Monday, November 30, 2009


This afternoon CNN came up with the answer for the unemployment blues in America. In less than fifteen minutes, simple: Facebook! If everyone who's lost a job would just say so on the pre-eminent social networking site and keep working that, others around the country would see their pleas for help and do something. There's no shame. Crisis fixed!

It's no surprise there are ninnies in the prominent chairs of the mainstream media. CNN's top simpletons in this particular bit were Ali Velshi and Campbell Brown. After asking how many people got jobs through Facebook, three or four anonymous answers were whipped out: One free-lance spot and two other full-time jobs, maybe. Problem solved, a two and a half minutes of good news. Chin up, unemployed. Just friend everyone you can on Facebook.

-- From March.

DD doesn't see Ali Velshi on CNN often, but when I do he always impresses as of the finest examples of Marie Antoinette-imitation in the mainstream media.

And that's a big squad packed with tough competition!

As for job searching over the weekend, a segment with Velshi and another anchor featured an 'economic expert' you'd cross the street to avoid. Recommending you do charity work for United Way while you're jobless, UW being the corporate charity synonymous with corruption.

You could be painting a house alongside that CEO who could give you a job, implied the expert. Yes, you could kiss that man's ring, kneel down, grovel, plead and slip him a bribe, too.

Years ago DD worked at a newspaper where the top brass were infamous for extorting underlings into supporting their United Way initiatives.

With Velshi and company, I always know I'll get something stupid, unimaginatively but insanely insulting to common sense, and wrong. He is the epitome of a journalist fugleman for Habsburg America.

In tribute, DD collected some spirit-numbing quotes taken from recent news stories, those which deliver the crucial info that to get ahead, you might have to find some way to reassure employers you're not overqualified for some job, any job.

In other way of looking at it, your new job is being jobless, in constant training to be some replaceable cog so you can once again find something which will pay very poorly but give you a sense of worth. For having the bad luck to be in a country where the wealthy get to give the economy the sack.

"Two years and 300 applications later, still no job. Three responses via e-mail, two phone calls, two interviews, but no job. He even was rejected by the Peace Corps. He was overqualified for most positions. It probably didn't help that he's over 40."

-- Modesto Bee, Many people getting desperate for any job

"Michael McKee, a psychologist at the Center for Integrative Medicine at Ohio's Cleveland Clinic, researches older worker employment issues. He explained what may have happened.

" 'We had an employer post a $13 per hour job and receive over 500 applicants. They culled out the overqualified and never looked beyond the first 100 applicants...'"

-- Arizona Republic

"Recruiters say experience is still valued, but the image of the older job seeker as overqualified and overpriced is still a hurdle to overcome.

"A study sponsored by the AARP found that the same resumes got more calls for interviews if they appeared to come from a 32-year-old than from a 57-year-old."

-- El Paso Times (Texas), in Time to develop a forged resume?

The next excerpts are particularly vile. They ran in the New York Times a month or so ago and seemed to ask readers to consider the plight of the prospective employer. They have so many resumes to sift through. And that's maddening and burdensome work, you bet.

"C.R. England, a nationwide trucking company, needed an administrative assistant for its bustling driver training school here. Responsibilities included data entry, assembling paperwork and making copies ... Ms. Ross had only a limited amount of time to sort through the resumes. While C. R. England has not been immune to the downturn, it has added significantly to its stable of drivers and continued to hire office staff members to support them. Ms. Ross was also trying to fill more than two dozen other positions.

"She dropped significantly overqualified candidates right away, reasoning that they would leave when the economy improved. Among them was a former I.B.M. business analyst with 18 years experience; a former director of human resources; and someone with a master's degree and 12 years at Deloitte & Touche, the accounting firm.

"Over the course of four days, Ms. Ross forwarded 61 resumes to Mr. Kelsey, while rejecting 210 others. The remainder never even got a look. Many were, in fact, never uploaded to the company's internal system because there were too many.

"To make the task easier, he decided they should be even more rigorous in ruling out anyone who appeared even slightly overqualified. Mr. Kelsey, an ardent New England Patriots fan, compared his personnel strategy to the team's everyman approach."

Yes, Tom Brady is certainly the best example of Mr. Everyman DD can think of. Everyman could easily marry Gisele Bundchen. And, why -- Bill Belichick and his half-a-million fine for cheating -- that's the most everyman thing, ever!

