So, I found a new job…

…and was notified today that I’m not a felon so I can go to work for this company.  It’s a contract-perm position, as are almost all positions these days.  Last one of those I had, the company worked me through my contract, said they were ready to hire me, had all the paperwork ready and they’d see me on Monday.  That was on a Friday.  I got a call that evening from my agency that my “assignment had ended.”  Turns out the company had no intention of hiring me and only told me so to keep me in my seat, and at my computer.  They just put another temp in there.  It wasn’t a performance issue or an attendance issue or a personality conflict.  It was that the company didn’t want to hire a permanent person, thus incurring the costs of benefits and a higher wage.  So they strung me a long with promises of permanent employment until my 580 hours were worked through, and then threw me out like so much garbage.

Enter offer number two.  Just got it two weeks ago and background check came through clean today.  Of course it did.  I knew it would.  Last week, I emailed my agency rep to let her know I have a doctor appointment on June 24th.  I specified in my email that I wanted her to know in advance of starting at this company so that they would not start me on the 24th of June.

Guess what folks? Yep.  She called me today to tell me I have to start on the 24th.  When I mentioned my doctor appointment her voice went from light and airy to ugly in a blink.  My doctor appointment was going to cause “huge issues” and I knew from her tone that if I didn’t reschedule it NOW, the offer would be withdrawn and they wouldn’t work me any more.

This is what you do when you’re unemployed.  You take what you can get because you HAVE to take it, and I have serious doubts about the company I’m going to work for.  They are punitive with their employees.  I know this for a fact because a good friend of mine has worked for them for 10 years and has spent 7 of those 10 years stressed beyond any capacity I could understand.  He needs to work, so he stays.  He stays because he is a field rep and doesn’t have to go in and sit in a corporate office chair and spin on command each day.  He stays because he is 60 and is virtually unemployable.  He hates it.

So I call this “incident number one.”  I’m told if I keep the doctor appointment I had trouble getting scheduled in the FIRST damned place, that I won’t have a job, only I’m not told that in so many words.  I’m told it will be a “huge issue” in an ugly tone of voice.

Can’t wait for “incident number two.”  You know it’s coming.  So do I.  Someone won’t like that I’m quiet and keep to myself, or if I attempt to “assimilate” someone else won’t like that.  It’s the life of a temp – you get fired for breathing.  Don’t ever believe you fit in anywhere at a company if you’re a temp.  You are watched, evaluated, and criticized about anything and everything.  If you eat at your desk, because everyone else does and you only have 30 min for lunch, you’re penalized because only “employees” can do that.  More than one post-it pad on or in your desk?  That’s theft, you know!  Wear the wrong color shirt?  That’s inappropriate.

I was lucky today.  I was able to reschedule my doctor appointment.  But tell me – is it appropriate, right or in anyone’s best interest to force me to trade health care for a JOB???   Is it legal (probably it is!) to imply that someone will have an offer of employment withdrawn if that person has notified her agency of a doctor appointment well in advance of employment?

I’m here to tell you, after almost three years of this bullshit:  Don’t trust your agency, don’t trust Corporate America and don’t trust your co-workers.  Do not trust anything your own eyes can’t see or your own ears can’t hear.

And off I go, to lovely evil corporate america, again.  Wonder how this one will work out.  And if anyone has the temerity to tell me I have a bad attitude, I suggest you get yourself unemployed for 3 years and then after that same time frame has passed and you’ve been passed around like a corporate whore from one company to another that makes you promise after promise and then shits all over you, to then post here about my attitude.  Jus’ sayin’.

Advertisements

So Why Do We, the Unemployed…

…have to show proof that we’ve been searching for work in order to maintain our benefits, but bloody Corporate America doesn’t have to show proof that they are doing the very best they can do to lower the unemployment numbers by interviewing and hiring us?

What’s wrong with this picture?

Please comment.  Comments are good.  Rant.  Rave.  Get pissed off and then deluge your congressman with email until s/he does something.  Fill their inboxes up.  Call.  Start petitions.  Write the president.  Write a LOT.  Make yourself heard. Start a blog.  Link it to Occupy.

Do SOMETHING.

We may be unemployed but we WANT to work.  Get rid of bloody seat warmers and get someone in who will actually WORK.  Millions of us out here really, truly WANT to work. We’ll do a better job for you than those you have, because we’re hungry.  We know what it’s like to be hungry.  We’ll treasure our jobs and we won’t be the slackers.  Ever thought about THAT, Mr. CEO?????

