Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Possibilities Are Not Endless, or Recession Job Hunting is a Bitch

This goddamn recession is killing my spirit.

Lucky for me, I live at home. Actually, the 'luckiness' of this is questionable at this point, since I'm not quite sure if I'm happy about the situation, but at least my bills aren't as high. Anyway, lately I've realized that substitute teaching provides a pretty pathetic cash-flow, and even my really fancy private tutoring gig isn't leaving my pockets full. In a town saturated with over-eager high school kids and Post-Lay-Off Recessionites, the job pool is shallow. So what's a girl to do?

In just a few days into this New Year I have already exhausted the very short list of potential employers I could stand to work for and have moved on to much browner pastures. Yesterday when I stopped into Borders, the employees informed me that their store had recently laid off 5 employees. Pretty bad odds, I'd say. Of course it doesn't help that earlier that morning I'd heard on NPR* that Borders is in danger of falling off the NYSE. I wonder how long ago I would have been kicked off the NYSE. Clearly, I'm not the only one whose stock is low.

Basically I need a job and there isn't much out there. According to Careerbuilder and Craigslist, I've assembled a short list of possibilities, and they are laughable. I will tell you which one I eventually choose.

Here are my options (in no particular order):

1. Receptionist - Western Dental Services. Apparently in order to do this job, I must be a team-player. I didn't realize that answering phones in a pleasant dental-esque voice required me to have experience playing sports. I applied for this job today. I want to cry.

2. Waitress - Red Robin. Until yesterday, I had not set foot in a Red Robin since high school. This restaurant has been in operation for at least 15 years in the same Folsom location, which means people DO eat there. I don't know who these people are, but they are out there somewhere keeping this godawful place alive. Desperate in my search, I walked in yesterday hoping to talk to someone about getting a job. I had to psych myself up in the parking lot, repeating to myself quietly "You are not too good for this." When three minutes later no one had greeted me at the podium, I walked out. I am not sorry.

3. Store Manager - Home Consignments. I love used furniture, so this seems like a natural fit.

4. Burrito Maker - Chipotle. I'm frequently mistaken for being Mexican, so it's entirely likely that I'd be an excellent burrito maker. I love Chipotle, and could get free burritos while on the job. Of course, I prefer burrito bowls, but I'm sure I could also get those for free.

5. Food Service Worker - In-N-Out Burger. $10.00/hr plus benefits for full time employees. It sounds OK, until I imagine having to take orders for Double-Doubles and Animal Style Fries from local high school kids who I'll be tutoring later that day. Plus wearing that dorky hat makes me want to cringe. And I'd get really fat. I'm thinking this one won't work out.

6. Media Buyer Assistant - ExpressMedia. Sounds cool, right? It might even be cool. I did a little research, and it looks like the company buys airtime for Longform Media clients (a.k.a. Infomercials). What could be cooler than calling local news stations to book midnight time-slots for thirty minute Proactiv infomercials? The answer is nothing. Nothing is cooler than that.

So, friends, things aren't looking so good. It's a grim reality that I'm sure I'll come to terms with, even if I do end up deep frying potatoes, or selling used coffee tables. Money is money, and it's too bad we all need it so badly, because without it losing your job wouldn't really be an issue. I've had to come to grips with the fact that even with a college degree, I'm really not too good for anything. And that hurts.

If you have any suggestions, please send them my way. I'm open to persuasion, and at this point I'll consider almost anything - with the exception of sign spinning.

Happy Recession.

*Don't you hate it when people drop NPR into casual conversation? It's so snobby and elitist. I do it all the time.

No comments: