4/08/2006

 

The Incredible Someone Else

The homeless (and by extension, the poor) face a thousand little frustrations every day, and most of the time, these manage to coagulate themselves into one huge frustration by the end of the day. One of the biggest, most looming frustrations is trying to find work that will pay enough to allow you to finally escape homelessness.

Over the past three years I've sent out literally hundreds of resumes and been on dozens of interviews and have yet to garner anything more lucrative than a couple of part time gigs that didn't pay the bills. Okay, part of that is my own fault -- I spent too much time focused on trying to get back into the graphic design field and not enough time trying to get into Guilford Tech or some comparable insititution -- but a lot of the time it's just plain old (a) bad luck; (b) bad timing; (c) ruthless competition; (d) age discrimination (e) racism*; (f) all of the above; (g) some horrendous combination of the above.

I found out yesterday that a very lucrative job I'd interviewed for in Winston-Salem went to Someone Else. Again. I did everything right in that interview. I watched my hygeine and body language. I made sure to give a firm handshake and look anyone that greeted me in the eye with a smile. I made sure to pay close attention to what was said and any instructions I was given. I researched the company beforehand and prepared several questions to ask during the interview, and got to ask them. I didn't use "er", "uh", and "well..." when answering questions. I wrote thank you notes to everyone I talked to, and I followed up diligently afterward.

And the blasted job still went to Someone Else.

Meanwhile, I'm still stuck in retail. Part-time.

Someone Else has a helluva life, neh? Someone Else always gets the good job. Someone Else always has the cool car. Someone Else has the good education. Someone Else has a spouse with a BMI of 19. Someone Else has overachiever kids who make straight As. Someone Else has the big house with the basement rec room.

Maybe it's the Beast stirring in me, but I really wish that Someone Else would lose out on a good lob for a change. I'd like to see Someone Else have to deal with a snotty social worker who uses program rules like a battering ram. I want Someone Else to have to worry about tomorrow.

I want Someone Else to be me for awhile.


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*Please do not haul out the tired old argument that racism no longer exists in America. Yes it does; it's just far more subtle and insidious than it was in previous decades.

Comments:
You've been looking for work for the past three years? I thought you've been looking for the past three months.
 
Sorry you didn't get the job but you have to keep pushing. That's why I'm trying to start my own business. This is advice many of "us" need to follow a lot more. My parents never wanted me to go out there and beg the "man" for a job. Unfortunately I wish I had listened to them sooner.

If I had a chance to tell the young people coming up it would be to get your own! I hope you will pass that along to your kids. It must not be easy for them to watch you struggle the way you are.

You have a lot of talent I hope you can take that and use it to turn it into something so that you never have to go out here and beg anyone else for a job. It takes hard work but it's worth it. Good luck.
 
yea, the starting your own business thing is helpful. it gives you a reason to exist if only to supplement another job.
 
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