Bah.  Mr. CEO thinks about nothing other than how he can “streamline” even more to make his shareholders happy.  It’s about money and those with the money have the power.

Isn’t it time we took that power away?  There are more of us than there are of them.  There’s power in numbers.  Would you walk down a dark alley alone, knowing full well there was a gang of 400 waiting to kick you bloody?  Would you walk down that same alley with 150,000,000 people behind you?  I would.

 

Wow! I Heard From Congressman Shuster…(are you ready for this?)

A few posts ago, I wrote a letter to my congressman.  Actually, I wrote three letters.  A month later, I hear from him.  Below is his reply – quite canned – and under it is the reply I just fired off to him.  I’m mad.  I’m going to do something about this.  I don’t know what, but I’m going to do something.  Somehow I will get myself in front of the House of Representatives, since he’s blaming them.  In essence, he says:  “I’m really sorry, but I can’t do a damned thing for you.”  And I’ll bet he then went and had lunch with and friend in the House and didn’t even discuss this issue.  Nope.
On 2/28/2012 12:13 PM, Shuster@housemail.house.govwrote:

Ms. My Name here
My Address
My City State and  Zip
Dear Ms. My Name:
Thank you for contacting me regarding your support for the American Jobs Act of 2011. I appreciate hearing from you and having the benefits of your views.
As you may know, H.R. 12, the American Jobs Act of 2011 would amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow employers a tax credit for payroll increases in the last quarter of 2011 and 2012, extend the 100 percent bonus depreciation allowance through 2012, and increase the work opportunity tax credit for hiring unemployed veterans. It would also make specified funds available for the Department of Transportation for highway and rail projects, among others. Should H.R. 12 come before the full House of Representatives for a vote, I will be certain to keep your views in mind.
In these challenging economic times, we need to ensure that we do everything we can to create jobs at home and put Americans back to work. This is why the House of Representatives has passed over twenty job-creating bills to stimulate the economy and help Americans get back to work. Unfortunately, the Senate has not taken action on any of these bills. These pieces of bipartisan legislation passed by the Republican majority include bills reducing our dependence on foreign oil, removing bureaucratic barriers to energy permitting, and made it easier for entrepreneurs to have access to vital job-creating capital.
Again, thank you for contacting me. For your convenience, you can receive further information on issues important to the Ninth District at http://www.house.gov/shuster/. Your thoughts and comments are always welcome.
Sincerely,
BILL SHUSTER
Member of Congress
WFS:dw
My reply:
Dear Congressman Shuster:How much do you really know about corporate America?  That payroll tax credit doesn’t do a thing to provide more jobs.  It just means that Mr. CEO gets a bigger tax write-off.   I’m not an unemployed veteran, so while I think the work opportunity tax credit for unemployed veterans is a great start, it’s not going to get me hired.  Won’t even get me an interview.

As far as the 100% bonus depreciation allowance goes?  Have you  worked in the private sector in an entry level position since 2000?  None of these measures will help create jobs.  They will cause many CEOs to grin at each other over their morning coffee while they check their financial statements, though.

The private sector must be mandated to hire the unemployed FIRST – before even considering those who are already employed.  Those who are employed don’t need jobs.  Those who are unemployed; particularly those who are long-term unemployed, are looking at  – well – exactly nothing.

I’m 50 years old.  I’ve been unemployed for 52 weeks.  I can’t get a job – not even flipping burgers, and believe me, I’ve tried.

Congressman Shuster, what do you propose for those like me, whose benefits are due to run out soon?  Do we all just drive off a bridge, en masse?  That’s not sarcasm.  Where are we supposed to live?  HOW are we supposed to live?  Corporations are blithely just throwing resumes like mine into file 13.  I’m “too old.”  I use my health benefits for something other than wellness checkups – at least I do when I have health benefits.

Mr. Congressman, next time you spend $50 at lunch with cronies, think about how many groceries that money could buy someone like me.  Think about the fact that I don’t qualify for food stamps, and so I have to make ends meet on approximately $1,000 a month, after taxes.  After my rent, car payment, cell phone bill, and the small sundries of life (internet connection so I can job hunt), I don’t have $100 to spend on food if I want to have any gas in my car in case someone might want to interview me.  Granted, those opportunities are few and far between, but one must be prepared.

