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was going to cause “huge issues” and I knew from her tone that if I didn’t reschedule it NOW, the offer would be withdrawn and they wouldn’t work me any more.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’.

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“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.