Several months back I did a piece on this blog and sorta said some bad words. Oops. Sometimes that happens, you know? One of the comments I received was, “A true wordsmith doesn’t need to swear to make their point.” And you might think that’s true–right before I lock your ass in a room with Harlan Ellison and the ghost of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.
So right up front, here’s some wordsmithin’ for you: fuck you if you don’t like my language. Are we clear?
I’m out of work. That’s a fact. I have been for a more than a couple of years. And I’m still looking. I look a lot. I send out resumes every week. I no longer keep track of how many I’ve sent out because I don’t collected unemployment and there’s no need, but it’s well over one thousand.
And still nothing.
It’s not because I don’t have “the right stuff”. I had 25 years in IT before I was laid off. No, I know a lot of it was my age, which at the time I was laid off was on the low side of 50. And I know that’s one of the reasons few companies ever looked at me; they saw my date of birth, had someone do the math (’cause most managers are too stupid to do it themselves) and thought, “Holy shit, this guy’s gonna want real money for a salary!” And they shined me on.
And now there is a new meme going around: companies don’t want to hire the unemployed because they believe they aren’t the “best of the best”, that people like me, the 99ers, were laid off because we were too incompetent to hang onto a job. And because of that, the common wisdom in the business community (if by wisdom you mean “I got my head so far up my CFO’s ass I saw his wife’s fillings when he kissed her goodbye this morning”) these days is if you’re out of work for more than 6 months, you’re toxic. You’re gonna bring your stink in the door with you. You are going to upset the perfect working order of out little empire.
So here I am, 2 1/2 years out of work, not making money doing the writing thing, and very close to running out of cash. The few times I’ve spoken to headhunters who like my qualifications one of the first statements out of their mouth is that “You’ll be a hard sell because you’ve been out of work so long”.
Here’s my question: since companies think I suck because I’ve been unemployed for so long, what are my options? What can they tell me and the millions who are unable to secure employment? What is their solution?
Since they’re not interested in me, what choices do I have? McJobs? Even those are difficult to find. Around where I live the jobs at Walmart and Target and the fast food joints are filled. I’ve filled out applications to drive a bus; nothing. Delivery truck. Nada. You can’t even dig ditches without a college degree these days.
The more you look, the more business games the system to keep people out of their organizations. I’ve applied for jobs where there is a list of 9 things a company needs for the person they want to hire, and I’ll hit 8 of them perfectly, and when you get to Numba 9 . . . ooooh, not so much, and that’s the fuck you the throw back in your direction: ”You aren’t perfect, so get lost, loser!”
Yes, I get it. Companies are interested in generating profits and little else these days, so they can be picky. Well, amend that: they can be picky because what they really want is a demoralized work force just this side of slave labor. They’ve seen how well it works in China, where you get your iPhone built in a place where people are so worked into a mumbling depression that one plant had to take steps to keep people from killing themselves. Can I get that app for my smart phone, by the way? The one where if I press it enough it makes some poor bastard jump to their death because your buzzing makes some asshole floor go over and yell at them? Hey, that could give Angry Birds a run for its money!
Here’s what I think, and excuse me for going dark here, but I’m a smart enough guy to figure this out for myself:
American business, as we know it today, wants me to die.
Really, truly, they do. ’Cause I’m a drain on society. I’m beyond being hired for any goddamn jobs they have, so what solution are they offering? Why, get the hell out of the pool completely. You’re a bum because you were on unemployment; you can’t find a job because no one wants you; and pretty soon you won’t have any money to be a useful consumer–
So stick a gun in your mouth and remove yourself from out wonderful capitalist paradise.
It’s not really that simple, though, because if you’re going to take yourself out you gotta do it in a way that at least allows you to leave behind whatever meager insurance policies you might still have for you family–whom, by the way, American business don’t give two shits for. Why should they? They’re saddled with my incredible losership, so they must not be much beyond personal losership themselves.
Frankly I’ve had it. I can’t take this “Winner Take Every Goddamn Thing” attitude that companies have these days. I can’t take their smugness, the asshole management that views their employees as a necessary evil and not a force they should cultivate for the future. Today it’s about money and little else; hell, the last company I worked for even tried to state in their first “vision statement” that the employees should do everything in the power to make the joint a company the stockholders would be happy to leave their money. And this wasn’t an idea buried deep in their “values”; this was the second bullet point. It was right there: ”Build an environment that is desirable for the shareholders”.
Sure thing, Massa. You want that bale totted where?
Oh, and if you support the people–AKA Republicans, Teabaggers, and the DINOs of every stripe–who allow companies to get away with this shit, I can’t take you, either.
Don’t take this as a cry for help; I’m way beyond that. I’ll find a way to continue, I can assure you. But any more I can’t take the bullshit of the people who continue to say that I, and millions others, no longer count. I have no kind words for these douchebags any longer. ’Cause when you’re a dead man walkin’, what have you got to lose?
Watch your asses; I’m liable to go all Travis Bickle on your asses . . . what’s that?
You talkin’ to me?