Friday, March 29, 2013

The rant I've been avoiding all week...

It's been a busy week around here. I've had meetings at CVP, and I've been working on my book project, and a couple of other things. And so, I haven't had much time to write anything here.

But, that's not my excuse for being absent from here for most of the week.

No, my excuse is that I've been in a foul mood and everything I've thought about writing to post has been more rant than post. Since it's Spring Break week, at least around here, I didn't really want to subject you to all that. However, we had a discussion in the meeting I was in yesterday that I just have to say a few things about.

As you know if you've read here very much, I'm currently out of paying work and looking for a job. As part of that, I participate at Central Valley Professionals/Experience Unlimited, which provides seminars, workshops. and networking opportunities for professionals who are looking for work. Well, at my committee meeting yesterday, we started talking (again, as usual) how difficult it is to find work if you are not, well, perfect. If you are not young, employers don't want to hire you. If you've ever had any sort of medical problems or conditions, employers don't want to hire you. If you aren't already employed, employers don't want to hire you - some companies have actually started putting in their job announcements that only the employed need apply.

And god forbid if you're like me, and are both over fifty and have an existing medical condition - arthritis, in my case. Add to that being a woman, and the chances of being hired by any corporation are essentially nil. This is true, no matter how qualified for the job you are, how much experience you have (and, in truth, having experience can work against you - one of the members of my committee just got turned down for a job because he has too much experience), and how reliable you are.

It occurred to me, thinking about the conversation we had in the meeting, that the corporations are putting themselves in the position of essentially deciding if people are worthy to have a place in society at all.


If you can't get a job, you can't earn any money, and without money you cannot participate in society. And, heaven forbid you ask the government for help once all your savings run out as you try to keep a roof over your head and food on your table, much less take care of any family you have. If you ask for that help, then you are labeled as a leech who just wants handouts and is too lazy, stupid, and immoral to work. No matter that you lost your job through no fault of your own because the economy crashed and your employer had to eliminate your position. No matter that you are actively looking for work in a region where unemployment is twice the national average and you've already spent all your savings and can't afford to travel or relocate to look for work in other areas, and couldn't afford to move even if you got a job out of your area. It's all your fault, and you don't deserve another chance.

Do I sound bitter?

Well, yes, I suppose I do. And I'm not going to apologize for that. I didn't do anything wrong. My mother got very ill and I had to take care of her. Because of the nature of her illness, she needed someone with her on a 24-hour-per-day basis. This lasted for several years. There was no money to hire someone or put her in a facility, and so I was the one who had to be there for her. I do not regret doing this. I was lucky enough to find a job that allowed me to work from home, and so I was able to work part-time while not being able work outside the home. After my mother had to go into a facility because her illness had reached the point where I could no longer take care of her, and after she died, I kept that job because I couldn't find anything else. But, eventually, the economy got so bad that my position was eliminated.

So, besides the strikes against me that I described above, I had been working essentially on my own - because I was a private contractor, I am considered to have been self-employed even though I was doing all my work for one company. And, it seems, many companies don't want to hire people who have been self-employed. I'm not sure why that is. I thought that getting up every morning at six a.m. in order to meet my daily deadline, and doing this without a boss looking over my shoulder, even though I am not a morning person, day in and day out over a period of years proved that I was reliable, could take the initiative, and was resourceful. Apparently, though, that's a bad thing today in corporate America.

I guess I just don't understand.

I will apologize for venting here. I've been trying so hard this week not to rant. But, you know, it gets really frustrating sometimes when people treat you like you're a leper or something over things that you have no real control over.


Audrey Humaciu said...

And the sad thing is, even though this isn't supposed to happen based on federal law, it does. And it is near impossible to prove.

littlemissattitude said...

Yes, we were discussing that aspect of it at CVP, as well.

I've been spending a lot of time recently trying to figure out how to do something to change this. I figured giving in and blogging about it, even though it is a bit of a rant, was a good place to start.


siliconshaman said...

It's the same here in the UK. If you've been unemployed for even a couple of weeks the odds of getting a new job go way down... and most of the politicians who are also [ex]businessmen seem to have the view that if you're of no use to industry, then you have no right to even live.

Ravan Asteris said...

Ah, yes, the Randroid "libertarian" ideal of "survival of the fittest", in the most immoral, reprehensible and ugly way.

There have been many times in my career that I have been able to write the same rant, and have ranted the same rant about the ugly catch-22 to my friends.

There is no magic fix. Not until enough people get sick and tired of being disposable and *make* things change will it change. And by "enough" I mean damn near everyone will have had to go through the humiliation and stress of being deemed "useless" by corporatized society. Plus, they will have to remember having been screwed even if they do gain power. I fear it may get a lot worse before it gets better.

I've been let-go/laid off/downsized etc so many time that I've lost count. I still have 15 - 20 years of work to go before I start shopping for dog food.

Priscilla King said...

Join the club. I admitted I was self-employed at 22 and have been running with it ever since. My Blogspot is supposed to be by, for, and about the self-employed writer/artisan/whatever life. Feel free to check it out. One day we'll be able to pay writers.

littlemissattitude said...

Thank you for all of your comments. And thanks to those of you who are boosting the signal. I'm realizing that if those of us who are in this particular place don't start shouting louder than those who are trying to marginalize us for being...what?...not them?...we aren't going to turn attitudes around.


Priscilla King said...

Thanks for your comment on my post. As noted (now), the cowardice I was calling out was that of the person who prefers to label our anger rather than supporting our cause.

littlemissattitude said...

That was my assumption, Priscilla. However, I wanted to own that I've been too much of a coward to speak up on this issue and some others, and that I'm now getting angry enough to overcome being afraid of what might happen if I do speak out.