Days since I have had a “real job” - 3,566
Businesses contacted in an attempt to secure myself employment (some multiple times) – 1,085
Job interviews – 52
Job Offers – 0
Date of last Interview – July 15, 2009
Getting a job so that Wifey and I don’t have to lose our happy home – Priceless
There are some things money CAN buy…..
I figured that I would use this page to re-cap my current job search and keep a record of what I’ve done and where I’ve looked for a yob. Some of the places I have already checked are:
U.S. Census- My mother-in-law turned me onto this one. They have an online application you can download and fill out as well as an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form you can fill out. There is also a phone number for you to call so that you can go and take a test to get a job with them. I actually called them two days ago and got a spot for a test next Tuesday – or at least I had a spot for a test next Tuesday. That is until someone from the Census office called me up a few minutes ago to tell me that my test was cancelled because they have all their applicant spots filled up. They said that they would put me on a callback list – for next fall. Yeah, thanks gang, fat lot of good that does me now!!! What the hell am I supposed to do in the meantime?!? I was counting on this and I was sure that I was going to be hired!!!! Damn – even my own government won’t give me a yob, and they made wifey cry because this fell through!! Thanks for nothing!!!!!!
RGIS- Some of you may know this company, especially if you work retail. They are the ones who go into stores and whatnot and conduct your inventory for you and they can do it rather quickly. It may cost some companies but it is well worth it. I saw that they were looking for people in the Boise/Twin Falls area and I went ahead and applied Sunday morning. Their Human Resources department sent me an auto e-mail telling me that I should schedule an interview at their website. I keep going to the address they give me every morning only to see the phrase “You can schedule an appointment for the following invitation(s) once timeslots become available. Please check back regularly for available timeslots.” I kept checking every morning just on the offchance that I might actually get a shot at supporting my family. Until I went there the other morning and found out that my application was now considered closed. they say that they will keep me in mind for any future opportunities, but I won’t hold my breath because I have heard that too many times before.
Home Depot – No clue if anything is available, you just have to go to their website, apply and hope for the best.
Lowe’s- Only if I learn how to drive a forklift, and even then there are no guarantees.
Cabella’s – The Boise, Idaho location is currently not accepting applications. Update – No Cabella’s located in Redding, California.
ShopKo – Last time I was in there I looked at their employment computer that they have near the front door and it said “No openings at this time, please try again later.”
RC Willy – 2 job openings – both in Nevada. No help there. Update: No locations in Redding, California.
Joe’s Sport’s- They’re looking for an “Idaho Sales Manager”. Now I have retail management experience even though it was eight (8) years ago, but the one sticking point would be that I don’t think I would be able to pass one requirement: “Ability to meet Federal requirements for handling and processing firearm transactions”. Now I have never done anything illegal it’s just that I’ve never handled a firearm in my life so that alone would disqualify me. Update (4/14): It wouldn’t have mattered if I had applied for the position or not. Even if I had gotten it I wouldn’t have kept it for long. How do I know? Because Joe’s declared Bankruptcy and the entire chain is being liquidated and going out of business.
DMV – The only local opening in the Transportation Department is for an Engineer, Manager 1. One of the minimum qualifications: Licensed in Idaho as a Professional Engineer (PE); or be eligible for comity licensure by the Idaho Board of Professional Engineers in accordance with Idaho Code, Title 54, Chapter 12.” Somehow I don’t think that a Theatre Arts degree will cut it. Update: Moved to california, but there is a hiring freeze going on right now, so that’s yet another roadblock in my way – this is getting ridiculous!!!
QWest – Salesman. It means cold-calling people, meeting sales quotas, giving people a hard sell and having the ability to “close the sale” which I don’t have. Update (3/30):Wifey just talked to a guy at QWest about our switching from Cable to DirectTV, and he told her that a lot of offices are consolidating and moving to Boise. That means they will need people to fill new jobs that are coming to our area. I already checked their job search board and there are no new jobs yet – but I’ll keep looking. Update (12/7/10): QWest is not located in California. Now I have to check out Frontier Communications.
