A Tale from Underemployed Man

Das_große_Gonna tell a short tale, be slightly annoyed and vocal about things for a little bit.

Just for a minute.

Honest.

I am underemployed.  What does that mean?  Simple.  I don’t work as much as I want or need to, in order to pay my bills and meet my every day needs.  Thursday this week will be my second day working of the month and eighth of the year.  This is an issue because… well… it should be obvious why that’s an issue.  8 days of work in two months is far from an ideal situation.

But it’s also eight days more than some folks.  I’ll take what I can get, though I am still bouncing around on unemployment.  But I tell you all that to tell you this.

I got a bite from a place that I used to work at. Talk of a job being open, and they were interested in me.   They were, back when I worked there hostile to the union guys in local 814 and those who sided with them (like me), hostile enough to lock them out for ten months and never once tell me or any of the other temps who were trying to get hired on they wanted to hire us despite the fact that they loved our work.  Then when they finally signed a new collective bargaining agreement, pushed most of them out the door, and never even thought about bringing any of us former temps back.  Of the 44 regulars that were there when the agreement was signed, four are left of that crew.

So when they e-mailed me to indicate their interest, I was overjoyed.  I loved working there.  It was the best professional experience of my life, and they were the best bunch of guys around, despite the circumstances.  Great crew, great place.

Could it be the same way it was back then?  Highly unlikely. Hell no would be a more apt way to put it.  More likely things would be hard, ugly, and abrasive, and that is being kind in my assessment.  But knowing that I was still willing to brook that and make the most of things, and make some money along the way; make my life and my wife’s life that much easier by having regular money coming in, an actual weekly paycheck and knowing I was working for five days a week, sometimes even seven.

Heaven in comparison to where I am now.

But it was not to be.  After much back and forth talk with several people in the human resources department of this fine institution, I was told that, sorry, the position has been filled.  But thank you for patience!

The position:  Temporary property handler, Sotheby’s

A position that was on the nyfa.org site, the site I had found the posting on in the first place.

Freshly re-opened and newly placed on the site, dated today.

Did I mention that they said the position was filled already?

Now I don’t have an issue if they didn’t really want me.  Doesn’t bother me overmuch.  I have had to handle a boatload of rejection from a boatload of places over the last few years trying to get back on my feet and land a full time permanent job.

I have an issue with them telling me they would like to interview me, then disappearing and not responding to an e-mail I sent in regards to the first e-mail they sent; then saying the woman in charge was busy and could not talk, but drop me a line if you don’t hear anything by the end of the day; then when I do that today they say, sorry, she’s still busy but the position has been filled; then seeing the same position listed as open, the one I wanted to interview for, which I was told was filled open on the same website I had found the previous posting on with today’s date on it, meaning they are still looking for people to fill that position.

THAT is why I am bent out of shape.

I really do try to be professional, but if you don’t want me around, just say so.  I can take a hint, really I can.

What I think happened was a simple foul up on their side.  I probably have a file there, I’m sure all the temps who worked there before do, and my name like many others probably has a big red flag next to it that says “Pro-Union; do not interview” or “Former employee; do not re-hire” or some such on it and someone missed that and saw my resume and liked it and made a common sense hr decision namely “His resume looks good, let’s see if he can fit here”

But did not see the flag.  Can’t blame the kid for that, and I can’t see a possibility of me not ending up angry or confused or both about it no matter what they did.  I dislike the fact that…

that…

Well, they led me on.  Which is antisocial and rude, bound to get you talked about in all the wrong circles for all the wrong reasons… in a perfect world.  Which this clearly isn’t.  Or else I wouldn’t even have been looking for work with them, and I would be secure in my finances and in my world.

I’d go to the better business bureau but I don’t know what I’d say, or what they’d say, or if it would matter a damn to them, or anyone but me.

The end.  I’d give you a better ending but you only get really good endings in fiction.  The real world doesn’t give you the endings you want, you get what you get.