I spend approximately $50 a month on food.  Think about that next time you order an arugula salad…

When was the last time YOU ate Ramen?

What do I want you to do?  Easy.  I want you and all your fellow congressmen/women, to live as an unemployed individual in this country lives – for six weeks.  I want you to attempt to pay all your bills on the money paid to you, and then I want you to go back to your well-paid jobs, your comfortable offices, and I want you to write a bill (and push it through) that states corporate America MUST SHOW PROOF THAT THEY ARE NOT ONLY CONSIDERING, BUT INTERVIEWING AND HIRING THE UNEMPLOYED BEFORE THEY EVEN LOOK AT THOSE WHO ARE ALREADY EMPLOYED.

Our nation is in a crisis situation.  Can you not see that?  Maybe it hasn’t affected you, personally.  Trade places with me, and then tell me what you think should be done.

Our corporations have control of our government.  Take that control away from them, regulate them, and tell them to suck it up – the same way they tell their employees to suck it up when they lay them off and then say they won’t hire the unemployed.

Mr. Congressman:  DO SOMETHING!  PLEASE!

Sincerely,

(my name here)

“Carnage.” Apt Use of the Word by Joe Carbone

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.

 

So Today…

…I heard from someone who has never been unemployed in his life and who is a successful businessman that as a “hiring employer” he doesn’t want to hear from a candidate that they are accepting “government assistance” if they are currently unemployed.  He won’t hire someone who says they are on unemployment. 

He stated that he’d rather they lie and say that while they are currently unemployed due to no fault of their own, they are living on their savings and retirement money.  Excuse me?  They’ve paid into a system that is there specifically for their use should they ever need it.  Why should they go through their savings and retirement FIRST, thus creating a situation of possible total impoverishment when the time comes for them to retire? 

I’m still awaiting his reply to my query as to why he won’t do that.  Film at 11:00 or whenever he replies.  IF he replies.  Snort. 

Open Letter to Congressman Shuster

I live in Pennsylvania, having just moved here from Maryland.  I am fed up with age and unemployment discrimination.  I have been unemployed for a year on February 19, 2012.  I wrote this letter to my congressman.  If you agree with my letter, please “like” and share.

__________________________________

Dear Congressman Shuster:

I moved to PA from MD two weeks ago. I am one of the many unemployed in America. I have been unemployed since Feb 19, 2011 and am barely making ends meet on the benefits I receive.

My letter to you speaks to age and unemployment discrimination being practiced by employers. While you and I know it is illegal to discriminate for such reasons, corporations are getting around that law by requiring applicants to provide their social security number BEFORE they can even begin an application. Washington County Public School system in Maryland requires it – I just electronically applied for a job there.

Apparently, The Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011, also referred to as HR 2501, would prevent employers from such discrimination. The bill would also apply to employment agencies, who would not be allowed to ask about the current employment status of job applicants.

This is a non-action. When an employer REQUIRES background check information PRIOR to an applicant even filling out an application, it is very easy for them to get around this legislation. It’s exceptionally easy for them to simply cull all those over a certain age and hire younger and cheaper.

I am 50 years old. I have almost 30 years of work experience and I would be an asset to many companies. I can’t even get a job gargling peanut butter on the street corner. On Friday, February 3, I was contacted by a recruiter who was very excited by my resume. It seems I was a 100% match to the requirements. On Monday I received an email stating that my application would not be considered since “the position was already filled.” So why did he contact me? This individual also had information regarding my age and unemployment status.

How are we, the long-term unemployed, supposed to find work if no one will hire us? Our government quotes an unemployment rate of approximately 8.5% nationwide. That’s a crock and anyone who can do simple math and word problems can figure it out. The formula is based upon the number of jobs created, those who are still drawing unemployment and those who have “left the work force.”

The assumption is that those who have “left the work force” have done so voluntarily. I’m here to tell you that “those who have left the work force” have done so not by choice, but simply because their benefits ran out. This does not mean they are not still looking for work. It simply means they had no more benefits, had to pack it in, move in with family or friends and become a financial burden to those people.

When is someone in our government going to wake up and see the truth? Have you or any of your colleagues ever experienced TRUE poverty? Do you think you would be able to support yourself on the benefits paid by unemployment (after of course, you’ve gone through all your savings and retirement, as well as your children’s college funds, as my brother and I have done!)?

