Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Chickens,worms and snakes

Over the past two-plus years of un- or underemployment, I've been astounded by the degree of social regression that these hard times have brought on. This began with the epidemic of "career counselors" infesting the Internet, dispensing the same advice such people have been dispensing for 60 years. Whether for this reason or for others, gradually the worldview of people in business began to regress 50 to 60 years. It is true of employers, workers and unemployed alike. Those who haven't taken part in "self-help" groups for the out-of-work have not fully experienced the timidity, yes, the cowardice, of a large number of those out of work. And what do the "career counselors" do about this? Most of them enable gutlessness.

The item that especially vexes me is the growing mania over "no unemployed need apply" notices in help-wanted ads. This began with a pair of ads for blue-collar or no-collar jobs more than a year ago: right, just two. What may have begun as the aberrant behaviour of a redneck personnel manager then got pumped up by CNN and other media. One can scratch around and find anecdotes of the attitude of this loutish hiring manager and that. When one challenges the panicky unemployed and the enabling counselors to document their claims, they fall quickly back on the heart and soul of the urban legend:
"I heard it from the friend of a friend," or its infinite variations.

Bigotry against the unemployed (and especially the older unemployed) exists among certain people, and always will. To elevate a near-urban legend to this degree aids no one. It enables fear among the fearful, vindicates clueless counselors, and encourages employers to think such bias is a good idea.

Show me. Save these ads. Publish images of them, including the names of the employers and the date of the offending ad. But I forget, don't I? We have relapsed into an era in which the relationship of Dagwood Bumstead and Mr. Dithers has become representative, at least in the minds of too many people out of work. All the same, show me: fear makes repression possible.

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Blogger massmarrier said...

I likewise "enjoy" the cognate of ads wanting junior-level employees with extreme-experience/skill set requirements. That screams 1) we don't pay worth a damn, and 2) we figure a newbie who'll take a bag of dirt makes more sense than an unemployed pro. Sigh.

11:28 pm  
Blogger Uncle said...

I reached a new low in absurdity a couple of weeks back, when some recruiter in Bangalore called me with an urgent req for a doc $12 an hour. There's no need to embellish insanity.

11:39 pm  

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