Idaho Dept. of Transportation- There were some road projects being done on the freeway one day when wifey and I were out (say it with me people…infrastructure). That would be something I could do. True I’m not trained or qualified to use a backhoe, a crane or a bobcat, but I can still use a shovel. Problem is when I go to the website for the Dept. of Transportation there are only two openings – in Shoshone and Osburn. One of the requirements is that you have to live within at least 30 minutes of the job site. Shoshone is three hours away and Osburn is at least eight hours away, so that’s out.
Direct TV- There was a DirectTV van in front of us when we pulled off the freeway one day and it said “Now Hiring”. Wifey said that it might be for the call center that they opened up here, which might mean angry customers or complaints. I speculated that they might have a different department for that, but I wanted to check it out. I took a look at their openings and the only thing I would be qualified for would be the call center. Not sure if I would love it, not sure if I would hate it. My only experience with customer service has been retail, and sometimes that was not very pleasent. Back burner that – for now. Update (5/5): “After further review…”I took a second look at that Call Center yob and decided to go for it. I went to their website and searched for yobs in the local area and it turns out the Call Center is still hiring. So I filled out the app, uploaded my resume…wait, they also want a cover letter if I’ve got it? Hmm. I took another look at my generic cover letter and decided it could use a kick in the ass. So I went and bought the “Amazing Cover Letter Creator” that I advertise here on this site and decided to give it a try. It was very easy to use and within a half hour I had a kick-ass cover letter to upload to DirecTV. I showed this new letter to wifey and she was blown away, and she used to work for a job placement agency! So I uploaded the letter, finished the application, and now it is in the hands of the employment God’s! Update (6/22):Well the employment Gods are showing me a glimmer of hope! I finally got a call from them while I was at the dentist’s office today. I waited until the novicaine wore off before I called them back – and they would like me to come in for some testing tomorrow!!! I did a short phone interview with a very nice young woman named Faviole, and I go in for evaluation tomorrow at 2:15 local time. She said that she would e-mail me an application that I should fill out and bring in with me. So, here’s hoping that my long siege will soon end!!! Update (6/23):Well I went down there and took the apptitude tests and I think I did OK. At least I hope I did OK enough to get a call back from them. They said they would let me know by the end of the week – so I’m hoping for the best here! Update (6/26):I got an e-mail from the HR department at DirecTV saying that they’re not even going to bring me in for an interview! I never should have gotten my hopes up!!! Conclusion: I later found out that the reason they would not bring me in for an interview was because my credit score was not high enough for them to want me as their employee. Sooooo my credit is good enought to be your customer, but it’s not good enough to be your employee?!?!?!?
Idaho Power - Two openings – Corporate Communications Specialist and Legal Counsel. Right, I didn’t go to law school and I don’t have a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, public relations, or a related field.
Intermountain Gas – No Positions Open At This Time.
ShopKo – No Positions Open At This Time.
The State of Idaho – Went to the website for the State of Idaho and made myself a profile, we’ll wait and see what happens.
Cable One - Only looking for the next Zig Zigler, or the next Willy Lowman whatever they can find.
Boise State - You have to be bi-lingual to work there. The only Spainish I know is “si, no, no habla espanoil, se habla engles, yo quiro taco bell” and that’s it!
Blue Cross – No Openings.
AAA – Nothing local.
CostCo- Temporary hiring freeze…but…I understand that they will begin hiring some people next month. Wifey and I were there shopping not too long ago and she found some info by talking to someone who works there. He advised me to go to their website and fill out an online application and send in a copy of my resume. I’ll take him up on it and see what happens – especailly because wifey had a dream last night that had me working at CostCo and loving it.
Wells Fargo – No idea if they are hiring or even looking right now. Yeah I know everybody is pissed at bankers right now but desperate times people. The reason I’m listing them here is because we have a mortgage and an equity loan with Well Fargo and we are having trouble making payments. They said that we need to file some paperwork along with a “hardship letter” describing our situation and they would look into some programs that we might be eligible for to help us out. We are also sending a copy of my resume along. This is to let them know that I am serious about trying to find a job and you never know – I might get lucky.
