Here’s the link: Trapped in Unemployment. Mr. Carbone, you chose the perfect word to describe what’s happening out there. Corporate America has and is causing carnage in what used to be the greatest country in the world.
While legislation has been enacted to prevent companies from placing language in job postings to reflect their unwillingness to hire the unemployed, this legislation is about political correctness, not about getting people to work. It’s a “feel good” measure created to make Congress think they’re doing something to lower the double-digit unemployment rate. Yes, people, our TRUE unemployment rate is in double digits. Think about it. Go find the formula used to calculate it. It’s a skewed formula which does not include those termed as “leaving the workforce.”
This legislation is an insult to the American public. While I’ve always maintained that our government thinks we’re stupid, up to this point they’ve made an attempt to at least cloak the yawning crevasse between what the people truly need and what they want for themselves in some form of verbiage that will fool at least some of us. This time they simply got in our faces and called us idiots.
Remember this: Congress is comprised of upper-middle class individuals who each earn an average of $174,000 a year – money “we the people” are paying them to pass legislation during the biggest unemployment crises in more than 60 years. These are individuals who have no reference point for the crisis of the working man and they simply chuckle at Corporate America and say: “Dude, we’re catchin’ some flak about these job postings. Y’all can’t go around saying unemployed people can’t apply for your jobs. You don’t have to hire them, but we gotta keep ’em quiet, so quit being so blatant about it, okay?” Then they glad-hand all around, pour a few more drinks, and check the return on their investments.
Why do corporations outsource our jobs and lay off workers? It’s a simple answer but they’d say otherwise. The answer is this: If they are publicly traded, they have to keep their shareholders happy. Shareholders want to make money, and lots of it, on their shares. They want to see a lean, mean, bantam-weight workforce and they aren’t willing to give up any of the return those job cuts provide them.
Who owns a lot of shares in Corporate America? Why…gosh…our elected officials own lots of shares in Corporate America. So why would they enact legislature that would take money out of their pockets? They want to keep corporations happy. They don’t give a flying red one about us. Good lord, they might have to sell a fancy car, or a yacht or, god forbid, get RESPONSIBLE WITH OUR MONEY.
How many average citizens can afford to own enough shares in publicly traded corporations that will provide a significant return on their investment? I know of very few.
I have used 52 of my 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. That leaves me 47 weeks, during which time I will be told that I have to “look harder” for work and accept any position offered me. Nice, guys. Just beautiful. Let’s deconstruct that mandate. Here’s what it really says:
“You’ve got to be a slacker or you’d have found work by now. Since you won’t do it yourself, we’re going to force you into it. For 52 weeks you only had to apply for 2 jobs a week. Now you have to apply for 6-10 jobs a week and send us those records every month and if the local convenience store offers you a job that pays less than what you’re getting from us, why, you have to take it.”
On average, I apply for 22 jobs a week. I have been doing this for 52 weeks. The last “interview” I got was last week. I showed up at the location – it was a staffing company – and the office was locked and dark. So I called the number posted on the door and was told that I needed to drive another 30 miles to another location because they decided to use the office, at whose front door I was standing at that moment, only two days a week. So I asked why I wasn’t notified. The receptionist got nasty with me and said she called me the day prior and left a message. I told her she didn’t, that their number was not in my incoming or missed calls list, nor was there a voice mail left for me. She blamed it on my phone. Odd – I got plenty of calls on the day she said she called me. She never called. She lied. Why not give me HER job, thus ensuring that someone responsible, professional and who actually CARES will see that contacts are made?
I have another “interview” set for this thursday. I have to drive 75 miles to get to it. Will I be treated the same way?
I’ve stopped telling staffing agencies (because they are the only organizations who call me for interviews now) that I’m unemployed. My resume reflects that I am currently a freelance data analyst. I do not tell anyone I am accepting unemployment benefits. If they ask, I lie. While I would accept work as a freelance data analyst, thus am technically “employed” no one is beating my door down to use my service. If I need to provide references for any “work” I’ve done as a freelancer, my network of small business owner friends give me a great reference. This is what Corporate America has done. They’ve taught us that it’s necessary to be just as dishonest as they are if we want to work. While I’m not certain I can compromise my values in this manner much longer, I often wonder what choice I have.
Even with all that, I can’t find work. Why would a company employ a 50 year old “freelance data analyst” when they can get a fresh young thing straight from college who doesn’t know enough to be insulted by the salary offered, who has not yet developed “bad habits” and who won’t use their healthcare benefits for anything but wellness checks, and do that very rarely? A company won’t hire me when they can get what I’ve described above.
When I spoke with the staffing agency rep yesterday she asked me if I had a degree. A degree for an entry-level clerical position. A DEGREE. She had my resume in front of her, could see my level of experience, could see my education and instead of saying “wow – we can certainly place YOU” she says: “Do you have a degree?” I wanted to reply: “Yes, I have a degree in dodging discriminatory hiring practices” but I simply said: “It’s right there at the bottom of my resume.” Apparently she hadn’t read that far.
Carnage. What do those of us who are without a secondary household income do when our (meager) unemployment benefits run out? Do we storm the gates and create some carnage of our own? I say yes. I say all of us who are part of the carnage go crashing through the bedroom door and pull our government out of bed with Corporate America.
You do realize that WE are the only people who can facilitate this kind of change. Our elected officials are engaging in such marvelous financial sex with corporations that they’re not going to stop unless someone (we, the people) force them to stop.
Do you understand what is going to happen to all of us if we can’t force coitus interruptus? Our government is not protecting us. It’s destroying us – all in the name of money.