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Daveparts Donating Member (854 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 08:41 AM
Original message
Will Write For Food
Will Write For Food
By David Glenn Cox

To whom it may concern,

I am looking for gainful employment. I have worked during my life doing painting and wallpapering. Not just throwing paint or slapping paper on walls but real quality work. I have done carpentry, building walls, decks, finishing basements. I have hung acoustical ceilings and doors, installed sinks. Ive installed appliances and worked both hanging and finishing sheet rock. Ive operated heavy equipment and done public relations work

For the past twenty-five years I have been in the parts business. I have sold products both inside and outside I have done inventory control and purchasing as well as inventory forecasting. I have worked as a store manager, a service writer, a warranty supervisor and even a delivery driver.

My last two employers account for 23 years of my life so I consider myself to be dependable. I realize that times are tough. But my frustration with those pretending to offer employment is maxing out. A five page application to install granite counter tops and to use my truck to boot. Wage offered $8.00 per hour.

Outside salesman for a uniform company, degree preferred. Wage offered $10.00 to $12.00 with 5 years experience required. Now let me ask you a question? Would you hire someone who went to college four years and cant find a more challenging position than to be an outside salesman for a uniform company? Not to disparage the position only to make the point that 5 years and you havent been promoted or found something better?

Looking on web sites listing ten pages of jobs but that begin to repeat after page three. Or the jobs that dont pay anything all, the starve while you learn plan. I once had a Real Estate license and discovered it to be a great career if you didnt need a paycheck for say 3 or 4 months. Ditto, selling insurance a great job if you like long hours that will pay out over years not weeks. Or selling new cars when new car sales are in the toilet, jobs that are open because the people who are doing them now are starving trying to do them.

Then there is just the outright scams, secret shoppers, work from home, not much different than the Emails I receive from foreign ministers banished from their home countries in Africa who need my help to recover their vast fortune. Yes, make millions from home selling the same Chinese products that everyone else sells on E Bay.

From Craigs List, Millionaire investor needs assistant /gofer. Must be willing to work long hours and must have dependable transportation. The duties include making appointments answering the telephone and light personal errands. Great experience for the right person. Wage offered, nada, zip, zilch this is an internship. The millionaire investor wants you to pick up his dry cleaning in your car
but cant come off ten bucks an hour? Many of these so-called internships offer college credit, great, learn not to be an idiot.

I realize that there are legitimate internships I had a friend who spent his summers at the University of Chicago classifying fossils. They didnt advertise the position in the paper or on Craigs list it was a position that had to be sought out. I recently spoke with an employer that used unpaid volunteers and when a paid opening was available she chose from among those volunteers. Id like to see someone ask for a raise when youre hired from among those who will work for free.

But I just want a job, I will do a good days work for a good days pay. Ill make you a fair bargain, I wont ride the clock if you wont try to ride me, I wont use your truck for my personal business if you wont use mine for your business without paying me for it. I will work to make you money if you wont work to make your money by cheating me.

I recently applied to drive a county school bus online, after 9 pages they asked, list 3 references with valid Email addresses only. My parents are dead, my in-laws are in their 70s and dont use computers. My brother in-law has a computer but his two teenage sons keep it pretty fouled up. (Be advised, these references will only be emailed once and must respond within 24hrs to be valid) So I went down to the bus shop but never got past the receptionist. You must apply online, there is no one here who can speak to you about that. I could easily create three Email accounts but are they looking for honest employees or devious?

The excessively long applications and ridiculously narrowing requirements are devices by which to cull the heard. Our official unemployment figures at 4.5% are in fact a farce, dont take my word for it look at the help wanted ads for jobs that arent jobs at all but indentured service or even you pay them for the privilege.

Driving through Atlanta I see businesses failing by the hundreds maybe the thousands. Businesses not just in humble Powder Springs but in affluent areas as well, construction sites chained off and closed down. Georgia according to the experts is in the not good but not too bad category, God help those states in the bad category. States such as Michigan and Ohio with cold winters to endure and California with its higher costs of living.

