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You Might Need a Job, But I’m Under No Obligation to Give You One

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It’s that time of year again, when the seasonal business picks up and we begin to brace for the onslaught of summer. June, July and August are the bread and butter months. If we don’t kick proverbial ass in 90 days, we may end up liquidating assets at the end of December to pay the taxman.

As usual, I place the ads for certified teachers. I screen what comes in and forward the best prospects to the Other Half, who then hunts the prospects down and arranges interviews and training. No one wants to waste three days interviewing every Tom, Harry or Dick who might show up on a cattle call.

In case it was lost on anyone who vaguely knows me, I’m not a teacher. I’m a yeller, I have an extremely short fuse, and I expect people to follow my line of thinking telepathically. Good God, I couldn’t teach my own kids how to drive. My job in this business is as point man: to keep the paperwork flowing in a straight and orderly manner, something the Other Half has a problem with. (Don’t look in his office, where it is readily apparent why he needs an organizer.)

I’m a tightwad, so I use Craigslist and the Michigan Employment Department’s free web listing. Let’s face it, no one reads a newspaper’s classified ads these days. I believe I’m one of the half dozen or so who actually reads the paper to begin with. There are few employment ads, so why waste the money?

In my experience, Craigslist is an excellent resource for office help, even though the site was slow to catch on in Detroit. However, if you need to hire someone with a bigger skill set (e.g. a certified instructor), the best place to go used to be the Michigan Works web site. I’ve actually snagged several fine people that way.

Not this year. In the last three weeks, I’ve received almost 100 applications and resumes, none of which were from qualified people.

NONE. ZERO. NADA. ZILCH.

Obviously, times are tough. They are so tough that people are sending out resumes and inquiries without first reading the job listing. I know this because I have carefully crafted the listing to point out the qualifications of the potential candidate. Number One on the list is a certification and instructor’s license from the State. This is mucho importante – if you don’t have one, don’t waste my time, move along. Next comes the need for a clean driving record, FBI record, and medical exam. Experience is not necessary (we train) but an instructor’s license is key.

You may need a job, but if you don’t have one of those babies in your pocket, I’m under no obligation to give you one.

At the end of my small ad is information for those who might want to obtain an instructor’s license: i.e. where to go to get the college class, and a brief yet friendly note not to call me until you’re certified.

Perhaps these applicants are on unemployment and figure blanketing the state (even the lower peninsula when you live in the UP) with resumes for any job is a good tactic. Perhaps resume sending is a condition of their getting an unemployment check. (I have no idea; it’s been a couple of decades since I last filed for unemployment. It was distasteful then, and probably worse now.)

It’s not busy yet, so I’ve had time to read these resumes and inquiries. I have to anyway, in case there is a jewel among the grit. Many are a complete disaster. Some people use lower case for the entire resume; others have cutesy email addresses that would make a john looking for an escort service blush. Grammatical and spelling errors run wild. Some people are completely clueless, and others are serial applicants. I’ve seen the same names year after year.

My mind wanders to a place where I wonder what kind of job these hopefuls would be good at. Attention to detail is necessary where I do business. Then the phone rings and I'm shaken out of my fog to put out another fire.

In response, I’ve formulated a terse yet tactful letter for the worst offenders, something along the lines of “Thank you for responding, but can you read?” (Not really. I’m nicer than that. I may scream out loud on occasion – I told you, I’m a yeller – to the point where my officemates cower at my tantrum, but I can craft a damned good business letter.) Most of my missives are shot into cyberspace without a second thought. It feels good to boilerplate my frustration back to the people who have targeted me.

However, I did get a reply from one woman who apologized profusely. She revealed she only looked at the job title and didn’t open the listing. I responded that she might be more likely to land a job if she reads what the employer wants and needs. Then I wished her good luck. Sincerely.

I hope that one finds a job. It just won’t be with us.

