I can't tell you how often in recent times someone has said to me "Just go get a job!"
"Just" is a very cruel word. "Just" proves that you are oversimplifying a situation. "Just" screams that you have no idea what you are talking about. "Just" ignores massive complexities and complicated circumstances. In the vast majority of situations, use of the word "just" pretty much negates everything that comes after it.
But people keep telling me to "Just go get a job!" As if it had never occurred to me. As if I haven't tried. As if there are lots of jobs out there. As if there is no competition for the few viable jobs that are available.
Once upon a time I was the one person in the office with the most computer experience and the only one who could fix the copy machine. Now my computer skills are outdated. Forget that I'm a quick learner, I can't seem to get a chance to prove that!
Then there's that Master's degree that I'm very proud of but that makes me seem overqualified for everything. Employers seem to assume that my Master's degree means I would get bored and quit in five minutes. I was kind of hoping it said I'm smart, dedicated, and have a history of sticking things out -- things like SEVEN years of college! I'm on the verge of taking it off my resume. Probably should.
Let me take you along on a tour of yesterday's Sunday job ads!
Newspaper delivery routes -- requires me to split-shift what little sleep I get and to leave my children home alone at 2 or 3 a.m.
Maintenance and Housekeeping -- in Eureka Springs!
Termite and Pest Control Technician -- That would really stir up my childhood chemical phobia! And what traces of chemicals would I be taking home to my household and my children?
Low Slope Roofing Foreman -- yeah, right!
Carpet Cleaning Technician -- ugh!
Car Mart Service Manager -- I tell you most of what I know about engines when I turn the key in the ignition!
Animal Caretaker for Springdale Animal Services -- I have animal issues. I would either take all the unwanted strays home, cry all the time, or have to be hospitalized because I would be so distraught!
Freelance Writer -- Wow! That's ME! I'm a writer! But the fine print requires "at least two published samples". I haven't been published since high school! : (
Door-to-Door Sales -- I would PAY not to do this job! I can't think of anything worse!
Firefighter/EMT -- Ditto! I want to hide if anyone needs a band-aid!
Sports Reporter -- How many baskets did the Pigs score in their last football match?
Street Department Maintenance Worker -- Think they'd let me drive a bull dozer?
Salesperson for retail garden center "with knowledge of horticulture" -- I have a black thumb. I forget that thing about water.
Lisenced Physical Therapist.
Certified Dental Assistant.
Experienced Collector for automotive finance company -- I bet those deadbeats would really be scared of little ole ME!
OTR Driver -- Can you see me driving a big rig and leaving my kids home alone all week?
Administrative Support "must relocate" -- Really?
Jobs in Little Rock, Hot Springs, Oklahoma, Missouri!
Jobs that require dependable transportation -- See my previous posts on all my car troubles!
Factory jobs for minimum wage -- not worth my time!
Apartment Manager "live-in, on site" -- Haven't lost my house yet!
Home Medical Equipment Service Technician "must be able to lift 120 lbs" -- 120 pounds?!
And my favorite:
Nucular Power Trainee! -- I could glow in the dark!
And then there's:
Mental Health Professionals - Master's degree in Psychology, Social Work or Counseling.
But the only position for an unlicenced "paraprofessional" is 8-5 in Bentonville. I would be gone from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. And who would take the girls to and from school? We live too close to Sara-Grace's school to qualify for bus service and to far to walk. Emily can drive but often her car doesn't run. Plus someone would surely kill someone else in my absence! And what if someone had to stay home sick?
The mechanics of finding jobs are changing. Used to be all jobs were in the classifieds. Now life is much more immediate. No one wants to wait for the Sunday paper. Craigslist has been touted as the place to look.
But on Craigslist all the listings want a resume before they even tell you the name of the company and what the job is. If a company isn't proud enough of their name to state it in the ad, I want no part of them!
Most of the jobs I have inquired about that I found on Craigslist have turned out to be scams. I can't tell you how many suspicious letters I've gotten written in broken English and cheerfully describing illogical-sounding duties. I swear the one I got this morning is a front for Japanese mob processing stolen electronics.
Even the jobs that sound like they might, blessedly, involve a benevolent combination of convenient location, flexible hours, sufficient pay, a pleasant employer, work I could stand doing, and an absence of prohibitive required certifications, turn out not to be viable. Either they turn out to be scams or I never get any sort of response. I've become wary of sending me resume out because there seem to be very few honest people on the other end.
I DID find two listings that seem viable:
Office Clerk needed. Computer input. General office duties. 20-24 flexible hrs/wk. Fayetteville. Fax resume.
PT Church Secretary Position in Fayetteville. Computer and general office skills required.
I'll let you know how these go!
Do me a favor -- be careful how you use the word "just"!