November 16th, 2005

Andrei in the office

Dear Mr. President... It's me again

Dear Mr. President,

I hope you're not getting tired of me writing. It's been a very hard week here at home. Several job interviews that have seemed to go swimmingly have resulted in last minute confessions from recruiters that I'm 'just not quite the right fit.' Of course to prevent litigation in case I'm being discriminated against for some ridiculous reasons, the companies are legally protected from actually telling me what I might have said incorrectly in the interview, in order to enable me to improve my interview skills.

I'd have to say, there are countless companies out there that are convinced they can help me get my next job. After my last layoff, I had one company charge me nearly $5,000 to 'fix' my resume and get me the phone numbers of about 500 company's CEOs. They believed that if I went to the top decision makers that all I had to do was sell myself and they'd create the position for me. The company also told me that when an offer was made; they'd help me negotiate the offer.

The phone list yielded 25 out of 25 companies telling me to go through HR like everyone else. To be honest it was 23 out of 25 because 2 were out and out insulted that I'd taken up their time. When I finally did receive a job offer, the company that had charged me its exorbitant fee told me that contract negotiation was in fact an added feature that I'd also have to pay for.

You may wonder, why I'm even bothering to tell you this Mr. President. You see, people have decided to turn the business of getting a job into a business. No promises of work, no promises of results, just promises of willingness for them to take your time and money. The reason I'm writing you is because after this week, again... my unemployment runs out. My unemployment is my income now. And unemployment doesn't pay for $5,000 spin services.

My next step will be after 14 years of success as a good worker and a trained professional to turn to Welfare. Welfare will provide me with enough for my wife and I to eat in an unhealthy manner. It certainly will not maintain the rent of the house I live in and I'm certain to lose that within 90 days. (I believe eviction takes 90 days). Further, I will run the risk of having my car repossessed if I can not meet those payments. I will therefore no longer be able to get to the job interviews that I need to. This in turn will shape my outlook and sharpness in the interviews I can get to. I may not be able to launder my clothes because that is not considered a necessity in welfare payments.

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I will continue to try to check in as things proceed Mr. President. Maybe someday you'll get my letters. Maybe they might even make a difference for someone else. Maybe I'll be able to send you the good news that I've found work and will not turn into everyone's favorite country song. (Where I lose my house, my pets, my wife, my life)...

Unfortunately, if things don't change... I won't be able to keep writing you. They will turn of my utilities. I will lose my electricity, my network, and my ability to write you these letters.

I really hope it doesn't come to pass Mr. President. I really want to have faith in what is supposed to be the greatest country in the world. It just seems that the country has lost faith in me.

May that which you hold holy bless you. May you wish the same blessings on me.

Andrei in the office

I really wasn't going to vent, but now I will.

So, I went to a temporary clearing site. Basically, they will email your resume to all the temp agencies in the area. They charged me $25 to send my resume to 140 sites. I then received 40 bounce mails telling me the address was wrong or that I'd spammed them. I followed up with an email asking if they'd pro-rate back my payment.

In the mean time I was contacted by Kelly support services. They asked for my resume (which was supposed to be sent with the mass emailing) I noted that while I was enclosing my resume, I was willing to look at work outside my professional path (translation: I'll take anything for the love of g-d)

I got back just now an email which said (and I kid you not):
We appreciate your interest in Kelly Services, but need to have your resume
in a Word format in order to read it.

I made the mistake of sending the resume in text format. Let me make that statement again, they were unable to read my resume because it was in text format and need to have it in Word format in order to run it thru their filtering program read it.

On the upside, I'm back to prescreen with the 4-coloured pane of wall glass. At least they move quickly in their decisions. So... we'll hope to have more on that by the time the week closes.

I played Poker today. Some online and then some with jnanacandra for what it's worth... I played really well. The gods of luck have decided that I am their b*%$h at the moment. Never have I had suffered decks that were not merely cold but out and out frigid. I watched my stack whittle down as I threw away 58o 74o K4o. I watched as my calls got eaten on A9s KQs. I watched the table fold to my raises on KK. It was like there was no way that anything was going to work. I played jnanacandra 4 rounds only to watch her have the nuts each time I went all in. The final hand against her with my stack to the breaking point, I went All in with A10s, she had AJs and nothing hit until the river... a J.

So, I really feel like the gods of fortune, luck, and chance have basically decided to see what kind of a workout they get for their steel-toed-boots on my karmic groin. Trying to maintain a sense of focus and optimism. Other good news maybe coming in to put off hard times... But it's still scary. About 8 applications out today (not counting the bevy of temp agency stuff).. Something's gotta give soon. And I really don't want it to be me.