Continuing with the This-Is-Not-A-Posting-Schedule schedule (which, because it isn’t one, seems to be working pretty well), Thursdays are for “throwback” or reposting of old posts.
This one was written on January 28, 2015 and continues my “let’s see what the oldest posts are for the same-ish dates” process, which is proving to be both interesting and emotionally trying for me. This one was set to private. I have made it public again, because there were many very good, very long comments. If you would like to read those, here’s the link: HR Depts. Some of my long-term followers will find their own version of Throwback Thursday in those comments. 🙂 I love you guys!
I didn’t edit or tweak this. So yes, for those of you who weren’t around in 2015, I posted under my real name, which you will now learn. There were reasons I switched to my current pseudonym years ago. I’m not sure they apply any more. Maybe I should think about reverting back to my name? Or, that’s a lot of work, so maybe not, because: lazy.
Just reading this raised my blood pressure. 2015 was not a good time. Employment issues were one reason why. After writing this, my life became even more of a nightmare, for several years. HR departments, hiring practices, lay-you-off-without-a-bat-of-the-eye-or-beat-of-their-nonexistent-hearts practices… ugh. These are painful memories. Then I became incredibly “lucky” and became so disabled from two severe bone-on-bone knees that I can’t walk well, and my PTSD got to the point I couldn’t handle anyone saying “boo” to me in a work situation. (And they never just said “boo.”) I was so disabled (whoohoo!) that I sailed through the process and now live on Social Security Disability Income, which has me living well under the poverty line, which, honestly? That’s in some ways less stressful than the insanity of the job market when you are in your late 50s.
While this period was sheer hell, I’m pleased with myself that I managed to write about it with a humorous slant. Humor has literally saved me, many a time.
Laura Needs A Job. Soon. Yesterday. Months ago.
Standing in Laura’s way are a bunch of Catbertesque assholes collectively known as Human Resources. That name says it all. Gone are the days of Personnel Departments, in the age of Corporations Are People we have People are Commodities.
Gone are the days when you could call a business, ask if they are hiring, and talk to someone. Really gone are the days when you can just walk in. No, now there are Specialists, with too much theoretical training who have to create artificial hoops for the People Commodities to jump through, so as to justify the existence of said Specialists.
Do I sound bitter? I think I sound bitter…
Gone are the days when your standardized applications with your resume printed on nice, heavy paper are just glanced at and tossed into the round file. Everything is Internet these days, baby. If you are extremely lucky someone in software included an automatic response to your email application so you at least know you hit the right button and everything sent. Most of the time you get nothing. It makes you long for a rejection note just to get that feedback. After a while a “FUCK YOU, NO WAY WE’D HIRE YOU!” would be preferable to utter silence.
The whole process is wrong and stupid and is ruining American business, and so ruining America. Not to mention, unless you are very young and excited by the prospects of a new life as a self-sustaining adult, then looking for a job has to be about the most demeaning, self-esteem-destroying activity known to mankind.
As I start into this tirade I realize there is a LOT of fodder here for a LOT of posts. I haven’t even touched the surface yet.
When I was looking for a job a few years ago in Cincinnati, I was still actually employed. The podiatrist I worked for retired in late October. While he moved to Florida I was left in charge of closing the practice until the end of 2013.
Stupid HR Practice (SHRP) #592: You are more likely to be considered for a new job IF YOU ARE STILL EMPLOYED ELSEWHERE. I’m not making this shit up.
During that time In Cincinnati I got a fair number of interviews. I’m great at interviewing, and that’s not just me bragging about myself. I used an organization that helps people find employment, and part of their services involved mock interviews given by HR types. They loved me. Most of the time I can tell, “This interview went well” or “Well, that sucked.” Most of my interviews went well but I still didn’t get hired. Most of the time I believe that was because I’m too old and too fat. No one tells you that for sure but you can get an inkling, especially if you find out who they did hire.
Now I’m not even getting the chance to be discriminated against in an interview.
