say, I am in a BAD way as I sit a week away from SEVEN MONTHS without a paycheck.

I have looked into every possible job out there. I have killed a dozen trees with the number of my paper applications I have distributed. I'm on monster.com, careerbuilder.com, jobs.com, indeed.com, and some I've forgotten about, I'm sure. I'm signed with temp agencies, I've been on interviews, I've lowered myself to the notion of working with 16 year-olds flipping burgers at base pay. Can't get a BITE! (Course, part of the problem too is that I'm a leftist political activist and personality in a small rural South West Georgia town. If you think there aren't people who will refuse me available jobs based on 'who I am,' you need to get out more. These are the same folks who hollered the death threats as i campaigned for our President last year.)

I have cashed out all the stocks and insurance policies that I held. I sold my old beater for scrap (Hell, I sold seats out of my current car for scrap metal.) I had a yard sale and sold anything that was nonessential. I have sold my stove, couches, my spare tires, my comics collection, artwork, jewelry, and everything that isn't battened down. I am looking into the plasma selling bit for next week, although I seem to recall a distant memory involving passing out upon witnessing the procedure on another.

I had already turned off (well, couldn't pay for! Same diff!) computer service, pest control service, phone service, sat elite TV, and every possible 'extra.'

I have done job testing in order to receive re-numeration, returned to school (for the purpose of doing so, but the financial aid overflow helped me,) and applied for everything I know to do. The public assistance for students had all their funds dry up, and will not even have any for the last half of 2009. Without children, I do not qualify for electricity assistance, but I hear all their funds are dried up even before they made it to people on the waiting list.

I have offered to prostrate and prostitute myself for ANY job imaginable, and people say they have nothing. Not a one hour job, a one day job, a one week job. Local businesses have started hanging large signs in the windows that announce "NOT Taking Applications."

My neighbors complain about having to decide which between chicken, fish, beef or pork for dinner because they are so tired of the 'same old thing.' This, with a freezer full of food and half of what they cook being tossed in the garbage. I'd like to line them against a wall and group bitch slap them. Or beat them to death with a refrigerator.

Here's another note; If you KNOW that someone is in a bad way financially, and you have no interest or intention of helping them, kindly don't groan endlessly about the limitations of your Ultimate Cable Experience satellite TV package. Don't complain about making a trip to a neighboring town being so far when you're going to pick up a luxury item and have gas to burn. Don't rave on and on about a dinner out where you splurged with cash for 8 people, even though you 'don't know how you're going top make it.' Needless to say, I don't visit the neighbors anymore.

See, I was frugal and a recycler of all sorts from way back. I've lived in a car and on the streets, so doing without isn't a big deal either. The main problem for a lot of people is laziness and unwillingness to be thrifty. Or even simply adapt. There's a lot of paring down that can occur long before it comes time to lose the house. But folks' identity is rolled up in what they posses or what they can afford to do. Happiness is related directly to how well they can keep up with the Jones-es. I can dig it. I can. But flexibility is part of life, too.

And you're only as miserable as you're willing to be.

Happiness is a choice, not chance. And regardless of the situational specifics, I'm going to be happy. If others are willing to meet the challenge, I think they'll be able to do the same. Not to be heartless, but many of us were in line for a repositioning of priorities. Me, I'm working hard at staying sober, and remembering that bullshit like robbery and murder is a long term solution to a short term problem.

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