Im reminded of the scene from, The Grapes of Wrath the migrant workers are on the side of the road when a man in a new car pulls up and asks, You men looking for work?

Sure! The migrant answers Whats it pay? The man in the car looks up at the sky pondering the situation saying, Cant rightly say.

Hardly the good economy that we are told of, hardy 4.5%, hardly good times. More like Tom Joad than Ward Cleaver. Perhaps I should get my sign made and stand at the interstate ramps, Welcome to the new America! and on the other side, Will write for food!
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shrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. Dave, you write well
Have you thought about going to the local dailies (small or large) and offering your services as what is called a stringer? (Freelancer)

The pay per story isn't much (never is) but if you're productive you can pull in a few hundred a week, to tide you over while you look for other things.

It can even turn into a side job while you do other things -- I've done it for years. I'm VERY productive (I used to do this gig fulltime -- shudder) so it's a nice little part time job for me. If nothing else, it'll bring in money for you.

Also, looking at your background, you might be a natural to do articles for the trade journals that cater to your former industry. You'd have a know-how that someone like me never would.

Feel free to PM me if you wish.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. We're looking for a new crew member... can you do drywall?
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 09:57 AM by Viva_La_Revolution
$14 per hour, must have own transportation, no guarantee of hours per week.

3 years ago, this position would have paid about $18 per hour, and you would have been lucky to get a whole weekend off.

edit: oops, this was supposed to be a reply to Dave. :P
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I'll vouch for the legitimacy of Viva_La_Revolution's offer.
And Portland ain't so bad.
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insanad Donating Member (286 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
3. BA Degree, 8 yrs. Drafting Exp. yadda yadda yadda
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 11:46 AM by insanad
Hi Dave,
Boy Howdy does your letter hit home. I'm also a skilled worker with a great work ethic and lots of creative ideas and the ability to make mole-hills out of mountains, at least in the organizational realm. I've had my own drafting/design business for over eight years and designed over 400 homes, worked with contractors, city officials, pesky demanding clients, and much more and still I cannot find work.

If you've been self employed or a business owner they don't want to take a chance on you because they figure "You're not a team player" or you'll go back to your own business when things get better. Then there's the ol' "Can't call your previous employer" excuse since YOU are your previous employer and YOU don't count as anyone qualified to comment on YOU, even though YOU kept the business going and flourishing for eight years, paid your bills, fed your family, paid taxes, mortgage, car payments, etc.. Nope, YOU are not qualified or objective enough to comment on YOUR work ethic.

I heard a doofus claim that the economy and job situation are just fine and the downturn is just overblown rabble by the liberals. Tell that to the licensed structural engineer who is working as a security guard at a luxury home neighborhood. Tell that to the architects, drafts people, truss and engineering professionals, construction estimators, and all the way down to the little guy who hauls the nails from the hardware store to the building sites. We're all out of work, some in worse situations than others and trying like hell to diversify and scrambling for those same silly jobs you describe on the net and craig's list. I have applied for over 200, shown my resume, gone for interviews, etc., worked as a cashier at a craft store, cleaned houses, packed for movers, babysat, anything to make a buck. Hell, I've even considered working for a phone sex outfit hoping to make something to make ends meet.

Now I write and blog and rant and putz around the house, afraid to go out because of the cost of gas and the temptations of the stores, even grocery stores where the variety and smells of the food will remind me that I'm eating hot dogs and canned chili and cheap tuna/dolphin packed in water and the taste of real beef or quality food is just out of reach. I've made every Christmas gift from scratch or purchased them at thrift stores and refurbished them. I've cataloged and organized photos, files, and every other piece of my home till there's nothing left to manage.

Now I'm advertising my organizational skills and hoping someone else needs my energy, anal retentive fastidiousness, and sense of space/placement to get their offices and homes in order. I got one call. A lady who needs emotional counseling more than anything and can't really pay me but wants my help anyway. Yeah, like I need that. I'll tell the power company that I can pay them in kind words.

My husband has a good job and we get by but Burger Kings dollar menu is a luxury. People all around us are losing their homes, cars, and jobs and it's looking to get worse. Bush didn't create the mortgage crisis but his war crap and the gas prices and inflation have added to an already overburdened situation.