Do you know what it means to experience starvation? Wait. That’s not a politically correct term any longer, is it? I recently read where the term “Food Insecure” is being bandied about as being much more acceptable. It’s not as ugly, is it? If it weren’t for the kindness of family and friends, I (one of your new constituents) would have STARVED long ago. I’d also be homeless.

Can you tell me why it is that I, at age 50, am unable to get a job working even at a convenience store? I’m willing to take such a job. I’m willing to work. I WANT to work. No one will hire me. I know the reason. I’m “old.” I would actually USE my health care benefits for things other than wellness checkups.

It’s a fact that healthcare in America is there solely to make a profit. Insurance companies are not there to take care of us; they are there to make a profit. I was recently turned away from a Patient First in Maryland when I had the ‘flu because I couldn’t pay. I have no health insurance. I’m diabetic and I don’t qualify for Medicaid. I “make too much money” on unemployment. I don’t qualify for food stamps. My unemployment benefit year (colloquially known as BYE – how apt) is ending on Feb 19 of this year. Will I get an extension?

I’m not sitting around on my butt doing nothing and leeching taxpayer dollars. I’m not using my unemployment money to buy drugs. Between yesterday and today, I applied for 21 jobs. I do this daily. I have done this daily since February 20, 2011.

Congressman Shuster, can you tell me how I am supposed to support myself once my benefits run out and I am no longer counted as a part of the “work force?” Am I supposed to move in with my aged and ill parents, one of whom just spent 8 weeks in hospital? Am I supposed to move into my brother’s basement and live with the crickets and mice? Or should I move into my sister’s storage closet? Perhaps I should make a straw pallet in my neighbor’s barn? I’m not being facetious. Those are my choices.

Have you ever been faced with these choices?

Why is Corporate America being allowed to cull those who are over a certain age and who are unemployed? The act I referenced above does NOTHING to restrain this activity. NOTHING.

I volunteer at a non-profit in Maryland and four months ago, one of my co-volunteers was an individual who works in a large corporate HR department. She swore she would deny this next statement with her last breath because she would be fired for making it but she said:

“The reason you are not getting hired is because you are 50 and have been unemployed too long. You know those electronic statements that you see online where you have to agree to a background check prior to submitting your application? That’s our way of culling anyone over age 40 and those who have been long-term unemployed.”

My best educated guess is that if you were to poll Corporate America you would get a deafening denial of the above statement. Of course you would. It’s illegal. Yet they ARE doing it.

What can you suggest for my situation? Seriously. Can you give me some viable, USEFUL suggestions? Suggestions that don’t include “keep up the hard work” and “it’s all a numbers game – you just have to keep applying?”

What are my options? Right now I’m attempting to keep my hopes up. I refuse to let the system crush my spirit. Even if I become homeless and “food insecure” I will still own my spirit. I will loathe my government, though. I have paid into this system for 30 years. This is what I receive in return when I am in gross need of help. “You make too much money to qualify for medicaid or food stamps.” On unemployment. Go figure.

Mr. Congressman, can you tell me what YOU will do about this? Can you tell me what bill YOU will write; what legislation YOU will push through to help those of us who have NOT “left the work force” but are invisible to the governmental unemployment bean counters?

Unemployed Need Not Apply

I just read this little snippet and it resonated so loudly with me that it almost shattered my coffee cup:

New Bill Seeks To Prevent Discrimination Against Unemployed Americans

Earlier this month, Representatives Rosa DeLauro (Connecticut) and Henry Johnson, Jr. (Georgia) introduced the Fair Emplyoment Opportunity Act of 2011. The aim of this legislation is simple: To prevent employers from discriminating against unemployed Americans.

Unemployed Need Not Apply?

Companies looking to hire are increasingly including language in their “Help Wanted” postings that prevents applicants who are out of work from applying for a job opening. You may have encountered the following language:

“Applicant must be currently employed.”

The Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011, also referred to as HR 2501, would prevent employers from such discrimination. The bill would also apply to employment agencies, who would not be allowed to ask about the current employment status of job applicants.

_____________________________

Oh please.  Until corporate America is regulated they will continue to discriminate.  No amount of legislation will keep them from doing so.  I’m a 30 year veteran of IT.  I have a smattering of accounting and admin skills thrown in.  I can’t get a job gargling peanut butter, because each application I fill out requires my social security number and it requires that I agree to a “:criminal background check” BEFORE I’ve even had an interview.  That gave them instant access to my age and employment status.

