I’ve been looking for work for the last since I graduated college three months ago. I’m really, seriously, hardcore down to my last dollar. I havn’t been able to pay for food for months (living off charity, and whatever food my boyfriend brings home) and this is the first month where I havn’t been able to pay rent and my boyfriend has made it pretty clear that he’ll kick me out of the house if I can’t pay for much longer. The other day I got a craving for a Mountain Dew and it dawned on me that I havn’t bought a soda since school was in because I don’t have the fifty cents to spare. I’m out of money.
Last week I went to every minimum wage employer within walking distance (a few dozen) and gave them neatly typed up application, well-written resumes and individualized cover letters. I’m a competent college graduate. Most these places are looking for someone that can show up on time and has a brain larger than a walnut. I got a couple interviews. I also got an interview for a position that I am actually qualified for, given by people I know personally, which would pay just enough for me to get by. All the interviews went great. The one for the job that would use my degree went especially well.
As you can guess, I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get any of the minimum wage jobs I applied to either.
If I can’t get a fucking minimum wage after actively looking for three months, how the fuck am I going to live? I went to college. I did the right thing. I’m looking at the bottom of the barrel and there still isn’t anything for me. I’ve given up on jobs with a future. I’ve given up on jobs that would allow me to pay rent while eating more than beans. I’ve given up on thinking that my degree, past work experience and general on-the-ballness counts for anything. I just want to work at fucking Taco Bell because I am sick of being hungry and I am sick of sitting on my ass all day with nothing to do but feel sorry for myself.
I can’t even get the kind of job that teenagers get so that they can buy more clothes from the mall. I can’t figure out why nobody want to hire me. And I really, seriously, don’t know how I’m going to survive if I am unhireable in even the lowest paying, most unskilled labor there is.
Have you talked to your university’s placement office? The one at my school offers resume help, interview practice, and has a bank of jobs open. They’ll also help alumni after graduation. I’m sure one of their people can help you, and help you get over whatever hurdles you’re presenting in getting a job.
You don’t send out neat resumes with cover letters to fast food joints. The manager (who is probably not a college grad themselves) won’t know what to do with it - and will think you are stuck up, over qualified, and won’t want to smile and say “would you like fries with that.”
Fill out the application. Don’t mention your BA. Don’t submit a resume or a cover letter.
Exhibit the behavior expected for the job you want to get. When that is a minimum wage job, you don’t mention how forward you are looking to grad school.
Have you given any thought to … military service? When I was in your shoes (living in Seattle–suicide capital of North America) and had finally had enough I went down to tease the guys in the recruiting station. I selected the Army–got into the MI-Linguist field, did 4 years–2 of which were in the lovely Presido of Monterey just accross the bay fom you and the other 2 in Georgia.
I opted for the Student Loan Repayment program rather than the GI bill. Unloaded $10k just by leasing my soul to the gubmint.
I considered it an alternative to suicide. Actually, I wouldn’t have considered it at all, but I rented Joe vs the Volcano & got all inspired. If you go into the service with a degree you come out of Basic Training with rank (which translates roughly into…money). I could go on about my experience in the service, but I would sound like an advertisement. Suffice to say, it was a good steady and secure job for 4 years, it got me back on my feet and was all around a good experience. I’ve been out now for 7 years and I can still recognize how I apply my Army lessons to daily living.
Even Sven, as I’ve said before. . . go to Asia. You can teach English with only a BA. Schools in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, will hire you to teach with pre-set curricula. Korean schools will even pay your airfare upfront. You can save money, get work experience in a foreign setting, and learn new languages and cultures.
You do not need to know the local languages because only English is allowed in the classroom. You can save money if you are thrifty, and you will be close enought to toher countries like Thailand and the Philippines to travel during holidays like Chusok/Eighth Moon, Golden Week (Japan), and Lunar New Year.
Go to eslcafe.com for job listings and e-mail me if you have any questions.