Naturally, with anyone possessing the intellect capable of making such a comparison, you'd expect them to come up with an equally stupid, tortured and insulting interviewing technique. And, indeed, this was the case. Mr. Kelsey of C. R. England, would -- it was explained -- ask an idiotic question having to do with sitting in the stands at a sporting event. So, now you know, the boss probably likes suck-ups who'll stand for anything while filling out digital forms and stacking paper, although the story didn't say that.

"Mr. Kelsey marched through many of his questions again. Then, trying to gauge her ability to be assertive among truck drivers, he added a new hypothetical: if she were in the stands at a baseball game and a foul ball came her way, would she stand up to try to catch it, or wait in her seat and hope it fell her way?

"The other finalist had said she would wait. But Ms. Block said immediately that she would jump up to grab it ... Mr. Kelsey decided he had found his hire."

"So how do you persuade a company to hire you if you are underqualified -- or overqualified -- for the job, and the laws of supply and demand are against you?

"If your only relationship with the company is electronic, via a job board or a posting, your chances are not good. H.R. people confronting hundreds of faceless online applications have one main goal: to weed out as many people as they can."

-- also from the New York Times

''They want experience but they want youth,'' said Steven Dembo, a photographer dressed in coat and tie ... ''They want a senior player at entry level pay,'' said Mark Roper, 50, an information technology specialist whose daughter had to move home and transfer to a local community college after he lost his job.

''I don't think they know what they want, the job description doesn't match the interview,'' said Pamela Robb, who was taking down Ms. Fink's tips on her laptop ...

"They [pose] questions Ms. Fink had no answers for. ''Why do they bring me in, then tell me I'm overqualified?'' asked Amy Studnitz, 59, a former accounting manager who made $68,000 in her last job.

''Can you say 'I don't have a weakness,' '' Ms. James, the contractor said. '''I'm just even-keeled'?''

''No, no,'' Ms. Fink said, ''you need a weakness that's not really a weakness -- they want to see you dance around the question.''

-- also from the New York Times, in a story about how even human resources department employees are finding themselves jobless

"Nowadays, he spends a lot of his time at Michigan Works!, the state agency that works with the unemployed, and in coping sessions like the 'Men Shit Outta Luck in Transition' classes at Oakland University or the 'Living with SquatLess' course at Macomb County's Michigan State University Extension Center. [In other words, branch college courses designed to make money off desperation while being politely cruel and intelligence-insulting at the same time.]

"You just hear 'no' a lot and learn what you can't do ... You're too overqualified to be a cable television installer and underqualified to be a biomedical engineer."

-- The Detroit Times

"On any given day, more than 100,000 adults are unemployed and looking for work in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. At least 70,000 more are overqualified in low-skill jobs - or so discouraged by the dismal job market that they've given up the hunt.

"As the recession drags on, this much becomes clear: Nothing less than the biggest retraining effort since the Great Depression will be needed to put out-of-work men and women back into meaningful jobs."

-- The Cincinnati Enquirer

"The result, then, will be high unemployment leading into the 2010 elections, and corresponding Democratic losses. These losses will be worse because Obama, by pursuing a uniformly pro-banker policy without even a gesture to popular anger over the bailouts, has ceded populist energy to the right and demoralized the movement that brought him to power ... Along with this will come a process of defining prosperity down. All the wise heads will tell us that 8 or 9 percent unemployment ā€” maybe even 10 percent ā€” is the 'new normal', and that only irresponsible people want to do anything about the situation ... So what I see is years of terrible job markets, combined with political paralysis.

"I hope Iā€™m wrong about all this." -- Krugman


Anonymous bonze said...

Oh, Dick, Dick, Dick... must I explain the catastrophes that befall businesses which recruit the OVERQUALIFIED CANDIDATE?

These overskilled employees pose an unmanageable risk of proposing improvements to business processes, answering THAT'S THE WAY WE'VE ALWAYS DONE THINGS HERE with naught but a grimace--rather than the appropriate YES SIR!

With the combination of education, high qualifications, and decades of experience reinforcing their self-esteem, these monsters can destroy office morale and respect for their leaders through their subtle machinations--such as the infamous "raised eyebrow"!

And without further elaborating on the risks, I'll leap to the final point: IF WE HIRE THESE M**UCKERS THEY'LL WIND UP TAKING ***OUR*** JOBS! And this, my friend, is an insidious threat to the very bedrock of our American Way of Life!

7:12 PM  

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