Not Discouraged, Abandoned

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Old skool cylon ... too old by Erwin Boogert.

by David Glenn Cox

Last month the number of Americans who lost their jobs was revised down
to 467,000, just under a half a million. The total number of newly
unemployed now stands at 14.7 million people. That number was revised
downward 358,000 by a government technique used to classify those
unemployed for more than twelve months as discouraged workers.

I
am one of those workers, but I do not consider myself a discouraged
worker as much as an abandoned worker. I have four resumes, depending
on what type of job I’m applying for. I check the want ads every day
and apply for anything that I’m even remotely qualified to handle. What
is discouraging is what is available out there to apply for. Do you
speak Pashto? Neither do I, but there are translator jobs available.


I
went on a website, which I won’t name; well, let’s call it, for
instance, “Jobs Godzilla.” Most of the job listings were dated from
April and in this economy if they haven’t filled those jobs in ninety
days they never will. On top of that, the category where I was looking
listed twenty pages of jobs but began repeating jobs after page five.
The government, using huge computer banks and incredibly complicated
mathematical equations, has determined that this economy will create
879,000 jobs this year, or roughly less than one job for each of the
fourteen now unemployed, not including the half a million newcomers
added each month.

A national website was looking for journalists
to write about homelessness in America. I thought, "Hey! I’m a
journalist and I’m homeless; this should be a slam-dunk." But I never
heard back from them. Either I wasn’t journalist enough or I wasn’t
homeless enough to qualify. It reminded me of the old Johnny
Weissmuller Tarzan films where African American actors couldn’t even
get acting jobs portraying Africans.

As I check the want ads
each day I’ve learned to classify them into three categories, jobs,
scams and commission only jobs. You know those little machines that all
the stores have where they slide your credit card through? You can sell
those machines and earn a commission on each sale. First, remember that
most stores have yearly contracts with their suppliers or have bought
their machines outright. Then your supplier must meet or beat the
credit terms the merchants are currently receiving. Now, figure in that
600,000 more retail locations are closing than opening this year, and
you’re on your way to great earnings potential.

Sell insurance
to the elderly: just pay a $200 license fee and take the test, and then
they will supply you with leads all within seventy-five miles of your
house. You use your car, your phone, your gas, and if you make the sale
in the worst market in seventy-five years, you’ll earn a commission and
residual income. But don’t count on too much residual because you are
selling to the elderly, you understand.

Be a grant writer, earn
big money writing for others requesting federal grants! Want to learn
how? Send $199 dollars and we’ll teach you! How about, “Drive the long
hauls and earn big bucks! Are you a trucker without a rig? Come on
down, great prices and low, low financing plans available. Don’t know
how to drive a big rig but always wanted to learn? Come on down. Buy a
rig and we’ll send you to truck drivers school! Come on down, great
prices and low, low financing plans available."

One of my
favorites was a commission only job to lure suckers into buying
memberships in online dating clubs. If you reeled one in, you got one
hundred dollars. You place an ad like this one on Craigslist: “Lonely
girl seeks adventurous older man for NSA good times!!” Then when the
sap responds, you tell him your name is “mesohorny27” and you can be
reached on XYZdateclub for $399.95. Have your credit card in one hand
and your … well, you get the idea.

Then there are the mysterious
jobs. “Earn up to $1,000 per week, send resume to...” You just have to
believe; if it was a legitimate job, they would explain it or at least
qualify it. Just out of curiosity I applied for one of these mysterious
jobs.

“Are you looking for a part time job other than the job
you are doing before? I am looking for someone who can handle my
personal and business errands at his/her spare time. Someone who can
offer me these services: Receive my mails and drop them off at FedEx
(nothing illegal). Shop for Gifts Sit for delivery( at your home) or
pick items up at nearby post office at your convenience. Let me know if
you will be able to offer me any of these services."

"I would
love to meet up with you to talk about this job but I am currently away
on business. I am in Australia so there will be no interview. I will
prepay you in advance to do my shopping. I will also have my mails and
packages forwarded to your address. If you will be unable to stay at
your house to get my mails, I can have it shipped to a post office near
you and then you can pick it up at your convenience. When you get my
mails/packages, you are required to mail them to where I want them
mailed to.”

If we’ve earned nothing in the past ten years it is
how to spot the Nigerian scam, “Are you looking for a part time job
other than the job you are doing before?” Sadly, these jobs are not the
only comic relief offered in a dismal job market. There is the Wow
package: Teeth whitening on wheels! Have parties, invite your friends
over for teeth whitening, over $7,500 in product yours for only $3,725,
wheels not included! You’re the expert; you’re the boss! In the back of
my mind I hear this high pitched voice saying, “Hey, Moe, we don’t know
anything about teeth whitening.”

“Shut up and get the dynamite, you puddin head.”

"Are
you tired of going to work in the business world or a retail store? Do
you feel like some days you're not making a difference? Do you want to
have fun as the days go by at lightning speed and everyday is something
new and different? Do you absolutely love small children? (3 months to
3 years) Then, we may have the place for you. Kids your Kids East XXXXX
Preschool is looking for a few special people to assist in the
classroom with their lead teachers. Job entails helping take care of
the children, reading, playing and taking kids on the playground as
well as helping keep the kids and their rooms tidy and clean. You will
aid in their mealtimes, art projects, playground time, music classes
and even help them play in our waterplayground. Come have some fun with
our kids and make a real difference in your community. $8.50 to $10.00
per hour."

Or, “This Independent Contractor in Atlanta needs
your talents. We offer a very competitive salary within a challenging
and professional work environment. You must have your own
transportation, your own tools, meter(s) and a ladder (a minimum of
10ft). You must also have a high school diploma or GED equivalent to
apply. If you meet these qualifications then we want to talk to you. We
are an equal opportunity employer. Please contact us immediately at
atlantal.com. Leave your name, phone number (day/evening), and your
email address along with your level of experience and someone will be
in touch with you. This is a 1099/contract position. Your future is
waiting!”

“A challenging and professional work environment,”
means difficult; a 1099 means all the taxes come out of your end, and
contract position means that they can fire you with or without good
reason. They don’t want to invest in you as an employee, just to use
you until the need is gone.

I want a job but I want a real job,
a real job that pays a decent wage. The Los Angeles Times reported that
there is a gang robbing banks in town. Working in teams of four they
rob banks in series, robbing as many as four in a day. They’ve earned
the title "buckshot bandits" because they use shotguns as their primary
weapons. I would never encourage crime, especially violent crime, but
considering how the banks are treating the average American, and the
current job market, it’s to be expected.

We are not
discouraged workers, we are abandoned workers; workers hunting polar
bears in Miami and flamingos in Alaska or elephants in New York City.
Yet the government chooses to call us discouraged instead of accepting
their own title, failure. Don’t give me any “All hail Obama” nonsense.
Adding thirteen weeks to unemployment benefits isn’t a cure, it’s a
band aid. The President’s own estimates expect this depression to last
two more years, or ninety-one weeks after the unemployment runs out.

(photo by Erwin Boogert)