I don’t believe that there are no dead end jobs that won’t hire you. You have a pulse. That means that they will hire you. Trust me on this one.
I think you need to “dress down” for these dead end jobs. Go in wearing a t-shirt and jeans and mention high school and “some college,” but don’t talk about your degree.
I have applied for jobs where the other applicants are wearing tank tops and thongs—and they got hired. Not that I suggest you start wearing tank tops and thongs, but I hope you get the point. Don’t behave or dress in a way that will seem “odd” to them. If everyone who works there has no resume and wears jeans and t-shirts, do that too.
I think TX is faring much better, there are quite a few “help wanted signs” being displayed in fast food chains here. The Dallas/Ft.Worth area is booming with construction. I think pojections are that it will double in population by the year 2030. What skills do you have? The Dallas Morning News classified might be worth checking out if you considered moving out of CA. Is there any family member that you can count on until you get back on your feet since your boyfriend doesn’t seem to be of much help?
I agree with several other statements in here. Although many have a tendency to “write off” the people and managers in fast food, many of them are sharp people, who might be looking at you and thinking “Hmm…new college grad, as soon as anything better comes along, they’re out of here and leaving me in the lurch.” Not that that isn’t true for nearly everyone, but putting down your degree and so forth might not be the best policy at that level of work. You can probably legitimately put down “student” and not hurt your morals too much, especially if you are considering graduate school…
Isn’t it sad and pathetic that Managers in fast food really expect to keep employees for ever. Maybe the world would be a better place if it was accepted that those kinds of jobs were transitional and not careers.
I tried applying to these minimum wage positions before without all the fancy paperwork, and that didn’t work. The nice applications netted me a couple interviews, so I had someone to talk to for a couple hours at least.
I’m a pacifist and raving near-commie, so the military is not such a good idea. I’m still about halfway done with my peace corps application…
I wrote to a bunch of teaching English abroad places tonight. I really want to go to grad school soon, so I’m not sure if I can commit to a year anywhere. I’m just not sure what I am willing to do with my life, and I’m a little loathe to give up everything (the boyfriend isn’t that bad- he just can’t afford $1,100 in rent every month alone for much longer) just because the job market is a bit tight.
Mostly I’m bummed about that one job. It seemed to go so well- they were smiling and shaking my hands and talking as if I had the job after the interview. I really was just about perfectly qualified. I don’t even want to think about how I didn’t get it.
So thanks for the good wishes. I hear they are hiring waitresses tommorow somewhere downtown. Waitressing has been something I’ve been aspireing to for a while (a little unbelievable, considering waitressing is what my mom did when she was busting her ass to get me a good education and out of the ghetto, but whatever) so maybe I can get that.
Hey even sven, I’m in the same boat as you! I hate living in Los Angeles. There are no jobs here. You already graduated college and I’m still working on my B.A. in Biology. I went to a technica lcollege before “real” college and got a pharmacy technician certification. That has got me nowhere. I’m thankful to live with my parents, but the charity is wearing off. I’m 20 yrs old and have only had 1 paying job which was McDonald’s at the age of 15. Don’t laugh! I’ve tried and tried. I’ve been trying since 2002 for a job. That’s right. 1 AND a half years with out finding a job! I’m deeply depressed. I’ve even thought about suicide because I don’t have the basic money to support myself if my parents cut me off or kicj me out. I’ve tried everything there is…Petsmart, taco Bell, mall jobs…or whaterver. This is after I lowered my standards however. I first started applying to hospitals, Rite-Aid, Wlagreens, based on my pharmaceutical experience and medical terminology classes i took. I’m getting nowhere fast. Is it this bad in other states. California is the toughest state for everything. The laws are hard, driving is crap, no jobs, bad housing! I’m thinking of studying abroad in England. I hope you at least get a job because it doesn’t look like I’m getting one anytime soon!
OK, I hate to rain on the pity parade here, but anyone who’s been paying any attention to the Pit the last few months knows that even sven had a job that she quit because her boss behaved weirdly.