We need legislation to stop THAT shit.  I was contacted by a recruiter last friday.  I was a perfect fit for the job and he was doing the snoopy dance that he’d found someone.  On Monday, after being forced (if I wanted the job) to hand over my social security number for a criminal background check, I got an email saying:  “we’re sorry but the job for which you have applied has already been filled.  Good luck in your job search.”  WTF?  Why contact me if it’s already been filled.  This guy told me I was the ONLY candidate he had who matched 100%.  I didn’t even get the courtesy of a phone call.  I didn’t get a first interview.

My benefits will run out soon (thanks, USG, who FIRED me for supposedly “violating” a policy that not only my boss but HER boss was “violating” as well). Oh, let’s not forget that I was told by my boss that my performance was the “worst” in the office.  When I asked to see the stats that proved this (because I had it on good authority that there were others making bigger and MORE mistakes than I was making) she said:  “Oh, it’s in a spreadsheet, and I can’t access it right now.”  Uh huh.  What was the REAL reason?

What do I do?  Starve?  Oh wait.  That word doesn’t get used any longer; it’s too ugly.  No.  Now we must use “Food Insecure.”  That way those like my boss and her boss can salve their consciences and pretend their tiny black little hearts are large and magnanimous.  I wonder if either of THEM could live on $1,000 a month after taxes?  I wonder if either of them could live on NOTHING, which may be what happens to me.

Hey Boss and Boss’ Boss!  Are you reading?  I know one of you is reading.  Think about the reasons you used for firing me.  It was bogus crap and you both know it.  How many different ways have you justified firing someone using “violation of the electronics use policy?”  I know for a fact that one of you (and you know exactly who you are) violated it frequently, based on the viruses you got on your computer from various websites.  I got the kick in the ass while the one person you two believed should be cited for canonization threw all her co-workers under the bus.

Typical corporate attitude.  Typical “me” attitude.   Hey guys – I’m “food insecure.”  Not your fault, you say?  Um – no, not if you weren’t violating policy right along with EVERYONE ELSE IN THE BLOODY OFFICE.

Yeah, okay.  Rant over.  But thanks guys.  I can’t find work – I’m too old and too unemployed.  Think about that when your turn comes.  It WILL come. Karma is beautiful that way.  The unemployment numbers are a lie.  America is so good at manipulating numbers.  Oh wait – so are you, so you’ll be able to see how it’s been done in order to come up with the 8.5% unemployment lie they’re currently touting.

So You Think Your Company Is Being Generous?

Think again.  If you work for private industry (which means you do NOT work for the government) and you have received word that you’re being downsized “but not right now – we just want you to be aware, so you can take the time to find a new job” and you think this action means the company you work for is being benevolent and generous, think again.

They want as few hits on their unemployment insurance as possible.  They’re not telling you in advance for YOUR benefit.  They’re telling you for THEIR benefit.

Did they say you can take the time you need for interviews?  And when you finally got an interview and it was at month-end, were you graciously given the time off to go to said interview?  Jus’ sayin…

Do you think your company is being fabulous to you by saying that you can stay ’til they close the office?  Think again.  You can absolutely stay til they close the office.  Know why?  Cuz they can’t close it without you.  Well, yes, they can, but it would cost them a buttload more money and the management folks would be REALLY pissed off at having to do it themselves.

I’ve said this more than once and I’ll say it again (although I doubt many will listen):  Private industry exists for one purpose:

Class?  What is that purpose?

TO MAKE MONEY.

They do not exist to support you and your family, to help you in any way or to have your back the way they require that you have theirs.

Please peeps.  Don’t delude yourself into thinking your company deserves your loyalty in any way.  They don’t.   They could give two flying red shits about you.  As long as the guys at the top are pulling down their millions, you, my little worker-bee friend, are nothing to them.  They paid more for their last vacation than you made in a year.

Jus’ sayin’ folks.  Don’t believe a word that is told you by any corporate management person when there are layoffs.  If their lips move, they are lying.  Why are they lying?  Why, they’re lying because HR has told them if they don’t lie, they will lose THEIR jobs.  (which they will lose, anyway, but they’ll have more perks when they lose than you’ll EVER see.)

