Sunday, October 23, 2016

Job Search

I can see why a lot of people who are on the streets or in subsidized housing don't look for work. Of course I'm referring specifically to those who are mentally and physically able to hold jobs. Sure, some people are lazy, but it's ignorant to blame unemployment solely on laziness; I wouldn't be at all surprised that proportionately speaking there are more gainfully employed slackers than there are unemployed — it's been my personal experience that only half of my co-workers were worth their presence on the job, and out of them only maybe a quarter of them were real go-getters. And, yeah, jobs tend to suck, many of which seem not to pay enough for the shit that's endured while on the clock.

No, it's the getting shot down over and over again that does it, andd that goes into the rejection. A lot of us poor folk are good workers, and indeed many of us would rather work than eke out a meager existence panhandling or canning (contrary to a widely held belief, even most freeway sign fliers don't make as much in a day as they would putting those hours in at minimum wage, and even during summer I've never been able to earn in eight hours canning what I would flipping burgers). But, we don't look good on paper — even those among us whose looks belie our lifestyles — and corporations have grown not only increasingly unforgiving of checkered pasts and inglorious circumstances, but they have in fact grown outright hostile to their employees.

Which brings me to the why of the rejection, the calls that are never returned or the interviews that end on a sour note: corporate culture. Big Business views us all — even those who are educated and skilled and supposedly indispensable — much as nobility used to view their serfs; fidelity is expected from us, even while we're regarded more as potential liabilities than as potential assets — some Sheriff of Nottingham asshole is always hovering over your shoulder ensuring none of the king's game is being poached (woe betide the ballpoint pen thief!). We're all civilian draftees in a mercenary army that specializes in marching to the beat of douchebag doges' drums. Criminal background checks, credit checks, personality tests, and questions that effectively screen out the disingenuous ass-kissers from honest people just out to pay the rent and enjoy the occasional night out ... this is still for a job, right?

So, yeah, I've applied at over a dozen places so far, and nothing's panned out. As we know, the one gas station job didn't work out. I almost got hired to cook for a bar, but a clusterfuck typical of family businesses run by multiple siblings resulted in me getting jerked around by two brothers, both of whom hired people — only I ended up eating sandal dust in the end, and ended up back at Square One. That was bitterly disappointing. So, today I get the honor of handing in an application to the nearby Dollar Tree, where everyone looks as thrilled to be there as that poor guy in the Futurama work motivational poster. And, of course, I'm going to wonder more and more as I go along “Do I even really want this?”

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