Moral of the story;  Expect something, receive nothing is the way of the world.

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That’s it from here, America.  See you around sometime.  More jobs to look for.  There’s one out there for me somewhere.

Looking

Pic of the day:  Martin Luther King, Jr. showing his medallion received from Mayor Wagner (1964)

Martin_Luther_King_Jr_with_medallion_NYWTS

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Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.

Martin Luther King Jr., Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story (1958)

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You read Martin Luther King Jr’s words, both the ones above and a thousand just like them, the message and the thoughts they both express and represent and you have to wonder how far have we come as a people, as a nation?

Looking at things like last years Trayvon Martin case and myriad others like it, I see a nation that still has a major problem with racism.

Looking at the Newtown tragedy and the myriad others like it, I see a nation that still has a problem with guns.

Looking at district attorneys hunting kids who download files like they robbed a bank and hounding them to the point that they commit suicide while letting employees at banks that defrauded their customers and stole billions from them walk without a day of jail time, I see a nation that has a real problem with justice.

Looking at the NDAA, government actions against Occupy and the like, I see a nation that still wants to hold its people down.

So when we look at our world and wonder what has changed, you can truthfully answer “Not much.”

For all he did, all he tried to do, all the good that he spread with his message, you can truthfully answer “Not much.”

But we keep trying.  We’ll make it better eventually.  It’ll happen.

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Looking for work.

Went on an interview yesterday.

It went well.

But it will take time before they call me.

So I sit at home, waiting for a phone call.

And I keep looking for work.

And there is not really that much.

At least not in the fields that I am looking in.

But I keep trying.

Looked for a bit today.

Nothing.

Dammit.

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

To The Unknown Voice

Pic of the day: To The Unknown Voice, by Vassily Kandinsky

396px-To_the_Unknown_Voice

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Do not think dishonestly.
The Way is in training.
Become acquainted with every art.
Know the Ways of all professions.
Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
Develop intuitive judgment and understanding for everything.
Perceive those things which cannot be seen.
Pay attention even to trifles.
Do nothing which is of no use.

Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings; Book of the Earth

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Belly full, eyes half opened and half closed for much of the night. Ignoring the football games, there’s nothing going on there that I wasn’t expecting, and I don’t particularly care about the teams that are playing. A night of calmness and relaxation.

Thinking much on work and money this weekend. There has not been any work since October. That isn’t any good. I was expecting to have started work at the place I worked at last year. I was expecting to start last week. Haven’t heard word one from them about work. Unemployment doesn’t pay enough to cover the bills. My efforts to find even a scrap of work have been utter failures, and it is frustrating.

But for all of that, I am a fortunate man. I got a call, completely out of the blue by a company I haven’t dealt with in I cannot tell you how long. They have a few potential openings at a few places. Three or four is what I was told. How much will these potential jobs pay? I have no idea. Don’t care either. I need a job, I need cash so I can be a productive human again. I haven’t been for a while, and that is a bad habit to be in.

Without that call out of the blue, I am not sure what I wold do with myself this week. Seems to me that I am hitting desperation time monetarily.

Well, I’m not being entirely truthful. It has been desperation time for the better part of two months. If not for the kindness of a certain person who shall remain nameless, I would not have had enough money to make rent for the last two months.

Now all I have to do is figure out a way to get my printer to work and print out my resume. Wish me luck!

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That’s it from here, America. G’night.

Which Days?

Pic of the day:  In The Clove, by Jasper Cropsey

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Human beings are unable to be honest with themselves about themselves. They cannot talk about themselves without embellishing.

Akira Kurosawa

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Viddy of the day:  Death –  Trapped in a Corner (Live in Eindhoven 1998) (High Quality)

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Had my final day on the job today for the year.  I used up all my time there for the year, and can’t work there again until January.  Had a good day as well.  Busy as hell, and I busted my ass today too.  That felt good.

I know, I know, I go on endlessly about work.

About the lack of it.

