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Andrei in the office


Andrei's Universe

One man's journey from infinity to nothingness

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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.

You see, a lack of employment in the USA has become a downward spiral into a whole that few have the means to climb out of anymore. These people are good Americans who believe in Freedom, Liberty, and in most cases, faith and family. These are educated Americans who want to give back as much as they want to thrive.

But the system doesn't have a way to deal with this. We are told to keep savings but are living in jobs that wind up giving us only the smallest amount of average from month to month. We are moved from town to town expected to maintain a standard of living for as long as the employer needs us and then to figure out what we're going to do once they tire of us.

I read countless stories at the time of the Dot Com bubble of 22 year olds driving Sports Cars while Police and Teachers would have to commute 2-3 hours for work because they couldn't afford to live in the towns that demanded their service. Those 22 year olds are now 28 year olds who can't find a job because they weren't hired for their talent but for the ability to be creative for 60 hour work weeks.

The American sweat shop still exists. The country just does a better job of bribing its slaves and hiding this fact. And yet, we all still need to look into that world. Because trying to make a better world of it; doesn't work.

But as you say... We need to have faith. I'm writing because that's the last thing I know I still have. I have a religious path that gives me great fulfillment and try to participate to my fullest in it. Unfortunately, as all these other horrors come to pass; I probably won't even be able to continue attending those functions.

So... this is my weekly checkin Mr. President. I wish I could believe you were getting my letters. I wish I could believe that if you got my letters you actually were reading them and trying to find a way to help us. I mean... I know you have a lot of international concerns right now and that the American People may not necessarily be high on the list.

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.

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um. you better be exaggerating about the welfare. you can certainly get temp work through an agency and not starve while you're looking for a real job. pays better than welfare.


Temp jobs can be miserably capricious-I only ever got one one month placement out of four years of looking in Boston with several agencies. If you are too smart, you can really get snubbed.

(Mr. Andrei...do you do tech writing at all? I may have a lead...)

Sadly, despite the irony of having a web log

I don't consider myself a writer. I think I've learned enough computer languages that English may in fact have dropped to my second language as far as skills go. (Looking back on this last sentance may actually prove that)

We're also kinda bent on staying in Washington (state) at this point.

ugh. how awful. i know someone in boston who's been living off temp jobs for several years -- seems to get placements one right after the other. i wonder what the secret is.

I have an interview with one agency tomorrow afternoon

I am currently looking for anything I can find.

Re: I have an interview with one agency tomorrow afternoon

good. hugs.

(Deleted comment)
wasn't suggesting it as a permanent solution, by any means, just that the expectation of welfare and starvation didn't seem reasonable to me.

i live on a pittance (grad student stipend) in one of the most expensive cities in the US. i've watched multiple friends with post-graduate degrees be out of work for up to a year and feed themselves with bizarre combinations of crappy part-time jobs, few of which had anything to do with their training. they have moved in with relatives or friends or into shoebox-sized apartments, run up credit card debt, sold their cars, sold their stuff. but no one has ever had to get on welfare. especially with the holidays coming, lots of retail places are hiring temp labor... there's work out there. not good work, admittedly, but stuff that can let you hang on until real work comes through.

speaking of which, it might be worthwhile to check if the apple store in seattle is hiring people for the holidays.

When the $5000 guy called me and started his pitch, I said that I had contacts in almost every company I had applied to, had 4 interviews lined up for the next 2 days, and several other things that he said he could do for me. Then I asked him what he could do that I wasn't already doing. His answer was, "well, I guess since you're doing x and y, there isn't much we can offer you." Right.

Certainly your experiences have helped me turn him away. Thanks. Not that it helps you, but...

It makes me sick to think that there's a bunch of bloodsuckers out there that profit off of people looking for work. And I though the recruiting agencies that get paid by the companies that they're recruiting for were bad.

Don't get your hopes up. Welfare is extremely difficult to get.

It rather much irks me that you spent more than I make in a year, on getting your resume fixed. Is just ridiculously way too much. I have a friend, from high school who's been getting jobs through temp agencies, pretty much, since he graduated from HS. No college, that I know of, but he somehow gets into many places. I think he goes through volt. Or, at least, did. Dunno what his current job hunting secrets are. Me, I would go ahead and sell the car and get something easier to deal with, as far as payments go. I dunno what they are now. If worse comes to worse (this is absolute worst, mind you), you can move to what's locally known as The Jungle. I have heard stories and have been through there once, while a friend was living there, but, IMHO, it's really last resort.

In the meantime, I would suggest seriously cutting back on expenses, like movies and eating out. Anything you can honestly live without, if what you're saying really is getting to be as bad as you're saying. Maybe you should hire scavengers for muses, rather then predators. ;) Things come to me when I need them, but not necesarily in the amounts in need, but at least it's something. In the meantime, I collect up skills in anything I can wrap my mind around.

I haven't found a job yet, but I am qualified & registered now to substitute-teach in the county. If I work all 22 days of a school month, I only have to spend $1800 out of my savings to make all the bills, even with all the extras cut out. The rest I can cover with the teacher's stipend.

And I'm still looking, and casting my nets as wide as possible. If I have to, I'll commute, or something until my son graduates from HS in 18 months, and I can go somewhere else if I have to.

For some of these skills, it's a hard market for more experienced folk; lots of places for entry-level skills, but lots of folks with more experience hanging on until the economy improves, and not so many jobs at the middle levels being created.

And I'll be 50 in 6 weeks: that's a challenge out there waiting for me, too, because the agist thing creeps in. Grrr.

break a pane, um, leg I mean :-)

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