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Shmeng of the Week: X in the road
Posted by EyeCandyRayce on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 04:01 AM PST

Work
I’m sitting in a beautiful courtyard in the shade having a smoke on my lunch break. I watch executives walk by with their fancy new cellular phones. I watch ladies in new clothes wander around with shopping bags of expensive clothing. It frustrates me and makes me think about what I am doing wrong that I can never buy new clothing and that my cell phone was shut off a year ago due to lack of funds. Here I am again, working another short-term job filling in for some individual while the temp agencies pay me as little as they can. Each day I sit and think about my future and each day I realize that I really don’t have one. Should I go back to college and if so, what the hell will I do there. I need a career that can pay me well and won’t flop tomorrow. I’ve been a supervisor of a video capture department at an online adult content provider. I’ve worked as a web designer making $40 an hour and then that industry went away. But here I am now going back to the job I was brought up to do by my Paralegal mother. A secretary!

The last job I worked was for about a month at the Waste Management Department of Washington as a temp. I was outside smoking with one of the accountants there who was only a few months younger than I am. We discussed how frustrating it is to not have a career.

“Here I am nearly 30 years old and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up,” she told me with a sigh. “Typical Generation X.”

That really stuck with me. I remember all these news articles when I was working as a web designer about successful Gen X boys and girls who were making a killing in the tech industry. The industry that had once paid so well and was in such high demand that it had churned out one geek after another with a demand for yet more. Then one day it happened. At least that is how it felt to those of us who had suddenly been replaced by people who had already lost their jobs, had years more experience and would gladly work for less just to get off unemployment. It makes me want to see a news article showing where those “Amazing self starting Generation X Success Stories” have ended up. Because I know my savings account emptied after a year without a good job.

So what do I do now? I copy reports, sort papers, fill coffee cups and answer the phone with a nice happy voice. I wonder how the hell I’m going to pay rent or buy clothing for my child. I wonder when someone is finally going to stop looking at my resume as “over qualified due to technical experience” for clerical jobs while technical jobs view it as “under qualified due to recent clerical work”. Or those who look at me if I actually get as far as an interview and ask me “so why have you been doing so much temporary work”. I just want to scream in their face “because I would rather work while people like you turn me down for one job after another than sit at home and lose everything waiting on one of you fuck wits to hire me”!

I’m sitting at a point in my life where I have many roads I can follow and all of them are covered in dust, fog and clouds. There is no way to see which way to go. Should I view this as a problem just here in Washington and try to find another place to live? The only way I can go to college is if I can get it all paid for as well as living expenses. Going to college at night and working during the day just isn’t possible when you have an eleven-year-old daughter and no immediate family within 2000 miles of you.

So here I sit at my little branch in life pondering which direction to go while I sink into the mud. Totally unwilling to move away from the quick sand but hating the fact that I am sinking.



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X in the road | Login/Create an account | 13 Comments
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Re: X in the road
by bettie_x (strangersangel@hotmail.com)
on Jun 04, 2004 - 08:50 AM
(User info | Send a Message) http://bettie_x.tripod.com/
I'm sorry hon, and you're not alone. You are like THOUSANDS of people, college educated, once in high demand making good money, employers and the government telling you how bright your future will be. And as it always happens, the bottom falls out, and ALL those people with nothing but good things to say about your education and experience are nowhere to be found.
I also love the term "overqualified". They say since you're overqualified they're afraid you'll get bored and find something better after they've invested in training for you. What they really mean is they can find some kid with less training that will work for less. It's the same everywhere, major corporations that have supported the community with jobs for 30 years or more decide to up and out and ship to other countries for cheaper labor to "remain competitive" after record breaking profit margins for the year. Weyrehouser (spelled?) did that to my dad's friend. Sold the company and put everyone out of a job. His friend had worked there since he dropped out of highschool when he was 16, he'd been there 45 years. Where is a 61 year old man with no education and no other job skills than machinery going to get a new job? He had to take a cut in his pension and retire early.
I read a study recently that stated that even college graduates can't find jobs. It almost doesn't matter what your education level is nowadays, it all depends on what you are willing to do for as little money as possible.
My husband and I have had the shit end of the stick for the last two years. It has wiped us out in every sense. I'm looking for a second job just to get us back on track, and honestly if it wasn't for my parents we'd have been in some deep shit quite a few times.

If you want to see some justification for your anger at "corporate america" and the economy, go rent Michael Moore's "The Big One". It's an eyeopener.

You may want to look into the Pell Grant too, for college. It pays half your living expenses and almost all your school costs. It's about the best thing out there.


Re: X in the road
by Psychopixi (psyche.at.psychopixi.dot.com)
on Jun 04, 2004 - 10:17 AM
(User info | Send a Message) http://psychopixi.com
This is exactly the kind of thing that's scaring me shitless. I've heard all of this, all before and I'm scared now because in a few scarce months I'm going to be in this position.

Yeah, I'll have my A-levels, but no university education, no degree. I don't want to be stuck in a dead end job. I don't want to be going nowhere, but damn - at least a wage coming in has to be better than getting stuck on the dole with no way out.

I'm scared that I won't have the right qualifications. I'm scared that I won't be able to sell myself in an interview, because my social skills are non existant. I'm scared that on my CV I'll have one reference from my current job - working a till FFS, and no one's going to interested. I'm scared that I'll end up stuck on the dole, taking money from the government and unable to get out of the rut because the kinds of job I could get wouldn't pay as well.

I'm eighteen years old for Christ's sake, and coming up to the summer where I leave sixth form. It should be the best summer of my life wth no A-level hassles, and no university pressure, and yet it's promising to leave me broke and more stressed out than ever.

I think it's safe to say that no matter where you live, or how old you are, the job situation is threatening to kick you in the metaphorical bollocks.


Re: X in the road
by Domkitten (saradevil@saradevil.com)
on Jun 06, 2004 - 09:47 AM
(User info | Send a Message) http://www.saradevil.com
This is exactly why there is a large group of ex-pats living all over the world teaching english. After graduating from College we find ourselves with a degree no experience, and the prospect of working at Wendy's for minimum wage or less.

The reason I say this is because I spent a great deal of time in bars talking with people about various different things and one evening we sat around talking about the sorry state of all of use in Korea.

There were a couple of nice guys from Scotland in that evening reminiscing about the days they had spent living on the dole. We Americans were rather fascinated by this concept. To be 20, educated, and paid to look for work, it 's like a paradise dream that college grads would be happy to have.

The gentlemen listened to our various tales of woe, and asked us why in the world we didn't apply for welfare, as we had no money. To which we were forced to explain how the welfare system in America is not set up to help single white unemployed males, as it sees them of being able to get a job doing something, as with unemployed, unencumbered women, I mean, if you want welfare at least pop out a couple of kids. We even went further to explain that even should one be lucky enough to get on welfare, you then were stuck with the even further complicated task of trying somehow to get back off it, because once on you are marked for life as a breastfeeding lazy ass who'd rather get paid by the state then get a real job. Yes, welfare and the dole are most certainly not the same thing.

So then, these fine fellows asked us, "Well what options do you have?"

And after thinking about this for a second, my good friend Mono piped up and said "Well, prison or the military."

So, we keep teaching English in South K. it's a far better option then the two of those. I do hope you can find some more stimulating work soon, I always hated being a secretary.



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