“Job” spelled backwards is “Boj”


“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” Yogi Berra

OK, OK, you guys have to humor me for at least one more blog post about job-seeking. Even thought I’m not technically unemployed, for the last three months it has felt that way. I understand that so many people have been out of work for three years, if not longer.

I hear the Klingon Empire is hiring

This blog isn’t about them. This blog is about my experiences. Again, just stick with me. I am going somewhere with this one.

I’ve worked, for pay, essentially half my life (age 15 to now.) I always wanted to work. It seemed so Grown Up and Important. My dad went somewhere during the day wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase, then magically reappeared at six or so in the evening. Because of this, my parents could afford to give me horseback riding lessons and art supplies and books. That was motivation enough for me.

In my “career,” I’ve done everything from restrain nervous Rottweilers to clean toilets to cold-call people in Puerto Rico. I haven’t had an actual “career” like most people, for one reason or another. I hope to change that soon.

On a radio program I listen to today, the host posed an interesting question: if you could go back in time a la Back to the Future and give your 15-year-old self some sound advice, what might that be? I thought long and hard, nearly ramming into the back of a yard service truck in the process. When the haze cleared, I had one of those Eureka! moments.

“I know!” the Internal Voice shouted. “I’d tell her all about what I’ve learned from Jobs.”

It is no coincidence, incidentally, that the guy whose life was made a living you-know-what by the Almighty in the Bible was also called “Job.” I’m guessing that’s the etymology of the word.

Little known-fact: Job was on unemployment...

 

I thought I’d list these things randomly, since that’s how I think:

* You may have to lie on job applications just to get a foot in the door.

This one’s the hardest. I don’t like to lie; was never very good at it. But, if everyone lies about sex, job experience is a close second. Yes, employers would *love* to have someone who spoke seven languages fluently, could program UNIX and LINUX with her eyes shut, and has spent 15 progressive years as a Grand-High Pooh-Bah. Trouble is, those kinds of employees are as rare as a rooster’s egg. But, on the flip side of this, a little experience goes a long way. Database could lead into data management, or shipping and receiving might be a good transition to a warehouse manager’s job.

*Job applications are only a screening process

I’ve heard that most resumes, especially in a recession economy, may get fifteen seconds if they’re lucky. Job applications and first contacts are designed to weed out the stupid, the incompetent, the criminal, those who can’t follow instructions. They’re also designed to weed out people who can’t fit two lines of data into a block an inch wide.

Never had a single dissatisfied customer!

 

* Trying to learn job application-ese is like trying to learn Swahili or Mandarin.

Every industry has its jargon and euphemisms. As an Aspie, I’m still trying to figure this dialect out. If anyone knows, please clue me in.

* $8 hourly is not a living wage, but many companies think it is.

I’m usually a Liberatarian on most socio-economic issues. On the issue of the Living Wage, you can put me firmly on the left. I’ll be flat out honest and say that I’ve never made more than $12 an hour in my life, and that was for a very short period of time. The trouble is, if you ask for a raise or complain about it, there’s a dozen people right behind you waiting to work for that wage. This problem is a big one in America, and something needs to be done about it quickly. It leads to exploitation and sweatshop-type conditions when unchecked.

* Dress for the job you want, but don’t go overboard.

I’ve been to a lot of interviews, and I never see women wearing “power suits.” Then again, I’m usually interviewing for administrative jobs. One bit of advice: if you’re looking to work at a kennel, don’t wear a skirt suit and heels.

* “Taleo” is an old Sumerian word meaning “pure evil.”

You’ve probably been through one of their gauntlets if you’ve ever applied for a corporate job online. Toys R Us, Kroger, Rite Aid…all of them seem to use it now. It’s unavoidable. You answer the same questions again and again, thinking you’ve fallen into some weird parallel universe. And then you get to the dreaded Personality Profile, where EVERY question is a variation on “How often do you beat your children?” “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” “Do you like to steal from your employer, then go on a wild drinking and reefer binge?” There supposedly are no right or wrong answers to these questions, but I’m not convinced.

We're all mad here, and we all steal from our employers

 

*Most employers are looking for someone because of high turnover.

There are exceptions to this rule: the rare company that’s expanding, the nice receptionist who’s taking time off for maternity leave, someone moving to Des Moines. But usually, the position is there because the working conditions are atrocious, or the supervisor is a Stalin-style tyrant, or they’re just incompetent. If you have a keen eye, you’ll notice that the same companies keep looking over and over again. And when they reject you? It’s probably because you’re onto their secrets.

* Craigslist is a minefield and Careerbuilder/Monster is a vortex.

To quote Elmer Fudd: Be vewwy, vewwy caweful on Cwaigslist. There be dragons, and many, many identity thieves and spammers. Clue #1 is usually the very generic job description with lots of bullet points. Clue #2 is bad grammar/syntax. Clue #3 is the employer asking you to take your clothes off as a job prerequisite.

As for Careerbuilder/Monster/Hotjobs, I’m convinced it’s like the old Soviet Union. As long as they list job descriptions, it’s as if the jobs themselves really exist.

I'm on a BOAT, Comrades!

 

Incidentally, I think the country’s economy is headed down the path of the Soviets if we don’t do something to change our short-sighted policies. That goes for Republicans AND Democrats, and everyone in between. Our middle class is our future.

I may write more on this topic. Then again, I might just write some Dave Barry-style zaniness tomorrow…who knows?

Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them…write me at wikusandmurdock@yahoo.com!

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on September 9, 2010.

2 Responses to ““Job” spelled backwards is “Boj””

  1. Thank you for making me laugh. Off the top of my head, I’m not even sure exactly what was funny … I guess you just have a way with words and a knack for striking a common … nerve? (I’m too spent to pull forth the proper analogy just now, but you get the idea, right?)

  2. I smiled throughout this article but then realized how directly it applies to my life. Touche.

    I can hook you up with resume and job interview jargon though.

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