A friend, who, I might add, has never had to look for a job a day in her life, recently said to me “I can’t understand why you can’t find a job, I mean any kind of job. Really? I just find that hard to believe” Well here’s a look at day in the life trying to find “any” kind of job.
Among other things, I’ve decided to give admin temp work another shot. I’ve applied at temp agencies before, but like many jobs for which I’ve applied, never heard back. I do however, have an appointment at a temp agency today, due to a tip from a fellow job seeker.
First, I start the day, like many, by perusing the Craig’s List job ads. In Denver, it’s where many companies post jobs that previously used to be published in the local newspaper. I find a couple of part-time jobs that could supplement daytime temp work. One is at a salon not far from where I live looking for a someone a couple of nights a week and Saturdays. I send off a cheery email with my resume, as they are looking for an “outgoing, enthusiastic” individual.
I then go to the job networking group I coordinate for my church. We are a small group, and there are just two of us today. Three members of our group have recently found jobs – yay for them!
At 11:00 am, I head into the temp company and am immediately handed a thin booklet, which I am asked to read. You can tell it was written to address problems in the past such as “don’t bring your children to the work site” and “dress appropriately for the job” – that sort of stuff. The last page in large, black, bold text reads “You will be required to take a drug test. If you don’t think you will pass it, get up and leave NOW!” Ok – got that message loud and clear! I wonder how many people get up and leave? I then began to fill out a massive amount of paperwork, which makes you feel like you are applying for a security clearance! I am asked to initial a statement on a form that says I will pay for any drug test if I fail. Hmmm. I guess somebody didn’t heed the ominous booklet warning!
In addition to temp admin work, I’ve applied at many of the quick service restaurants nearby – either online or just walking in and asking for a job app. Of the dozens of apps I’ve submitted, I’ve received one, I repeat, one call, for a position for which I interviewed yesterday. This job would involve standing behind a cash register for eight hours a day, 40 hours a week, and I honestly don’t know if my problematic feet and knees could take it! My Facebook pals know that I did some retail work at Ye Old Ham Stande (aka Honey Baked Ham), hawking hams over the holidays, but we had a stool behind the stand to sit on when things were slow. In spite of the bad leg issues, I would, if offered, be willing to give the quick restaurant opportunity a shot.
When I get home, I check my email, and see that I’ve received a response back from the salon job. It says “call me to set up an interview – Brenda.” Well Miss Salon Person Brenda hasn’t supplied a phone number, so I shoot an email back. A bit later, I check the email again, wondering if this is a test to determine my problem solving skills. I see the salon name in the email text, google it and get the phone number. I call but Brenda is long gone, and the pleasant receptionist tells me Brenda already has enough interviews set up for the job! Good grief! It hasn’t even been four hours since Brenda sent the email! But that’s how it is in this competitive, tough job market! You have to act FAST!
I talk to a couple other temp agencies on the phone. A rep from one of them tells me that unless I have held a recent administrative position listed on my resume, it would be difficult to place me. I say well I do that kind of work every day as part of my job search. Typing – check. Answering phones – check. Composing letters – check. Copying, faxing, emailing – check, check, check,. Yes she says, but that isn’t a “real” job!
Some of you younger readers may wonder about the title of this blog – hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. It’s inspired by a TV ad that aired years ago for a fast food restaurant with a song focussing on its customer service. It went something like hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us. Have it your way, have it your way.
All I can say is bring a job my way. Bring it my way.
Lisa, Professional and Talented Job Seeker