We've been a spoiled and consumptive nation. In some ways, America is the Paris Hilton of nations, spoiled, impetuous, shallow, and irresponsible. It's time for all of us to tighten our belts and figure out how to get ourselves out of this hole. Conservation is a way of life for many of us, not always because we are so tuned into the environment, but out of absolute necessity. 2/3 of the rest of the world lives far below our even poorest citizen. We have plenty to complain about, but also plenty to be thankful for and more opportunity to make a personal difference in our lives than any other nations populace.

If you're as creative and resourceful as you describe I believe you and I will both find ways to pull ourselves out. Dumber folks than us have made it. We can too. Best of Luck Dave.
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Daveparts Donating Member (854 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. My Neighbor
Has a Masters Degree from Georgia Tech in aeronautical engineering now he designs patio's at Home Depot. I understand what you are saying about America being the Paris Hilton of nations. But that is media spin, blame the victim propaganda.

We are not the indolent rich but the newly poor. For myself, I put 50K down on my house I had a good credit score. But when my business died and it died like someone flipped a switch. Then I was suddenly over extended, then I couldn't meet the minimum payments.I go to find a job and there are none and the jobs that are out there pay half of what they did two years ago. Could we as a working class have anticipated that? Does the government not have an obligation to defend its citizens economically as well as militarily?

The media and the Republicans would have you believe that you made bad choices. While the world bank, hardly a bastion of liberalism has said that the US has outsourced too much of it's industrial base overseas. And because of that has a structural weakness in it's economy. IE not enough middle class jobs to keep the frame work in place.

Now the problem in this every man for himself economy is who will bring production back? "Not I!" Said the little red hen. Meanwhile we talk of 12 to 20 million illegal aliens which is a total misnomer. What we have is 12 to 20 million refugee's fleeing the same economic model being put in place in America. Did they all make bad choices in Mexico? Mexico is a failed state with two provinces in open rebellion from the government.

With an American style crooked election and half a million people shutting down Mexico city for two weeks last summer. The newly appointed President was not allowed to give an acceptance speech at the Capital because the police could not guarantee his security.(news that is glossed over by the media)

The sub prime mortgage market grew from 5% to 15% in ten years, was that because lending standards were lowered or were there just fewer well qualified buyers? If mortgage brokers hoped to stay in business they had to do something. They knew what they were doing, that the bill would come due, but they had passed the paper down stream and it's someone else's problem now.

We have a parasitic economy,fueled by a lack of wages being paid at the bottom. Just as in the 1930's the problem is the lack of money at the bottom of the economy. The billionaire's sit on mountains of cash but where can they invest it? All the markets are bad? The value of their cash is falling and there is no place to put it. The banks day by day hour by hour are failing like a skydiver with a tangled chute. Just because you haven't hit the ground yet doesn't change the inevitable outcome. That's why what the Fed is trying to do amounts to flailing their arms and the markets react negatively because its not working.

In 1939 our soldiers were training with wooden rifles in 1949 we had the best equipped military in the world. In 1959 we couldn't get a rocket off the pad in 1969 we were on the moon.The problems and ch alleges this country face today have not been because of bad choices that the working class has made but the ruling class. It's as if the bus driver where to turn around and say, "We're lost! And its all your fault!"
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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Dave - your post really hit home this morning.
I recently found one of those jobs on craigs and am happy to be doing it though it does pay half of what my last employment paid. Back in the 80s, I used to worry I had no appreciation for the value of a dollar. What an imbecile I used to be.

Portland, OR btw, is an incredibly awesome place. Very friendly people and the surrounding environment is as beautiful as your Georgia. If I had a magic wand and could live where I could, that would be my top choice.

Best of luck to you and welcome to DU!
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Elidor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
7. Alas, that it's too late for me to recommend this excellent post
I've always been amazed by the chutzpah of companies wanting people with degrees, but paying high school wages. I take special delight when they eventually go out of business. Good luck with your search for a decent living.
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