But ya know, this time I kind of did this myself.  In early September I was told I had about 30 days worth of work left for the year, and was told I could work those final days however I wanted, a little bit at a time over the length of the year, or as much as possible as fast as possible.  I went with the second.

And ya know what?  I think I did it right.  If I did this the other way, lil bit at a time, I would never had had the money to pay bills, and would have been under considerable financial stress all year long.  Not to mention it would be really difficult to look for another job while having an uncertain schedule.  “3 days work a week, but which days?”  makes for a not knowing what days I can do an interview.  The other way I know which days I’m working, and as a consequence which ones I’m not, and can schedule interviews for the off days.

And it looks like I will have another interview soon, due to talking to shippers where I worked until the end of today (and should I not land anywhere before January, where I will be again after January.)

I had a great time working for the people I worked with.  And I hope I end up working with a crew as good as the crew I worked with this year.

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Repeat after me:  Paul Ryan got his ass kicked last night. Knew Super Joe could handle Ryan. Go Joe!

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Repeat after me:  The Orioles bats were weak all week, and even with some insanely good pitching, still could not beat Raul Ibanez and the New York Yankees.  Gotta play Raul every day against the Tigers. Every day.

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That’s it from here, America.   G’night.

You Don’t Need to Know but I’m Telling You Anyway

Pic of the day: Peulik Volcano and Lake Becharof in Becharof National Wildlife Reserve, Alaska

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Idiot, n. A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling. The Idiot’s activity is not confined to any special field of thought or action, but “pervades and regulates the whole.” He has the last word in everything; his decision is unappealable. He sets the fashions and opinion of taste, dictates the limitations of speech and circumscribes conduct with a dead-line.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

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Mitt Romney is ahead in the polls.  Looks like I was right when I said that this thing is far from over two weeks ago.  The man seems to have gotten a bump from not just his debate win last week but also his moving his message to the middle, taking it from the far right.  He is doing message wise much of what Obama did in 2008, moving his message to the middle in order to get votes from moderates.

I don’t particularly have a problem with him doing that.  What I do have a problem with is the fact that his message until now has been so far from that moderate viewpoint that I cannot believe that it is genuine.  When Obama made his move to the middle 4 years ago it was not nearly as far of a stretch.  He was despite being called the most liberal man in the senate back then, he was actually pretty moderate in his senate voting record.  You can look that up yourself if you like.

With all that said, all the events that have occurred do not mean that Romney has this thing wrapped up either.  Obama, like Romney has a large base of voters that will vote for him simply because of the party he is affiliated with.  Between the two of them they get approximately 90% of the population that way.  It’s that last 10% that makes the difference in the election.  And it is that last 10% that will make of break the next few weeks.

Romney got them looking in his direction by being a great CEO at the debate.  Obama played professor and lost.  If Obama turns on the juice and shows what he can do, like he did in the debates in 2008, He’ll do much to fix the damage he did to himself in that debate.

It doesn’t help Romney that he had to roll back several things that he said in the debate because they were lies.

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Politics, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

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Two more days of work for the year.  After Friday I won’t be back there until January 2013, because that is the way the contract that the union signed with the company I work for says it must.  I don’t mind, I’d like full time work there though.  Happy to have worked there for as long as I have, and hopeful that next year will bring me permanent employment there.  But I am out on my ass for now, and looking for work.

I’ll find something.

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Writing every day putting story ideas together for Nanowrimo.  I’m gonna do that for 3 or 4 more days then find a story that is the most interesting and outline that for a week or two and then write it.  Lots of political and sci-fi and horror story ideas bouncing around my evil head.  Wonder if I should do a mix of several of them, or even mix all three.  Damn that would be weird, and obtuse, and not just a little fun.

I’ll keep you posted.  Cause I’m like that.  You don’t need to know but I’m telling you anyway.

So there.

😛

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And I’m telling you something else.