So, that’s what I have found so far. But there still may be some of you out there who still want to find fault with me for not securing a yob yet. Well, for all of you who say “just get off your lazy ass and hit the bricks” I give you…
The Top 5 Reasons you can’t Blame:
BigDaddyCool for not having a “real job”
Before we examine the Top 5 reasons why you can’t blame BigDaddyCool for not having a “real job”, let’s examine some of the history that brought us here to this point:
In December of 2002 BigDaddyCool had steady employment. He had a good job which he loved as an Administrative Assistant for a local circuit-board manufacturer. He had a loving family and a good home. In fact it was the house he practically grew up in. It was the house his grandfather built after coming home from World War II that he and his wife, Wifey, had spent a considerable amount of money renovating. They re-built the patio and added a laundry room and second bathroom to the house. Wifey had started an at-home business where she was selling giftware and collectibles on the internet, mostly on eBay. It looked as if life was starting to come around for the them…
That was until December 4, 2002, the day after BigDaddy’s 36th Birthday, when he was informed by his supervisors that they were forced to eliminate his position because the company wasn’t doing so well anymore.
The timing couldn’t have been worse. BigDaddy and Wifey had just taken out a loan on the house so that they could pay off some old debt, and they needed BigDaddy’s income to pay the mortgage. Now that they didn’t have that income, they were looking at a bleak future. BigDaddy had to get a job – and fast.
Problem was they lived in the Southern California area at the time, and BigDaddy was competing with over 1,000,000 people that were in the same position. BigDaddy hit the ground running and applied for every Administrative Assistant position that he could find. Unfortunately he didn’t get a lot of interviews even though he had the qualifications for most of them. He was in the running for one job that was only a few minutes away from his house and that he had the qualifications for!!! So why didn’t he get the job? Because they decided to hire someone who had 15 years of experience to his 3 years. That was BigDaddy’s best and last chance at finding a job. That was in September of 2003.
BigDaddy and Wifey quickly came to the conclusion that time was running out, that if BigDaddy didn’t find a job soon they were not going to be able to make the mortgage payments on their house. So they were left with the prospects of either losing the house to foreclosure or selling out and buying someplace cheaper.
They opted for door number two.
For BigDaddy it was the equivalent of the Dodgers moving away from Brooklyn. He had counted on raising his kids there; instead someone else would be raising their children there. So Wifey and BigDaddy packed up their house and their three cats and moved it all too…
Boise, Idaho !
The property values in Boise were better than in Lakewood so they were able to buy a good home and still have money in the bank.
Then Wifey had to have a hysterectomy and the rest of the money went to her medical bills.
BigDaddy tried making a go of outside sales trying to sell a water-based cleaning system to homeowners. More often then not people wouldn’t buy from BigDaddy for whatever excuse they could make up. Some of the people he went to go see were downright rude in telling him that they were not going to buy from him. Some accused him of trying to take advantage of them by selling them a “$2,000.00 vacuum”; one even said that all BigDaddy cared about was making a sale while they were struggling to pay their bills.
But the topper was the one homeowner he went to go see who told him that no one in Idaho would want to pay that much for the cleaner, and that BigDaddy should just stop trying to sell the system and that he should go out and get himself a “real job”.
Soon after this encounter, BigDaddy’s leads dried up and he had no other places to go. He was dependant on the people he went to go see to refer him to other people. When they started refusing to refer him to anyone they were basically putting BigDaddy out of business.
BigDaddy started looking for another job again, but he ran into the same problems that he had in Southern California . There were too many job seekers and not enough jobs to go around. Meanwhile BigDaddy was seen as being lazy and not willing to work while he was being denied an opportunity to support his family. He was told that he should take a job involving manual labor if he wanted a “real job”. The only problem with that was that BigDaddy was in an auto accident that left him with whiplash and unable to do any physical labor for extended periods of time. Once people heard about the accident and his injuries, they were reluctant to give him any physical job.
So now BigDaddy is still looking for a job that he would be qualified for over the internet. But he has met with little if any success. Meanwhile, he has another mortgage on his house, and Wifey’s eBay business has tanked. Although they stumbled onto a lucrative new product line (old postcards) the economy has hit Wifey’s sales hard, and she has been forced to close her business down.
