Friday, June 26, 2020

A brief conversation with an Employment Specialist

The harsh reality of the situation is that at some point i will most likely have to rejoin the workforce. The "contribution" barbs are thrown around often, like a boxer flicking out a jab at their opponent, a reminder of just how little my actual value is viewed around these parts. Now depending on the source, the average stay at home parent's value is somewhere north of the six figure mark. Of course that means fuck all to the wage earner around here and is a point of argument i wouldn't even bother to bring up lest it release a torrent of grievances about what isn't done or done properly (in the Breadwinner's eyes) or why it took so long. Hence i bob and weave and do my best to deflect the jabs. 

And so begins my foray into somehow finding some way to bring in cash while also not neglecting my duties as indentured servant and whipping boy for the Breadwinner, and while that's actually not a completely accurate statement it should be noted that my main duties of looking after the boyos is my favorite gig ever. So how does one balance one with the other especially given that there will be no help forthcoming from the Breadwinner in the household department and i'll be ridiculed and chastised if i suggest as much. The situation definitely limits the options and to be quite honest it's not like i'm clamoring to "get back out there", most modern employment is nothing more than busy work designed to keep the masses from having to the time to see just how hard they are being screwed over by the oligarchs and plutocrats of the corporatocracy. Combine that with the fact that as i approach the mid-century mark in a few months, with no apparent marketable skills, a college degree that has never been used, a resume that looks more than a bit thin and a long period where i have been out of the workforce, and the future i must say, is not bright. I'm ripe to be classically under-employed and paid the usual pittance of the lumpen-prole. Granted this will not be the household's main income but one must weigh the pros and cons. Add the fact that i don't really want to "do" anything and one can grasp my dilemma. It would be nice if i could list the skills i acquired as Weed King, see marketing, accounting, sales, distribution, loss prevention, (of which i'd want nothing to do with) but the reality is i'm probably best suited for record store clerk or working in a bookstore or likely destined for some other retail hell. 

The one gig that seemed to fit nicely into the schedule and responsibilities around the gaff was Contact Tracer. It fit my sensibilities. A job where i was actually doing some public good, that i could do from home, and that paid a decent wage. A gig where i'd contact those who'd been exposed to Covid-19 and explain what they needed to do next. To help keep them calm and go through the protocols of self-quarantine and what to do if they experience symptoms, to make a list of places they've been and people they've seen. I'm still on the hunt for this gig as the word is they'll need a lot of these people and it also dovetails nicely with the Breadwinner's gig. If it works out it'll be the sort of temporary job that lasts just long enough and when (dare i say if) the pandemic ends and things get back to relative normal i'll be able to go back to houseboy while being able to say i "contributed." Problem is to find/apply for these jobs one has to go an any number of employment web sites which gives the telemarketing employment sector your phone number. 

The mobile rings a lot these days with mysterious numbers. I answer on the slim hope it may be one of the actual places i've applied contacting me... something that has yet to happen. Who does call? Well any number of get rich/ work at home scams where they teach you how to sell "their products", wanting you to sit through their presentation of how you'll be a wealthy, self-employed entrepreneur in no time, after you send them a bit of money for the training and products mind you. They also have this lovely scare tactic where they tell you they only work with the "highest caliber people" and that if you miss the video meeting and phone interview you'll forever lose this gem of an opportunity. For laughs i've watched about five minutes or so of these presentations, most so poorly done i'm amazed that anyone buys the bullshit they're selling, before logging off only to be contacted the next day about missing it but that i shouldn't worry as there's another one today and could i check that one out? Amazing, i thought i was told that i'd lose my opportunity if i missed the presentation? "High Caliber People", is business-speak for any sucker willing to buy in and to get them to buy in you gotta keep 'em on the hook. 

Other than the get rich quick scams there is the other type of call. From the "Employment Specialist", a very professional sounding title and equipped with a script that is at least a bit more well done than the pyramid schemers. Of course if you listen closely to their fast talk you'll find that in their preamble their is the little mention of how they'll receive a fee if you are placed with a company, i'm not sure who pays that fee because it's never stated. That said if you toss a question or answer at them that the script doesn't have an answer for it gets a bit comical. I'm also leery, and this has happened every time i've answered the fucking phone, when i ask exactly what job it is they saw me apply for and they never tell me. When i ask if it was for the contract tracer gig they usually mumble something and then move into their spiel. My personal favorite took place the other day. The woman called and gave her pitch, mentioned the fee, and then proceeded to do some mock interview questions to help me make myself more attractive to employers. Let me state that i despise everything about the world of business. The talk, the fake pleasantries, the utter bullshit of people pretending or actually caring about activities that in the most cases are nothing more than busy work, jobs for a jobs sake with no actual value or worth but in the shit-stem of capitalism we are all supposed to bow down to the market and rejoice in the opportunity to do something we'll probably loathe while dressing in uncomfortable clothes and even less comfortable shoes. Maybe the job i really want is tending six foot tall ganja plants in my backyard so i can take them to market but i am a man in a wrong place and a wrong time. 

But back to the phone call... After the preamble she got into the questions. It didn't go well. The first ones were easy, did i have a degree, was i available to work, what would i like to do? I stated that i was applying for a contract tracer position but since that wasn't in her script and we were on a recorded line  she just kept going. What would i like to go back to school for? she asked. Nothing, i replied. I had my degree, paid off my loans, and wasn't looking to incur more debt. She ignored my answer and continued, would it be in business, IT, or the healthcare field? Philosophy was my answer. She ignored that and in the same calm and cool voice repeated the question, was it business or IT or the healthcare field? I laughed and said none of the above, that i wasn't interested in going back to school and accruing more debt. She repeated the question again, i paused and said listening specialist, she began to perk up thinking she may have been getting somewhere and inching closer to my placement and her coveted fee, the dream shattered when i stated, a listening specialist so when you fucking people call me you listen to what i actually applied for and don't waste my time, of which i have a limited amount of in this lifetime. There was silence. She said, sir and i said have a nice day and hung up. I have the feeling i'm not going to get whatever job i was up for but that's okay. 

The most likely scenario is that i'll be a professional shopper type guy. Yes along with all the other soccer moms it's a gig i can work around the boyos. I'll be a servant but i'm already in the servant class so i'll be well suited. I'll buy the groceries, drive them to the house, drop the shit on the porch, text the shit is there, and be on my way. I get to work alone and make my own hours and blast tunes in the car. Honestly it's probably the thing i'm most suited for, i'll order some fashion face masks and be on my way. Onwards and upwards as they say. 


Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Get you that personal shopper gig, and then you can give recommendations to us on your blog page! This could work out good for all of us. But seriously, hope one of these jobs lands soon, and something you don't hate. : )

kid said...

a world away from the days of going to craigslist, sending out a daily slew of feelers, getting a bite, getting a call, showing up to the warehouse at an appointed time, spending an hour to take some bullshit automated test, and then in under one minute told you failed the test, but not told why, or what your score was ... as futuristically asinine and strange as all that seemed back then, it now seems quaint, Chinaskian even.

daisyfae said...

one of my friends has developed the sweetest relationship with her personal grocery shopper - they coordinate his shopping time so he can text her pics of the produce, and work it in real time. she tips the fuck out of him, and has found a way to get him to cover her order every week so he's learned what the family likes, etc. Swear to god, i think she's going to adopt him when this is over...

oh, and it's a damn shame recreational is not legal in pennsyltucky. because you'd be an asset working in a dispensary. i've met some lovely budtenders in my travels, and they are the best!