FUCK ROMNEY, VOTE FOR ME!  A vote for me is a vote against the established Republican order!  I promise that my first job when I become your Lord and Master President  is to repeal the law of gravity and to make Mexico illegal!

If I need to appoint a supreme court justice, I’ll pick some multimillionaire lawyer well known judge who is a real dick  a pillar of society and put him on the payroll make him the pick.  That’s what everyone else does, so why the hell not?

I will repeal Obamacare and replace it with FuckyoucareFuckyoucare is a proposal whose main point is simple.  Get sick? FUCK YOU!  Can’t pay your insurance premiums? FUCK YOU!  Need a break? FUCK YOU! Insurance companies are more important than you are.  Don’t like it? FUCK YOU!

I also promise to lie cheat steal, and fuck over as many people as I possibly can and make as much money for me and people who know me as I possibly can.  Why? Because I am an honest man!  I tell you that up front because I don’t want you thinking that the President is a good guy and then you find out later he’s a hater who just wanted to take advantage of you!  No conspiracy!  No bullshit!  The truth!

Vote Walsh/Some Other Fucking Lunatic 2012!

Plus Romney likes Mondays, that idiot (note definition above.)

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

Bit Of An Obsession

Pic of the day:  Autumn, by Guiseppe Archimboldo

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Who said I was wise? I’m a professional bad example. You can learn a lot by watching me. Or listening to me. Either one.

Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

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I’m just a man, just an ordinary man.   I work when I can.  When I can seems to me all the time, so I work seemingly every day, every hour I’m awake.  Work at something.  At home, when at my job, wherever I am.  Work is a man’s life it seems to me, and all life should have some element of toil in it.  A man who does not sweat every day is not a man, he’s a boy playing at manhood.

Politics is as important as oxygen, so I take an interest.  I’m a liberal, but I don’t know that that matters all that much.  Liberal to my mind means that caring enough about people to put the needs of others who need help ahead of my own needs. It means that government has a place in the everyday life of men and women.  It means all people are important, not just people who look like me or talk like me or think like me.  Society is too overfull of people who are different from me to think any differently.  And if caring for those who cannot do for themselves means life costs a little more, then so be it.  We’re all in this together, we help one another along or we all fall together.

I was taught to care about people growing up, and I see no reason to stop that now that I’m an adult.  And no I don’t think that conservatives don’t care, but I simply could not hold those political views and speak about caring about people and mean it.

I pay my taxes and I expect them to buy something.  Something good for the people.  Feed someone who would otherwise not be able to eat, shelter someone who would otherwise be homeless.  I don’t want to pay a ton in taxes and not see any good done.  And there are plenty who abuse the system, but there are plenty who need the help.  I will not complain about helping those who could help themselves if those who need help are helped.  Better to help those who need help and some who don’t then to leave everyone high and dry to insure no one abuses the system.  That is inhumane.

That is wrong.

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Man, as a social animal, can no more escape government than the individual can escape bondage to his bowels.

Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

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I don’t want to see my taxes pay to kill my own people.  Iraq went on too long, but that war is thankfully over. Afghanistan has gone on too long, and we’ll be out of there soon enough, and that is great.  We pay too much for defense.  Who are we defending ourselves from?  Where is the threat?  Terrorism is a threat but not enough of one to justify our defense spending.

Or our insane security complex.  Our rights get trampled there daily.  We have rights, or we should.  But the law allows warrantless wiretaps.  The courts have been circumvented to protect us.  From what, terrorism?  Hell no, it is to make sure we don’t stray from the path those who run the industry want us to walk.

And it will be a cold day in Aruba before I let that go unopposed.  I am secure in my person.  I need no security apparatus to help me there.  We had apparatus already in place that did the job, and did it at less cost and was equally effective. Our security apparatus has not made us more secure, it has made us broke when we have no money.