So there you have it, there is how I got to this point in my life. Before we take a look at the Top 5 Reasons why you can’t blame BigDaddyCool for not having a “real job”, let’s take a look at some of the reasons that didn’t make the cut. We call them, “The Best of the Rest”:
- He doesn’t have a professional look – Let’s face it, even though he does a good job the long hair is just not professional looking. Even if he did cut it, it would not look professional since his hair has only looked neat and presentable when it was long. Short hair on him doesn’t work as it appears unkempt. Not to mention the fact that he doesn’t have what one would call a professional wardrobe. This guy is just not cut out to be in a professional office. He should be out digging ditches somewhere!!!
- The Car Accident – While he was trying to make a living selling Rainbows, BigDaddy was rear-ended while he was stopped at a stop sign. The women who hit him admitted that she wasn’t paying attention to what she was doing and never hit her brakes, hitting BigDaddy at 30 mph. Unfortunately her insurance company, Progressive, accused BigDaddy of faking his injuries, and screwed him on the settlement. To this day BigDaddy still has pain in his neck and shoulders and has to fight daily headaches as a result. Because of this condition, potential employers are scared off, thinking that he is physically unable to perform any job.
- IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID!!! - The job market has quite literally dried up in the past few months. Whereas you would see hundreds of employment ads in the Sunday Classifieds just a few months ago, now because of the downturn in the economy, you barely find enough to take up half a page.
Now that we’ve seen the reasons that didn’t make the cut, let’s look at the list by starting with reason number 5:
5. He’s been out of work too long - Anyone will tell you that the sooner you get a job after being laid off the better it is for you. Because the longer you go without getting a job, the more employers are going to think that there is something wrong with you, or that there is a good reason that you were let go in the first place and that they shouldn’t even touch you.
Both BigDaddy and Wifey have gone through periods of unemployment in their marriage. In fact the two of them combined have been laid off five times in seven years, and that includes BigDaddy’s last job at Qual-Pro.
Getting laid-off once is bad luck, twice is a coincidence, but five times in seven years between the two of them?!? Either these two are cursed or they are just not good employees.
For him to out of work for over six years should tell you something right there about what kind of worker he is. If he is such a good worker then why hasn’t he found a job before now? Why hasn’t someone hired him? Because he is not that good, either that or he is just trying to get the wrong job.
Another strike against him is that his skills may have eroded. There are new programs out there that BigDaddy has never worked with on a professional basis and it has hurt him in the eyes of potential employers. A lot of places are looking for someone with QuickBooks experience and BigDaddy has none. They want someone with PowerPoint experience and BigDaddy has very little. He just doesn’t have the modern skill set to work in a professional office now. No employer is going to want to take the time to bring him up to speed, they expect him to hit the ground running and he’s just not able to do that.
Did that reason change your mind? If not, here’s reason number 4:
4. He’s just not a good salesman- The only offers that BigDaddyCool has gotten for any type of employment have been for sales jobs. The problem is that he just doesn’t know how to close a sale, he didn’t know when he was trying business-to-business telemarketing at RhinoTek, and he didn’t know how to close when he was with Rainbow. Anyone in the sales game will tell you that if you want to put food on the table, you have to be able to close and BigDaddy just can’t do it.
But with all of his office experience, why is he only getting offers for sales jobs?
The problem is that he has sales experience, but it is the wrong kind of experience. He has retail sales experience, but the only thing that job entails is running a cash register. You don’t have to go out and track down good leads for yourself so that you can be regional sales champ, the people come to you for whatever they want and you just ring them up and take their money. Job recruiters see that he worked at PetCo and assume “oh, this guy’s got sales experience, let’s go after him.” The reality is that he doesn’t have what it takes to be an aggressive, in-your-face salesman like they want; he has what it takes to work in an office environment.
But a lot of these headhunters don’t want another office clerk, they want someone who can close, and if you can’t close, they want nothing to do with you.
3. He’s Overqualified/Underqualified- When it comes to working in retail, like he has tried to go back to, his office experience makes him overqualified for menial labor. Meaning employers don’t want to hire him because they believe he will be easily bored and quit. That’s why PetCo and WalMart don’t want him because, they think, he thinks that he is too good for them. (He does and he is, but that’s another story.)