YOU DO NOT OWE YOUR EMPLOYER ANYTHING OTHER THAN AN HONEST DAY’S WORK FOR AN HONEST DAY’S PAY.  That’s IT.  They pay you do do a job.  Do your job, do it well, but do NOT fall into the “loyalty” trap.

Loyalty will not feed, clothe or shelter your children.  Loyalty will not provide you with job security.  Loyalty to Corporate America, as it is run today, is evil propaganda perpetrated on the unsuspecting by those at the top who want more and more for less and less.

My sister is the last of a dying breed.  She has worked for her company for 35 years.  She will be okay when she retires.   The only reason she hasn’t been downsized yet is because of her seniority and age.  To do so would mean the company takes a gun and publicly shoots itself in the foot.  She could only be downsized through attrition, but golly gee whiz, her position is absolutely necessary.  So no attrition.  When she retires you better believe they will hire someone at a far lower salary and will not offer the pension, profit sharing and other retirement benefits my sister will get.

No one gets that kind of care from a corporate entity any longer.

No one except those at the very top of that ivory tower.

I say bring back the unions.  Bring ’em back NOW.  If Corporate America won’t regulate itself and stop destroying “we the people” then I say it’s time “we the people” fight back.

It’s hard out there.  Jobs are scarce.  What I’m about to recommend might horrify many of you who are unemployed.  I advocate that NO ONE who is unemployed take a job with a company that will not allow a union.   I advocate that we all – and I mean ALL – learn to live small.  We learn to live with one vehicle; we teach our children to use their imaginations instead of letting their brains rot with X-Box and cable TV.  I say we eat in-season produce, we buy all of what we need and very little of what we want.  We SAVE for what we want and when we have CASH, then we go buy the very BEST, and make sure it’s made in America, by a union worker.

Wanna hear truly radical?  Our economy needs to be completely destroyed, AS IT IS NOW, and rebuilt.  Why should we be denied excellent healthcare – that which is necessary for a good quality of life, simply because the greed of Corporate America says we can’t have it if we can’t afford it?

Do I believe I am entitled to someone else’s money?  Do I believe that the rich should be divested entirely of their wealth so the poor can be fed?  No.  I believe that our government has a responsibility to US.  I believe that corporate executive salaries and compensation packages should have a cap.  I believe that outsourced jobs need to be brought back into our country and provided to our starving workers and their families.  I believe that we should all be paid a LIVING wage for an honest day’s work.

I do not believe that your tax money, my tax money or Joe The Plumber’s tax money should have to go to feed the poverty-stricken when there is so much idle wealth in this country.  I believe that those who HAVE have a moral responsibility to help those who have NOT.  Instead, those who HAVE are given even MORE tax breaks so they can send even MORE money off shore.

Next time you are in the company of a corporate executive look closely at his clothing; look particularly at his shoes.  They will not be scuffed, worn at the heels, and will probably be well-shined cap-toes or italian wingtips.  Perhaps on a casual day they will be kiltie tassel loafers.  They will have cost more than $250 a pair.  Note that his shirt will be unwrinkled, his tie will have an expensive sheen but not a shine.  There’s a difference.  Check the cut of his trousers and see where they fall on the top of his shoes.  Note that they do not bunch up on his shoes, nor do they trail the ground.  Note that his belt matches his shoes, and that his pockets do not pull at the seams. Check his jacket sleeves and note that he can shoot his cuffs easily and those shirt cuffs are probably starched and held together with lovely cufflinks.  Note his shirt collar.  Note that it has not been turned and that there is no fraying on the collar. Note that you will not even be able to see the outline of the collar stays.  That’s a very expensive shirt and I’ll guarantee he has a closet full of them.   Note that there are no creases down the sleeve arms.  This is a dead giveaway that he is paying a laundry or a dry cleaner to do his shirts.  His wife (or god forbid, himself) is not starching and ironing them for him.

Note that the cost of the entire get-up you are viewing costs more than you earn in a month.  I know this to be true – and that’s on a conservative estimate.  I was married to a wealthy man.  I know what the clothing costs.

Look at his watch.  You won’t see a watch.  You’ll see a chronometer.  Thousands of dollars difference between a mere watch and a chronometer.

And if you dare, ask him where he got his tan.  I’ll be it was at his private country club while using custom-made golf clubs, or on that recent vacation that cost more than you earn in a year.

Why would you, or anyone, want to work for a company that presents material wealth as more important than people?  No, they don’t present it in their documentation, their mission statement or in any of their company meetings (not the ones YOU attend).  They don’t have to do that.  Their presence reeks of it.

