Not Discouraged, Abandoned

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)

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.