by Hans Wienhold
Editor’s Note: All dollar figures in this article are listed in 2002 dollars.
I had a job once where I would interview a random sampling of people to get information about their labour market participation. A number of respondents were welfare recipients.
One of the questions the respondents were asked was, “Have you done anything to find work in the last X number of weeks or so?” Many of the respondents answered “No.” If they answered “No,” they would then be asked why not. Here are some of the reasons respondents gave for not seeking work. I have included some advice for circumventing these obstacles should any of these responses match your own thinking on the issue.
Question: Have you done anything to find work in the last X number of weeks or so?
Answer #1: I don’t have enough education.
Don’t have enough education for what? To look for a job or to obtain a position in the upper reaches of the corporate hierarchy? God grant me the wisdom to know the difference, it says in a well-known prayer. Face it. If you can’t program your digital watch it’s unlikely you’ll find work in the Management Information Systems division of some corporation. However, you ought to be able to wash dishes in a restaurant.
Don’t know how to write a proper will or power of attorney? Then law is probably out of the question. Lower your sights a wee bit. Maybe you could learn to operate a spray gun and get a job in a car wash.
Answer #2: I have a bad back
So do millions of people who have jobs. Avoid seeking the kinds of jobs that require a strong back. If you have a bad back then working for a furniture moving company is probably a bad idea. Consider instead going into security work.
Answer #3: I don’t have a car to get to the interviews.
Many people who don’t have a job find they don’t have a lot of other things. Like cars. Unless you have rich parents or benefactors you need to put the cart back in front of the horse. First you get the job. Then you buy a car.
Answer #4: I don’t have cab fare to get to the interviews.
Try taking a bus.
Answer #5: I don’t have bus fare.
Answer #6:I don’t have any shoes.
Try wrapping banana peels around your feet.
Answer #7: The last job I had was physically very hard. In order to ensure my body had enough fuel to keep up with the physical demands of the job I had to spend my entire paycheque on food. There was no money left over for anything else. (No, this did not come from one of the survey respondents, it came from an acquaintance of mine explaining why he had recently quit his job.)
That’s just a pile of fucking bullshit and you know it.
Finding a full-time job is a full-time job. Obviously if you have marketable skill, a stable work history, a good resume and covering letter you will increase your chances of finding that situation. On the other hand, if you lack skills, resume and a good work history your job hunt will be more difficult. Don’t despair. Opportunities abound here in the land of milk and honey.
Keep your powder dry and your pecker hard and you will find that job. Below you will find just a few suggestions that I have come to regard as very helpful in finding that job you desire:
Research: It is very helpful if you know something about the company you are applying to. This shows them you are interested in their business. To that end make sure you:
- Know what city, state/province and country the business is located in.
- Try to find out the name of the business.
- If possible, obtain a street address and postal/zip code.
- Find out if any good looking women work there.
- Whatever else you can think of
Stay up late at night. Stay in bed all day. Maybe a job will come floating by your bedroom window. Even if you don’t get a job this way you can always dream you are working (you won’t get paid though – and overtime is completely out of the question).
Get some jewelry, poke some holes through your nose, tongue and other parts of your body and attach the jewelry to the wounds.
Watch a lot of late-night TV. While it might not help you with your job search, it may help get your mind off being unemployed.
Wear clothes that are too big for you. The crotch of your pants should hang somewhere near your knees for guys. The pants should also be much too long so that you have to fold up the bottoms 7 or 8 times.
Don’t fold them too many times though. The bottoms of your pants should still drag along the ground and when you walk the heels of your running shoes should be protected from the ground by the bottom of your pants. This way when you walk through a pile of muck the heels of your shoes will stay clean.
Of course, you should be aware that if the heels of your shoes do remain clean then you are not walking the correct way. Correct walking involves dragging the heels along the mucky ground. If you are properly dressed dragging your heels will result in much of the muck being scooped up by your pant legs.
Girls should wear those pants that hang real low and show the top part of the ass. Girls should also make sure they have lots of cleavage showing. Guys, don’t forget to wear a baseball cap – sideways.
Bring your cell phone and arrange to have a friend call you up every two or three minutes to show how popular you are.
Always be aware of the value in networking. Hang around parking lots, malls, street corners and anywhere else you see other people with nose rings and baggy clothes hanging around.
Get to know these people and maybe they can provide you with a connection to a choice job. Remember, it’s not what you know but who you know that really counts.
If you get invited in for an interview be prepared. Try writing a list of questions you would like to ask and familiarize yourself with it. Some good questions might include but need not be limited to:
- How much vacation do I get?
- How long are the coffee breaks?