Although he has nearly three years experience as an Administrative Assistant and another nine months working in database management, it still doesn’t compare to all of those applicants who have 5, 10, or even 15 years experience in the same field. When given the choice between someone with 15 years experience or someone with less then 3, which would you choose?
2. He’s from California – There has in the past been a real prejudice among people who are native to Idaho about people from California moving into the state. Some Idahoans believe that Californians are coming here to drive up property values, raise taxes, take away jobs and bring the hippie-dippy-liberal-pinko way of life to the Reddest state in the union. Some Idahoans believe that Californians shouldn’t be allowed to move here because they are what’s wrong with the state, and that the transplants that are here should just “go back to California where they belong because they’re not welcome here.”
Although no one has said this to BigDaddy as a reason for denying him employment in Idaho, he sometimes wonders if the fact that he was born and raised in Southern California is one of the reasons no one has offered him a “real job” here. Although some people have joked about this as ancient history and that it is not a real reason, the more BigDaddy’s applications and resume’s go unanswered, the less funnier it gets…
1. His FICO score - There is a phenomenon that is sweeping the country right now in regards to employment. Right now a lot of employers are using the FICO scores of people to determine if they are worthy of employment or not. The problem with this theory is that the people who are in most need of a job cannot get a job because they are in such dire straits.
See, what has been happening is this: someone loses a job and is unable to find a new one. In the meantime, bills that were always paid on time are not being paid at all. Once they are overdue the credit rating of the person involved is effected and is gradually lowered the longer the situation goes on. When they apply for a job one of the things a potential employer will do is pull their credit report to delve into their background. If an employer finds that the applicant is behind on their bills then they take that as a sign that the applicant is:
b) a deadbeat
c) unable to handle responsibility
d) unwilling to “do the right thing”
e) not a good risk for employment.
In BigDaddy’s case it all started when Wifey’s Internet business went under in February of 2009. Up until then they had been able to make their mortgage payments with the proceeds from the business. But when the economy went south, it took Wifey’s business right along with it. When it went under there were no means by which to pay their expenses every single month. So BigDaddy and Wifey were left with a choice: pay the mortgage and end up cold, hungry, in the dark and cut off from the outside world, or keep the lights, heat and phones on and food in their stomachs while trying to get BigDaddy a job. They choose the latter option.
Unfortunately that has caused BigDaddy’s FICO score to take a major hit. Before the business went under his FICO score was 680, now eight months later it is down to 529. With that number he has absolutely no chance at getting a job shovelling shit in the sewers for minimum wage, let alone an Admin Assistant’s job where he could work out a solution with his creditors. Employers only want to hire someone with a FICO score of 700 or above. If it’s 699 or lower then you are considered to be a bum and they want nothing to do with you.
BigDaddy would love to be able to fulfill his obligations, the unfortunate thing is that he has been incarcerated in this modern day “debtors prison” along with millions of others who are out of work. As long as it is legal for companies to discriminate against those who have fallen on hard times, BigDaddy and others like him will continue to be written off as “worthless” by society.
Did that manage to change your mind? I hope that this will give you an idea as to what we have been facing these last few years. This was not meant to insult anyone’s personal sensibilities, but mearly offered as a glimpse into what we’ve been going through of late, and maybe this helped you to see things differently. Remember in this economy this could happen to anyone. Tomorrow, it could happen to you.
I’m BigDaddyCool, until next time…
* On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected President of the United States. BigDaddyCool actually hopes that this is a positive sign that the economy will soon improve, new jobs will be created, and that he will be able to secure a job so that he can support his family.
* On November 2, 2010, the Republican Party re-took the U.S. House of Representatives. Like a lot of people who are unemployed, BigDaddyCool sees this as a sign that there will be no jobs available and that more people are going to lose their jobs because those jobs will be shipped overseas.
* With John Bohener as the new Speaker of the House the pressure needs to be put on him and his Republican colleagues to do the right thing and create an environment to put the American people back to work.
MR. BOEHNER – WHERE ARE OUR JOBS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?