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My work situation

I was just recently discussing competition and other things with Independent Radical and Francois Tremblay. Sometimes there’s a need to vent and this is one of those times.

Speaking of competition, I am encountering a TON of it when searching for work, not just within the job itself. Mind you, I went to college and have accrued tuition debt, so I’m sticking with what I’ve always done, casting the net wide and even going for minimum-wage jobs at this point. Those jobs don’t bother me; work is work, and when I worked in retail I’ve been derided for having a “lowly” position or “being paid to sit around and do nothing all day” by patronizing assholes who wanted more than the bullshit I got paid to deal with when I was nothing but nice to them.

Compared to call center jobs, though, it is nowhere near as cutthroat and stressful emotionally AND mentally. If you work in customer service, you have to be not only “feminine” and empathic/nice-sounding enough for customers, but “masculine” enough in terms of assertive go-getter-ness, competitiveness (but at the same time a “team player” spirit), and be perfect in everything like call handling time and clocking out for lunch and end of shift, sometimes even having to meet a sales quota. At least in fast food or retail grocery I am moving around, and people wouldn’t dare to say half the shit to me that they did on the phone. In that industry, I had flexible scheduling and FMLA leave (if need be), and even invested in stock.

I won’t go into detail here, but there are personal reasons why I can’t get into the career I studied for right now – another being that I’ll need certification in training which is a whole other process altogether that I don’t have the means for.

My situation is a huge hole that I can’t seem to get out of; for one thing, I had to move back in with my mom last year after living with my roomate of 3+ years went sour and I no longer have a car. It’s funny because I was told growing up to study to be a doctor or lawyer or marry one. My mom charges me rent and I buy my own food and cat stuff and I don’t get foodstamps or anything. I need MONEY. By no means am I a materialistic person, but I am forced to be. There is a sister radfem I know on tumblr who is going to try to get me writing gigs, though. That might work. Otherwise there is a desperate last resort I am considering.

It used to be you didn’t need a degree or diploma for something like secretary; now you do. And everyone wants previous experience in the position. The running joke is “need experience for job – need a job for experience.” To make matters worse, in Georgia, if you are getting unemployment benefits you have to submit 3 new jobs you’ve applied to, a week.

This is precisely a creation of artificial scarcity to force people to compete for survival, a minimum level of existence. We’re not even entitled to a job, the means of allowing us to survive. So not fair at all.

EDIT: Going Radical reminded me of how you get favored for knowing someone in the job. This is how I was able to get into many of these jobs in the first place. Having connections goes far and can get you hired where otherwise you’d be passed over.



2 thoughts on “My work situation

  1. Sounds like my life. I also worked at a soul-sucking call centre job and got lots of university education and finally qualified for the fantastic job of….secretary! I worked so, so hard to get my current job and one day it occurred to me that all this work and education essentially got me an entry-level position that is slightly better than the worst entry level positions. I had this moment where I was like, “Wait, what? After all this I’m a secretary?” And I can’t get into the career I studied for either because you have to have five years experience in order to get certified but you can’t work anywhere until you get certified. Literally the only way into the profession is knowing somebody who will give you a job before you’re certified. What is this shit?

    • Gah, I can’t believe I overlooked mentioning how important it is to know someone! I have gotten passed over for hires who had a parent that worked for the company, but I’ve also been hired for knowing someone in the job. It reminds me of the saying,”It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

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