The difficult task of job hunting is an unforgettable process

Paul Bixby

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I have never felt so useless in my whole life. Apparently I am unfit for employment. Every place I applied to in Macomb seems to have 30 applicants just like me, which is driving me crazy. I have not gone longer than three weeks without a job since I turned 16. Even prior to that I worked over the summer when school wasn’t in session. It has now been six weeks since my last day of work.

Coming from a middle-class family, I have known my whole life that everything you want must be earned through diligence and hard work. I have also learned to make do with what was available.

I have always felt that this was a good philosophy to live by; in fact, it’s the American work ethic: “Work hard and you will be rewarded.” This statement is often shown to be true.

Unfortunately, the inverse to this philosophy is proven true when no jobs are available. When I stepped down as news editor of the Western Courier, I thought to myself, “I am a good hard worker. I throw myself into any job I take, so I shouldn’t have any problem finding work.”

I should have known better but I didn’t. I even thought I could have standards, such as: nothing dealing with a lot of public interaction like retail, cashiering or food preparation (all of which I have done in the past).

I thought pizza delivery would be a perfect job. However, so did everyone else. I applied to all of the places in town that had signs posted, “Drivers Wanted.” Every place said they would call me to set up an interview and very few of them did.

The most frustrating part of the whole employment sham is the interview where the applicant puts on his best face and the interviewer tries to pretend he doesn’t see through it. Throughout the entire interview all I can think is, “Is what I am saying going to make him not want to hire me … Did I just blow it?”

Then when it is over, they shake your hand, tell you they think “You would make a fine addition to our company. We’ll call you soon.” Then they file your application and the other 30 like yours away until one of the four people in the “first-choice” pile withdraws or quits.

I didn’t get any of those jobs and by the time I realized I wasn’t going to get a delivery job, everyone else had finished hiring. So now, excluding the column you are reading, I am without a job, without money and with too much time on my hands.

I have applied to other places by now, but they are all going to call me too … at least they say they will.

So lately I have been sitting by the phone like a jilted prom date, waiting for a prospective employer to call back, every once in a while calling one myself and hearing them say they are still sorting and will call me back later.

I never understood before how my friends couldn’t find jobs because I have never really had that problem. I never knew what it was like to be waiting on a phone call from an employer and be angry because it wasn’t them or they turned me down. I wish I still didn’t.

OK, I have learned my lesson. I know that finding a job is difficult. Thank you all for the instruction … now you can call me.

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