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About Joanne Huspek

I write. I read. I garden. I cook. I eat. And I love to talk about all of the above.
  • http://etierphotography.blogspot.com/ FCEtier

    What irks me is when people won’t accept just any paying job because they want the “right” one for them. There are retail jobs out there but people would rather draw un-employment. Anyway, it’s a complicated issue but I know they still list job openings in the paper every day! What’s wrong with sweeping floors to get a paycheck until that perfect job comes along?

  • Jordan Richardson

    What irks me is when people won’t accept just any paying job because they want the “right” one for them.

    Yeah, wanting to do fulfilling work is a terrible thing. This is part of the reason there aren’t more prostitutes, I think. Why not just whore yourself out until that perfect job comes along?

  • http://www.philipsjuicers.com Chris Peterson

    As a recruiter myself, I find it very frustrating when applicants don’t read the job listing properly. I also tend to prefer applicants who are currently working even if it’s not in the same field as the job I’m trying to fill. To me it shows a willingness to work.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    While reading this article, I see a woman in a Hebrew ad for Heineken’s Star Lounge. She obviously whored herself out for the job she has as model – she is in a short sleeveless green dress with plenty of cleavage over the glasses of Heineken’s on her tray. And what is she offering with her smile? It sure as hell ain’t beer!

    Oh! That’s right! I was going to comment on your article, Joanne!

    Seriously, no matter how good my CV looked, I’m the last person you want teaching your students to drive. You don’t want me anywhere near them! I know how to teach and how to motivate – 12 years of managing a Burger King will do that for you – but (in addition to not having a Michigan Certification) I drive like a New Yorker. That means, among other things, that playing “chicken” with me will wind up with you in your grave. So any student of mine will be a combo of “Mad Max” and “Mr. President Frankenstein”.

    Is that what you want driving in your suburb, Joanne?

    Anyway, since my wife is till asleep, I’m going to go back to ogling the “Heineken girl” off to my right. Fortunately for me, there is no button to get hold of her at the ad.

  • http://www.lovehandleworkouts.org/ Lovehandles

    You know, as a out of work accounting professional of over 25 years, the right job is absolutely critical. I collect no unemployment and have had zero coming in for more than 10 months now. I’m clearly aware that there are jobs out there, however, the “right” job has not been identified. The first comment on this page is a bit out of line. I for instance, am too qualified for most jobs I apply for and the jobs I am a good fit for, just have so much competition at such low prices that, well you get the idea. So, it’s a tough situation out there – be patient and be proactive.

  • Sean McCaffrey

    Whoa, there are a few charged comments on this post. Let’s try and put the fire out.

    Taking any job may seem like a sensible idea, yet this outcome can set you back years in your profession/career. For the author of this post and others in position to hang the “Now Hiring” sign, this can be a curse. People are desperate and frustrated and have the belief that “papering the countryside with their resume” will yield faster results. This tactic is fruitless and I agree with the author. As an unemployed professional, you have to know what problems you’re able to solve, know what your strengths are and have a vision for your career. Once identified, you then need to be strategic in the opportunities/industries to pursue for best results. If you are unsure of how to go about this, feel free to reach out (www.seanmccaffrey.com) as I’d be happy to help.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Joanne,

    I’m sitting in the bus station in J-lem, waiting to take the bus bake home. My friend, the Author whom I just interviewed, told me his dad in Westchester told him the country was living in a Depression with a capital “d”. The old duffer from Westchester told his son that he was living in an unreal bubble in Westchester, and the country was in real bad shape. The comments here (other than mine) seem to reflect that.

    As a freelance editor, I take what work i can get, and pray a lot. But that doesn’t relate to the situation in the States at all.

    Anyway, that girl in green is back with the Heineken ads. So, for a minute, I’m going to enjoy ogling her. Then I gotta run and catch a bus to the Jewish boonies in Samaria.

    All the best,
    Ruvy

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I’m sitting in the bus station in J-lem, waiting to take the bus bake home.

    A bus bake? That sounds fun. I’m assuming you use propane… but how do you stop the raisins from flying everywhere when you go over a bump?

