“It’s not having what you want
It’s wanting what you’ve got”
~Sheryl Crow (Soak Up the Sun)
My primary method of applying to jobs has been through online applications. Most of them disappeared into the computer and never generated a response. Eventually, I tried something different and tried going directly to HR at the places I knew were hiring. Most of these people said, ‘nice to meet you, but you’ll need to fill out the online application’.
Of all the applications I filled out, only one generated a response, and it was one I wasn’t particularly excited about. I had my interview at the office in the town north of here for the part-time position (afternoons only – as if that could possibly work in conjunction with any other part-time job) which I had applied for. The manager who interviewed me also said we should discuss the supervisory position because of my previous managerial experience (in a completely unrelated industry). He got my hopes up, then took it back because I don’t have previous experience in this industry. Well, duh, but he was looking at my resume when he said it the first time.
The interview went well, and as I was leaving, the manager introduced me to everyone else in the office, as though it was assumed that I would be getting the job. I spent the next several days frantically trying to follow up on all my other applications in attempt to find something better. It didn’t work. I was torn: should I say yes, and although perhaps unethical, keep quietly looking for something? Should I say no, on the basis that I have over five months left before my unemployment benefits run out, and I’m sure I could find work in May when tourist season starts?
The manager was so impressed with my interview that he decided to offer me an unadvertised full-time position in the office around the corner from where I live. Work’s, work, right? I took the job.
On the positive side, this job gets me in the door into the office world, which is part of the reason none of my other applications generated interest. It also gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning. The company (a large international organization which will remain unnamed) offers benefits including health/dental/life insurance, more than two weeks annual vacation, a 401K plan, and tuition reimbursement for related education (business courses). Supposedly there is also room for quick advancements for anyone eager enough.
On the negative side we have two issues. First, everyone I talk to thinks I will be bored out of my friggin’ mind. I’ve been trying to put that thought aside, but it has really been drilled in there now. Second, the pay (to put it nicely) sucks.
The weekly pay amounts to just slightly more than an unemployment check (or just over half my old salary). I cannot pay for rent, bills, and food on what this company is paying me, never mind an appropriate wardrobe. But work’s work, right? I’m still hanging on to the side work I’m doing for my friend, and that may generate additional similar projects. I expect to be working at least sixty hours a week for the foreseeable future. That’s why I don’t really have time to discuss this.
I’m irritated and insulted. I have 10 years of customer service experience. I have a degree from an internationally acclaimed university. At bear minimum, I should be making $12 an hour. Have the last 10 years of my life meant nothing? I could have had this job at this pay as a high school dropout. Of the seven other people I now work with, not one has a higher degree, and six work at least two jobs to make ends meet. And I’m really fucking sick of hearing about how it’s all because of the “economy”. OK?