Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I applied for a job this afternoon.  Having one now would be wonderful, even though it would be few hours each week and would mess with the maintenance payment I get each month from my ex.  It is only a couple of hundred dollars, and if I make that amount or close to it, the payments stop.  Like forever, so if that potential job ends because the company goes belly-up (...I swear, it had nothing to do with me working here...) or some damn thing, the payments cannot be reinstated.  Is that the right word?  Maybe.

So, big picture, I would not be out all that much money each month, just a few hundred, and it would be glorious to eliminate that one, last connection to him.  That would be the coolest frakking thing ever.

So, there you are, me hoping to be considered a wonderful asset and be hired to help people spend money.  What?  Yes.  But, in my defense, the stuff that they would be buying are things to help them with their creativity.  They can enrich their lives by making cool, and occasionally useful, things.  It is a craft materials store.  I applied for three areas, cashiering (running a cash register at the front of the store), sales associate (helping people find stuff and keeping the stock all filled up and tidy, probably some stockroom and receiving, too) and class instructor.  The nice thing about that last one is that I would be able to help create the classes, but the icky part is that, unless I develop a following of people who want to take classes, it would not be any kind of reliable schedule.  Maybe I could get enough hours by doing a combination of those things.

Probably not.  I would like to work there.  Part time would accommodate my physical disabilities.  It might be enough money to be able to keep my car and allow me to buy better food.  When I filled out the application, there was a part where you could list the times or days that you were not available to work.  I did that, as well as filling out the text box where you could explain why you wanted a weird schedule.

My guess, from past experience, is that any special accommodation request is a certain and direct route to the trash can, that place where all dispirited and disheartened résumés take their final gasping breath.

It is not the first job application that bore no fruit, and it will not be the last.  The best thing about the application is that I now have one more company contact experience that I can use with my clients.  Yay.

It was a weird application in an increasingly weirded-out world of on-line job applications. 

There is one company, a chain restaurant that times you out if you are not fast enough in answering the questions that follow the place where you insert your personal information.  They give you twenty seconds, if memory serves, to answer each one.  If you spend too much time on any of them, the process dumps you.  If you navigate survive that section, then you get a lump amount of time to finish the next section.  And, so on.  If at any time you time-out, you get dumped, the process ends, and there is not any way to re-enter the application process.  And, it is not as though they are an outstanding company, having faced some interesting discrimination charges over the years, so my best guess is that whomever created that particular application process did it at least partially for their own, personal amusement.  Rat bastard.

The frustration of some applications is that you have the opportunity to upload your résumé and then proceed to enter everything that is already on that résumé.  It is part of the screening process, whereby the less valiant applicants effectively weed themselves out of the process.  Convenient.

Increasing numbers of applications are adding barriers and time limits as part of this application-pre-screening thing.  I understand that this is resource effective for companies.  I understand that companies filter so that they do not have the time and expense of holding endless first interviews.  I share with my clients that there are essential attributes of applications to which they need to pay attention.  That it is in their best interest to carefully and accurately and patiently do their best on those applications.  It informs the prospective employer that the applicant can read, comprehend what he/she reads and is able to follow directions, as well as using the experience to draw their attention to the aspects that frustrate and stymie them, that elicit a response of some kind, maybe make them want to give up.

An important handicap for many people, way too many of my clients, is lack of comfort using computers. 

I read something a few years ago about how most people hold the notion that most Americans and other citizens of the developing world (or some frakking nonsense) have at least fairly regular computer access.  I think that public computers in libraries were used as an example.  Arf?

Fewer than half of us, based on my own unscientific and vastly amateurish research and estimation, have even occasional access to a computer, much less regular or to a computer that has Internet access.  Specious as it may be, I am sticking to it.  I work, every single week, with people who know and understand that computer skill may just be at least partially essential to finding and keeping a job and do not have any way of using a computer or learning how to use one.  Public libraries?  Arf? 

So, I also teach computer use.  In the meantime, I type for them and guide them in navigating the job seeking path in which computers are essential.  In our city, there are a mere handful of companies who still accept paper job applications.  There are a few who prefer it, that old way of finding and hiring employees.  Bless them, but they are a distinct minority and, well, the whole computer thing is just what it is.  On-line job applications are now the norm, and it is already becoming more complicated and simpler at the same time.

It is an effective way for companies to steward their resources.  A few of the largest companies in our state no longer do their own hiring.  They use placement agencies and have offices and staff for these agencies on-site in their facilities.

That is how I spend my days.  Typing, training, teaching.  I do a fair bit of counseling and cheerleading as well.  By the time someone comes to me, they have exhausted most other resources.  To sit, thigh-to-thigh with someone who has nearly given up on a job, sometimes any forward movement in their lives, is the most important thing in the world to me.  More important than my friends.  More important, on occasion, than my family.  Absolutely more important than my own, stupid, puny problems and worries.

Without this work, I most likely would not be where I am today.  I love this work more than anything.  I think it shows.  The process is difficult for my clients.  No one has ever asked them to examine their lives the way that I do.  No one has taken the time to ask the right questions and draw out and honor the dreams and hopes and needs they carry in relation to having gainful employment.

In regards to this work, I am more fortunate than anyone should ever expect to be.  I know it and I honor it.  It would be nice if I could be paid for it.  That is not going to happen, so I have to find a job for myself.  Gosh, I hope that this results in at least an interview.  If I am going to fail to get this job I would love to put myself out there and be part of the failure process.  Nothing, no effort, is ever wasted, and I can take all of this back to my work, the real stuff that I get to do in my little bat cave, whenever I like.

Yoo-hoo, crafty store.

1 comment:

  1. Keeping everything crossed for you ♥ Me legs are permanently crossed......helps with the nearly piddling me drawers moments! :D