I have now run afoul of SHRP #592. I am not employed. Worse, I’ve now got SHRP # 229.a, which is that I now have a gap in my resume. I’ve been laid off since May. This is a red flag to HR, as 229.a is akin to “I eat baby harp seals for breakfast.”
SHRP 422.1.x is in direct contradiction to SHRP 132.0, which sadly is only the problem of the Human Commodity looking for the job and no concern of HR. For you see, SHRP 422.1.x states that it is no longer of value to the new company if the New Asset has been in one company for too long. 422.1.y is if you are even worse, and have been at the same company and job for too long. This shows you are a complacent laggard who has no ambition. On the other hand, SHRP 132.0 is that if you have had several jobs in a relatively short period of time, then you are deemed a job hopper and that is just bad, too.
I have 132.0. In the last five years my business closed. I went to work for a podiatrist, who retired. I got a job from hell and quit and went immediately to another job, where I got laid off. Four jobs in five-ish years, three of them were circumstances beyond my control. But omg, 132.0 is all they see. JOB HOPPER! That’s the check mark.
You see, it is all about being able to reduce the Human Commodities down into little check marks that fit nicely into an Excel file. There is no room for pesky facts like “3 out of 4 of the jobs were because of things outside her control.” No.
I am under qualified for jobs I could do (SHRP 642.2) because I do not have a college degree. I went to college. I was a double major (which is why I don’t have a degree). I was on the Dean’s List. I ran my own business. Too bad! For what used to be called secretaries we now want you to have a PhD in filing. It takes a Masters in Foamology to get that cappuccino out correctly. I am over qualified (651.0) for the jobs to which I do apply. They see my resume and decide for me that I won’t do a dipshit job. I’ll 132.0 on them (job hop).
I should have declared bankruptcy years ago, but true to the insanity of THAT process, I didn’t have enough money to file. My credit rating sucks. Why? Because I was poor (not nearly as poor as now) and without health insurance. I had two hospital thingies over ten years and I made too much money to have it done for free. I stupidly tried to pay the bills. I went through my retirement funds, which is why I’m now down to $194 to my name right now. It still wasn’t enough. Had I known then, what I know now, I wouldn’t have paid one red cent. Oh well. I grew up thinking you were supposed to do the right thing. Why does this show up in this post? Because now on the Internet applications I have to give Them permission to run a credit check on me. HR Catberts think this indicates whether or not you will be a good employee or not. Studies have shown it has nothing to do with anything.
I’m not applying to be a bank teller. By the way, did the bankers who stole the nation’s money have to pee in a cup and pass a credit check? (rhetorical question)
A lousy credit score is application denied due to SHRP 25. Like 132.0, you don’t get the chance to explain why your credit is crap, just like you don’t get to explain the job hopping. Nope. You are A Bad Risk.
Another reason I’m not getting called for interviews (so I can be discriminated against and turned down in person) is that I moved, twice, to follow jobs. This goes hand in hand with the job hopping thing, but is different. I moved to Kentucky to get a better job. When, surprise, I got laid off and was then stuck in No Jobs Here KY, I did a very determined thing. I moved to New Hampshire to look for work. You’d think that would indicate that I was serious about finding a job. You’d think all those Job Creators out there would like that. No no no. SHRP 116 claims that you are some kind of risk if you don’t have long standing ties to the area.
I do not know why just yesterday I was referred to as “snarky” by a fellow blogger. It’s a mystery…
I, for one, love snarky! HR depts do kinda prove there is no god. To have this kind if history has to be therapeutic. At least to me it would be. You’ve come a long way baby, as the slogan goes. Made it through “sheer hell”. Thanks for sharing this with us.
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Well… I made it through hell by… becoming disabled. XD
It WAS very … something… to read through this and know I did make it through, kinda sorta, and that I no longer have to deal with it. And never will again. There is a sort of peace to that. Now, poverty on the other hand…
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