- How much is the pay?
- Are alcoholic beverages allowed on the job?
- Do I have to bring my own pillow or are they supplied?
- Are the chicks here good looking?
If you have long hair, get a haircut for Pete’s sake. Make sure the barber shaves most of your head down to the skin leaving only a few areas untouched to preserve that “splotchy” look.
If you really can’t stand the thought of getting a haircut at least dye your hair green or purple or something.
One indicator of extreme kewlness I observed just last summer involved guys going to a dance or nightclub carrying a workout towel. Most of the time they just left the towel wrapped around their necks with the open part at the front.
It always seems odd the way more than one person starts doing something no one ever thought of doing before…. like wearing a workout towel to a bar or a dance. Perhaps it is a way of stating for the benefit of the world at large that individuals so attired are in some important way part of some “IN” crowd.
It might be a good idea to carry a workout towel as well when looking for employment. In addition to demonstrating how kewl the wearer is it almost might suggest to potential employers that you have come prepared. After all, a workout towel could have numerous on-the-job applications such as:
- Waiters, waitresses and bartenders can use them to wipe tables etc.
- People employed in the automotive industry can use them to wipe off grease and oil.
- People employed in the health care delivery areas could use them to wipe noses and asses and clean up puke. After work they can go straight to a dance or nightclub fully prepared.
If these techniques don’t seem to bear fruit at first keep on trying! Perseverance pays off.
Don’t be afraid to lower your expectations somewhat. If you find you can’t get that $60,000 dollar a year job you had your sights on maybe you should aim for something somewhat more modest.
Consider opportunities in advertising or vacuum cleaner sales. There is always a demand for people who can wash dishes or cars, shovel slop on a pig farm or drive a taxi or deliver advertising materials. Some of these jobs can be very rewarding.
Give some thought to starting your own business if you think you have what it takes. Keep in mind that most small businesses don’t last. Here are just a few ideas for excellent small businesses that can be started with next to zero start-up capital:
- Sell flowers, chocolate bars, apples or pencils at the mall or on a street corner.
- Find a grocery store that forces people to pay a quarter to obtain a shopping cart. After people have loaded their groceries into their vehicles offer to take their shopping carts back to the shopping cart coral. You keep the quarter.
- Find a beer store and stand by the door. Open the door for customers coming and going. Have a paper cup handy.
- Sell dope.
Answer #8: I don’t know where the jobs are.
There are thousands of job vacancies out there. You can find them listed in the classified section of your local newspaper, on the internet and posted in government employment centers. Here are just a few examples of the wonderful employment opportunities advertised:
Truck driver helper. Move furniture. $7 per hour.
Multi Level Marketing – Someone trying to sell you something pretends he is looking to hire you. If you buy whatever crap he’s selling, like phone cards, or herbal supplements, or knives, or life insurance or internet advertising you turn around and try to sell the same shit to someone else by pretending you want to hire them.
Ride share/Food delivery: You work for close to minimum wage but you have to drive your own car all over Hell’s half acre to get to the delivery addresses. You think you are getting paid but you aren’t supposed to realize that the wear and tear you are putting on your vehicle will eventually consume most of your earnings.
I met a guy who told me he drove his own car for a courier company for $7.00 per hour. They would pay for his gas. He would put about 400 kilometers on his car in a shift. Estimating that it cost’s roughly 40 cents a kilometer to operate a vehicle these days this job was costing him about $160 per shift so he could earn $56 back. After about three months the guy quit the courier job.
Then the bills starting rolling in for car repairs. He had to sink about $3000 into his car practically rebuilding it. If he worked at this job for three months (about twelve weeks) for $7 per hour for a 40 hour week he would have been earning about $280 per week (before taxes and other deductions) or about $3360 over the whole twelve weeks. Subtract the three grand he had to sink into auto repairs and he is left with a grand total of $360.
Wow! All of that however would likely have been scooped up by the tax-man so this guy was quite literally working for nothing.
Even if he got to keep the $360 his actual hourly pay for twelve weeks works out to $360 divided by (twelve weeks times forty hours per week) equals $360 divided by 480 hours for a princely wage of $.75 (seventy five cents) per hour.
Well, try to look at it this way…. think of all the bananas you can buy for your weekly thirty bucks!
––Retired Taxi driver Hans Weinhold is listed in his biography as simultaneously a Welfare Recipient at Senior’s Welfare; Self-Employed; and also, a Climate Scientist at BS Detective Services. In 2002, when he researched and wrote this exhaustive primer on Employment Search Skills, he was writing under the name of Joe Schlockenblock. No one knows why.