So next time you think your company is being so damned generous and good to you by giving you “time” to find a new job before they divest you of your current job, remember that they do nothing that doesn’t first benefit themselves.

Never forget that.

Let your loyalty be to YOU and YOUR FAMILY.  That’s where it is deserved.

 

Lies Corporate America Will Tell You

1.  We appreciate you.

2.  Thank you for all your loyalty and hard work.

3.  No, your job isn’t in jeopardy.  We’re laying off at OTHER locations.

4.  Our greatest asset is our people.

5.  No one is getting a bonus this year, it’s not just you.

6.  HR is working hard to make certain you get the best separation package we can provide.

7.  We couldn’t do it without you!

8.  We’re very flexible.

9.  We want the best for our employees.

10.  Do your job well and we will take care of you.

11.  We’re truly sorry we have to downsize you.  It hurts us as much as it hurts you.

12.  We will help you find a new job.

13.  Our COBRA package is affordable.

14.  While we are restructuring and that may seem a negative thing, it will benefit you, our valued employees, in the long term.

 

Translations:

1.  You’re not getting a raise.

2.  You better keep up with the loyalty and hard work or you will find yourself unemployed sooner rather than later.

3.  Your job is in jeopardy.

4.  Our greatest asset is our corporate spin doctor.

5.  You are not getting a bonus.  Our top executive compensation packages will show a zero on the bonus line, but we’re giving them more stock options that will vest quickly and provide them millions.

6.  HR is working hard to make sure your separation package is the lowest-cost one they can provide and they are not concerned with your needs.

7.  We can do it without you.  We did it before you were hired and we’ll continue doing it when you’re terminated.

8.  As long as you don’t require any personal time beyond that which we provide as vacation and/or sick leave, we’ll keep you.  For now.

9.  We want the best for ourselves.  If our employees benefit from it, great.  If not, we don’t really give a flying red one.

10.  Do your job well and you will be allowed to keep your job until we find a way decrease the overhead that is YOU.

11. We’re very happy to downsize you.  It means more money in our pockets.  The only reason the executive who told you about the downsize seemed nervous and upset is because she/he wasn’t quite sure they’d get out of the conference room in one piece.

12.  We’ll send you to an agency that will charge you to help you find a job.  No, we’re not paying the fee.

13.  This is an incomplete statement.  It should read thus:  “Our COBRA package is affordable if you don’t pay any of your other bills and don’t mind starving. ”

14.  We are restructuring and that means you will eventually get caught in the game known as “musical employees.”  Be very afraid.

 

Just in case you were wondering…

I’ll Say It One More Time (for now)

If you are an employee working for a large corporate entity please understand the following:

1.  You are of zero value to the company beyond what THEY deem valuable.  The definition of “value” changes daily.

2.  You are not a person.  You are a number.

3.  Your boss is NOT your friend, regardless how much you might suck up, or how much he or she may provide you special treatment.  At some point your boss’ job will be threatened and if he/she needs to step on you to save their job, you can be assured you will be gone before you can take your next breath.

4.  Telling staff they are being downsized “ahead of time” is not a display of integrity.  It is simply the result of a group of executive minions getting together and deciding the best way to keep you guys working and give you the illusion of hope that maybe things will change and they won’t downsize you after all.

5.  You have no job security.

6.  Your loyalty and hard work will never be repaid.  It will be abused.  It will appear to be appreciated until it is deemed that your salary is cutting into the big guys “competitive compensation.”

7.  Corporate executives do what is good for them, not what is good for you.

8.  THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR NEEDS, OR WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU ONCE YOU ARE CUT LOOSE.  THEY WILL FORGET ABOUT YOU.  Their lives will continue in the same vein as always, complete with luxury vacations, great medical care, plenty of food on the table, spending sprees, and conspicuous consumption while you plead with your landlord to give you another week to scrape together the back rent before you are evicted.

Don’t ever forget any of this.

Keep your resume updated and on Careerbuilder, Dice, Monster, Linked In, and any other place you can think of.  Keep it in front of every headhunter, placement agency, and hiring manager you can.  Network.  If you do this you might have a chance at finding a new job.  Right now, with our economy spinning out of control, the odds aren’t good, but there’s always a chance.  Keep that thought of a chance in front of you and get your resume together and OUT THERE NOW!