I have no money either, but I never have.  Doesn’t bother me overmuch.  Poverty, or more aptly put the constant feeling that I have nothing has shaped much of my mindset about the world around me.  It has guided my thoughts about security, about people, about the constitution and the law and taxes, about terrorism and our military, about work and all that goes with all of the above.

And all that is important.  But I tell you this; none of it matters, not a single belief makes a shit of difference if I can’t keep my wife and myself fed and sheltered.  All my strength means not a damn thing if I don’t have enough money coming in to pay the bills.  And with work coming to an end sometime in the next week or two has me thinking much on the thoughts of survival.  It’s a bit of an obsession with me.

Beliefs are important, but money and work are the most important things in this society, and therefore are the most important things to me, for without them I cannot live, so I work.  When I can.  It starts and ends with work.  And work is ending soon.

I’ll make it, just wish it was a hair easier.

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

Never Enough

Pic of the day:  Lost in the Storm, by Richard Ansdell

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With despair, true optimism begins: the optimism of the man who expects nothing, who knows he has no rights and nothing coming to him, who rejoices in counting on himself alone and in acting alone for the good of all.

Jean-Paul Sartre, Characterizations of Existentialism

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The end is nigh!…  or at least personally closer than it appeared before I woke up this morning at any rate.  I got news that I had about 30 working days left at my job some time in August, I don’t remember the day to be honest.  The reason I had only 30 days left was because the place I work at gives non permanent employees a maximum of 128 working days per year to work.  This keeps them from being a serious threat to the job security of the permanent employees, as I recall.

Well today I went through my days with a fine tooth comb.  And when I say went through my days I mean went through my total hours and extrapolated the amount of days I had worked from them.  If the number isn’t exact, it is at the very least close.  A paycheck with 35.75 hours on it meant I worked 5 days that pay period, 60 hours meant 8 days and so on.  According to that metric, I have been paid for a total of 120 days.

Meaning I have 8 days of work left on this particular job.  But it gets better.  I worked 3 days last week, and have one day on the schedule this week.  Meaning at best I have 5 days left, 4 if you count next Tuesday.

Did I mention that because I measured hours and not listed work days that my numbers may be off? Oh good.

Well, this is how I asked them to do it. To give me as many days worked as possible up front.  And I asked them to do it that way for a reason, and it is a pretty basic one.  I need as much money as I can get, as this is my only job.  It does me no good to work one or two days a week and barely squeak by.  I need to work every possible day I can and get as much money in the coffers as is possible.

Not that it would be a lot, but it is the difference between having enough money to keep food on the table until I can find another job (or until next year comes around and I can maybe get back in temping where I am now) or linger, just barely making enough to live, or more likely not making enough to live but keep working in drips and drabs.

A quick end is preferable to a slow one, I guess.

And as much as this is the way that I asked things to be done, it still feels like having a scab ripped off of a wound.  It hurts like hell and I am not in the least happy about it.  I had hoped I would impress these people enough that I would get a permanent job.  But the list is full, they don’t need anyone, so I am flat out of luck that way.  Hopes crushed.  I had hoped after I found out that the list was full that by sending out resumes that I would be able, to use an oft used term “hit the ground running” and make a seamless transition from one job to another without a break in between.  I’ve sent out the resumes.  Crushed again.  No one has bitten yet.

Yet.

I will keep trying because I have to, because I have no choice.  There is no success without effort, and I have been giving it my best for quite a while.  Like flotsam and jetsam I float along on the currents of the job market, pushed this way and that by forces beyond my control, but with the tide, with every new job opportunity I return to try to make landfall, trying to get that full time job, claw my way onto safe dry ground again after years of being adrift.  For everything I do, I feel like it is never enough.  I do everything I can do, same thing I have done for years on end.  It’s all I can do.

And it is insanity to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.  But it is the only thing to do, I must wait for the world to change, for some outside force to alter it’s course and come to me.  I can only do what I do, send out resumes and hope, dress my best, put my bravest face and biggest smile forward and persevere, keep on keeping on.

Hope springs eternal.

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.