    [runs]

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    “What’s wrong with sweeping floors to get a paycheck until that perfect job comes along?”
    There are so many things wrong with that question/statement…

    First,If you had a professional career then the “floor sweeping” job won’t pay as much as your unemployment. Why should I take a hit in the wallet because “employment at will” benefits the employer more than me.
    Second, Unemployment benefits,especially in the current economic situation,gives me an opportunity to go back to school to retrain for a lateral career.

    Third, if there are any of those jobs left(thanks to the illegal immigrants), that employer isn’t going to pay a decent wage,so, when am I going to have the time to work on finding another position in the field that I am qualified for?! AND, what is that going to do for my resume?

    Ultimately, it is a poor choice…

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    DD,

    A bus bake? That sounds fun. I’m assuming you use propane… but how do you stop the raisins from flying everywhere when you go over a bump?

    [runs]

    A bus bake is like a tuna bake. The kids in the army take a can of tuna in oil, open the can, put a piece of tissue over the top and light a fire. When the tissue paper burns completely to carbon, they take off the tissue paper – now a hard black carbon Mass (kind of like the Black Masses the Black Pope celebrates) – toss it, and eat a delicious tuna steak.

    The bus bake is similar – but the bus just doesn’t taste as good. The engine oil kind of ruins the flavor and the rabbis haven’t determined yet if all the parts of the bus are kosher, and if they are, if they are dairy or meat.

    By the way, where are you running to? Why don’t you just take the bus, like I do.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I was often at low water in the States. Inevitably, someone would say, “why don’t you take some minimum-wage job until you can find something better?” I had been through the routine of working minimum wage jobs. Basically, they tired me out so I didn’t have time to look for something better. The low schmuck on the totem pole doesn’t get two hour lunches – where he can sneak off on a job interview or two.

    Now when it was just me, it didn’t matter working for minimum wage. But when I had mouths to feed, all of a sudden I had a budget with certain non-negotiable items in it. So, I had to hold out for the better wage – just to feed those mouths.

    But if what has hit the States is a Depression, then all the “non-negotiable” items go on the table. And everything gets bargained over – hard.

  • http://bob-lostintime.blogspot.com/ Miss Bob Etier

    Joanne, great article. I’ve been on the resume reading end of the hiring seesaw as often as on the sending side. Those were the bad old days of hard copies–what the heck’s a web? Sometimes the things people included in their resumes (like your mention of e-mail addresses), would make me pause. It’s been twenty years since an applicant included (not in the cover letter, in the resume) “I live in a basement apartment in my mother’s house.” I’ll never remember his name but I’ll always remember that AND that he didn’t get the job. Or even an interview.
    –Bob E.

  • fred

    in the 18th century,louis xiv is the king of france.
    He`s very intelligent and authoritative.he´s the sun king because he says his power comes from god.he´s an absolute monarch.
    The nobles live with him in his palace of versailles.in this way he can control them-he can see them and he can hear them.
    the system of etiquette at versalles is very rigid.it is a system of control,too.it keeps the nobles busy.
    louis xiv is the centre of attraction.the king´s getting-up is an in the king´s bedroom.they stand around the king,s bed and they help their majesty into his clothes.it is an honour to be the holder of the king´s left sock or his underpants

  • federico

    1872:leland stanford is a millionaire in california,usa.he likes horse naces.he says`i bet twenty-five thousand dollars (a fortune today!)that the four feet of a trotting horse are in the air for one second.´then he says to a photographer,E.muybridge,`take many pictures of the horses during a race.´muybridge puts many cameras in a line near the track and he takes many pictures.standford is right!
    1888:thomas edison works on muybridge´s pictures.he puts them on a wheel turnsthe wheel and creates the illusion of movement.this is the first film!

  • Ronnie

    With todays job market and jobs harder and harder to come by anyone with any qualifications at all might show up but I think it is just a sigh of the times.