So, as it turns out, working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week totally sucks.
I know this isn’t really a huge shock or anything. I’m more surprised that at some point in human history, we decided to develop an entire society around the concept of hard work and sacrifice. Who thought that was a good idea!? If it was up to me, we’d work Saturday and Sunday, and then have off Monday through Friday. No, I haven’t thought about the economic implications of that. Why do you ask?
Searching for a new job can definitely feel like a lose-lose situation. In this, you are but a faceless number, one of a million castaways adrift in the sea of poverty, fighting to be rescued by any passing ship. Except every ship out there has no fruit so you’re guaranteed to get scurvy either way, and most of the crew mates are cannibals.
Looking for a new job is important. You’re not seeking new employment so much as you are chasing the hope that maybe the next job will not be quite as bad. You could be seeking a higher pay, or possibly just a work room that doesn’t have an abundance of unpleasant people. Possibly a job where you don’t have to work quite as many hours, in a new and exciting location. It’d be nice to find a job where you’re not just a nameless peon to the inscrutable higher ups on the top floor. Maybe find somewhere that will actually save you a doughnut if you’re running late? God, is that SO HARD, people? I mean COME ON.
What you’ll find, however, is that each new work place comes packed full of its own issues, its own problems and its own inter-company nonsense. The working world is full of drama, and no matter what field you’re in, you may as well just bite the bullet and accept it (unless you’re working for an ammunition producing company. Teeth marks in the product may cause negative performance reviews). Still, it’s important to keep looking, to keep chasing hope, because we homo sapiens are nothing if not hopeful, and occasionally gassy.
I remember when I graduated from college, and began the long descent into gainful employment. My mother had a very quaint view on how job seeking should go. Namely, I dress up in a suit, print out a billion resumes on some fancy shmancy paper, and then canvas the town, handing out my personal information like cheap cigars to new fathers. If I remember correctly, I went to about three locations, where the employees stared at me like I had fallen ass backwards out of the 1940s. My fancy paper resumes were left untouched, and no one commented on how dashingly dapper I looked. Instead, I was told to “apply online, and for the love of God and all that is holy, DO NOT CALL.”
Internet job hunting is a fresh, new kind of hell. For a while I mucked around several different job seeking boards, but quickly became discouraged when they stopped sending me jobs and started sending me information on pursuing a degree that is not completely useless in the working world, like English. Now I usually just troll individual company websites, throwing digital resumes at any passing job, my fancy paper long since turned into what I generously refer to as “origami swans.”
To date, I’ve found four kinds of potential employers on the world wide web. If you are a fellow job seeker, good luck in facing these stalwart guardians of the much coveted steady paycheck.
1) THE ROBOT OVERLORDS. These jobs are unique in that you can apply for a job, submit information, read about future employment opportunities, and then be automatically rejected for every position, all without ever reaching another living human being. After submitting your resume, you will have to fill out a titanic survey about your work history, education, past accomplishments, and eligibility to work in the country. Basically, information that someone should be able to pull off your resume with little to no effort.
The telltale sign here is the inevitable rejection letter you’ll get, which will look something like:
“DEAR MR./MS. <APPLICANT 5629912>
OUR STANDARD EMPLOYMENT UNIT IS <EMOTION> TO INFORM YOU WE HAVE NOT SELECTED YOU TO SERVE AS <HUMAN SLAVE> FOR <COMPANY NAME>. DO NOT LET THIS DISCOURAGE YOU FROM
PRAISING YOUR MECHANICAL MASTERS APPLYING FOR OTHER <HUMAN SLAVE> OPENINGS.
YOU ARE WELCOME,
Crushmaster, CEO of robot/human relations
2) Screaming into the void. These jobs are similar in construction to the robot overlord job postings, except you will have absolutely no idea whether or not your resume was ever received. You’ll never hear another word back from the company, for good or for ill. These job postings are like wandering into an office building, opening doors at random and shouting “hire me, please” into the darkness beyond. There’s a chance someone was in there with the lights off, but you have a sneaking suspicion you just screamed into a broom closet.
3) But we can’t pay you. This one may be more of a problem for people seeking jobs in the writing industry. Every now and then you’ll stumble across a great opportunity, where you are assured that if put in a little bit of elbow grease, you will go far in this new and exciting industry. Negotiations usually last until the point where you ask how much they would be willing to pay for your services.
4) The sketchy murderjob. You’re bound to find at least one in any job search. Where, after reading the brief job description available, you come to the conclusion that following this lead will inevitably result in you being murdered in an alleyway. Maybe you noticed there are an uncomfortable number of misspelled words, or became suspicious about the promised $90k to $100k proposed salary. Maybe you get a weird feeling in your stomach about how the phrase “forfeit all your vital organs” was thrown casually down at the bottom. These are the jobs where, after careful reading and analyzing of the description, you still have absolutely no idea which company is seeking an employee, and have less of an idea of what you’d be expected to do if hired.
Still, it’s important to keep hope when searching for a new job, so I can’t help but hover over these jobs, considering. Best case scenario, I become a suave, James Bond style, international super spy! …But then, I remember the number of times the supposed Prince of Nigeria has emailed me about an exciting business opportunity, and come to the conclusion that I’d probably just be sold for parts on the black market.
Anyway, I’ve stalled enough! It’s back to the job search with me. Keep hoping for a better tomorrow, my fellow job seekers! Somewhere out there is a job posting for a company run by reasonable people, who will respond promptly and politely with a reasonable salary, all without trying to harvest you for your organs. And that day, my brothers and sisters, will be glorious.