The first time she complained about having no money, she said that the guy she used to work for wanted her back.
I told her that I no longer felt she was entitled to whine about being broke when someone out there wants to pay her money in exchange for her labor and she decided not to take the deal.
Remember, the guy was just being kinda strange, he wasn’t abusing her or anything.
even sven, I know people may jump on me for this, but I don’t really feel sorry for you at all. You turned down a job because you didn’t like it very much, and now you’re whining about not having money . . . . again. Sheesh.
Hey even sven, maybe you could try a temporary job placement agency. I went to one and took some skills tests, filled out a ton of info, took more tests, furnished proof i can work in the U.S. and they didn’t find me a damn job, but maybe that is something for you.
Try babysitting friends kids or the neighbors kids. Ask around to cut lawns, wash cars if you are truly truly desperate.
Go to college or high school job posting boards or ask counselers for jobs.
Keep pounding the pavement and try try try even if you have to look every waking moment.
Wearing his bathrobe (with nothing under it) to work. Calling me five or six times a day at all hours and talking for an hour at a time when there was no work to be done. Making me sit and watch him eat. Inviting me on vacations with him.
That is, when he wasn’t forcing me to abuse sales people or yelling (with a fully raised voice) at me for not being able to do the ill-defined impossible tasks he set forth before. He reduced me to tears over and over again. My only job at that point was to be alternately leered at and yelled at. My webjournal from that period mentions things like “If I still hate this job in two weeks, I’ll kill myself to get out of it”.
In my month or so working for him, I saw three people quit, some quite spectacularly.
I finally quit when he talked about his plan to beat up security guards so he could go to court and tell his delusional conspiracy theory about how the hosiptal killed his father to a judge. I was in charge of finding a lawyer for this.
If I wanted a dangerous, creepy situation, I could go on the “erotic services” section of craig’s list and get paid a lot more. I’m sure a few of those guys would certainly exchange my labor for some money…which isn’t seeming like the worst idea in the world right now.
TaxGuy, I know from your posts that you’re a hard-ass, and not very compassionate, so I guess I’m not surprised.
But I think “acting wierdly” is an understatement. If you’re talking about this thread.
How would YOU feel about a boss who called you his “research assistant” and instead got you to run personal errands all day, ones you’re not even qualified for, such as planning a stranger’s birthday party.
What about a boss who never let you know what was expected of you? Who would yell at you for not being able to read his mind?
Whose inconsistent expectiations and unreasonable demands were so stressful that they made you cry? Who thought it was perfectly reasonable to get you to harass other people until they got snippy with you?
I know that this isn’t the first time even sven has brought this problem here. And my mother tells a story about the women in the Native community she worked with, how when a woman would bring a certain problem to the Circle for the third time, everyone would just turn their backs to her because it was obvious she wasn’t really interested in fixing her problem.
But I don’t think sven should be blamed for quitting that particular job. I’ve worked for yahoos before. And I know you’re a big tough guy who’s in favour of child labour and all that, but some of us are more sensitive. Some of us just can’t “suck it up” when we’re being mistreated and terrorized, especially by people we’re aiming to please.
I know I promised not to whine more. But I’m really devestated about this job. It was with the same department I just graduated from, doing work I’ve done before, with equiptment I know intimately and people who I’ve considered to be friends. The interview was spectacular. I thought for sure I’d get it and finally be able to see a future.
I’ve been looking for a temp agency in town, and it doesn’t seem like there is one. But there is one a few towns over, which is where I’ll head Monday. I’ve also cultivated an “in” as counter help at a local restraunt. None of my other “Ins” have gotten me anywhere (apparently a neat and well written application, nice resume with relevent work experience, completely open schedule with willingness to work nights weekends overnight etc, and a referral from a respected employee with seniority isn’t enough to get me a job as a bagger at a supermarket that is hiring- who the hell are they hiring? People with ten years of bagging experience?) We’ll see. I’ll let you guys know as soon as I hear some good news.