When things are investigated, knowledge is extended. When knowledge is extended, the will becomes sincere. When the will is sincere, the mind is correct. When the mind is correct, the self is cultivated. -- Confucius
Politically correct ideals are garbage: true wisdom comes from decades of deep thought and neutral observation. Only a so-called sociopath could ascertain wisdom from this crazy world in a neutral way. Cool thoughts- uncorrupted by modern politics, social norms, or societal ideals- are required for wisdom. Questioning everything, and going against the grain on all universally accepted norms is the path to true intelligence. The Gods notice this.

9/15/10

Who is Responsible for Unemployment?

Why are so many people unemployed? The economy, right? Or is it because of their lack of job skills, not enough degrees or training, poor resume writing perhaps- maybe even just laziness? All of these excuses make the rounds incessantly amongst the employed. The hand wringing excuses continually spew forth, as politicians pretend they are trying to solve this crisis.

I have a more logical explanation: the employers are entirely to blame for the unemployment rates. A quick look at what it takes to get a job these days, and what the companies put you through, will illustrate this well...


Of course there is still the separate issue of the 20 million employed illegals versus the 10 million unemployed Americans, but that is another matter. Besides competing with the illegals that American businesses hired and continue to hire (illegally), what are the other causes of unemployment?


In the old days (before my time, but people a generation older than me will attest to it) businesses put a "help wanted" sign in their front window when they were hiring. If someone wanted the job, they walked in and asked for it. Almost always, it was given. If the new employee was not doing well enough, he was fired and the sign put back out. Oh so simple...These days it is very rare to see a help wanted sign, and when you do, there is the process to go through- no exceptions.

In most movies, which are written by rich, born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-their-mouth, clueless Hollywood scriptwriters, they make it look like a cinch to get a job. In a movie, and most tv shows, you just walk into a business, ask for a job, and you got it. Kind of like the old days really were. A good example is the 2004 movie Raising Helen, where a 20ish woman who was just fired from another job walks into a used car dealership- without an appointment- and hands a resume to the owner. He says, "I need a secretary. It pays 17.50 an hour, but there is one test you have to pass first." He hands her a paper. She then is shown reading from it: "Ralph to the shop. Jack to the front desk." That was the test, she passed, and she had the job. I know it is just a movie, but give me a break- what kind of fantasy world is the writer of that movie living in? 17.50 an hour to page people?!! No application, no appointment, no nothing? Are there really people that believe this kind of stuff happens?

Besides the obvious stuff such as dressing well and appearing clean, etc., you must also fill out an application to start with. The vast majority of applications are several pages long. They ask your contact info, your job history, your extracurricular activities in high school, who your friends are, and much more. Many also ask for your previous addresses as well, as far back as ten years, since they are going to check your credit. Some ask for 10 years of job history. I have seen a couple that ask for a fingerprint even. One has to wonder if it is really relevant that you quit a job without 2 weeks notice 9 or more years ago...I guess they think so or they wouldn't have asked.

This is if there even is an application. If not, then there will be an electronic form. These are worse- they ask for all the same info as a paper application, as well as an assessment test that is usually 20 pages long- sometimes much more. They ask questions such as "Have you ever used cocaine?" The answers are like, a.Yes, all the time./ b. only on weekends/ c. never/ d. I don't choose to answer this question. I am not kidding- I have seen this question more than once on applications. Of course they want to know if you use cocaine, but do they really believe that you are going to admit it if you do use it?? Maybe it is just in case the lab screws up the drug test- this question is their concept of a safety net. Other questions are just as ridiculous. They are frequently repeated as well, worded a little differently each time to try and trick you. (One temp service called  prologistix  has a doosy of a test- apply for them sometime for the sheer entertainment value.)

Then if you are chosen over the multitudes of other applicants, you must interview. Most companies have turned this process into a grilling session. They ask the same questions as the e-applications do. What would you do in this situation? What was your strongest moment? How do you deal with stress? What job did you like the least, and why? At a Home Depot interview once, the manager pretended to be an irate customer while I tried to console him. It was fucking ridiculous. At one factory I interviewed at, I was taken on a tour of the plant. When we returned to the interview room, there were eight other managers sitting around the table. I was interrogated for awhile with vague questions like those above. I did not get the job; who knows which answer wasn't good enough for them.

Many companies do second interviews, some even do three. Then you still may not get the job. This is all besides the credit checks, the drug tests, the criminal background checks, the job references, the personal references, the 'business' or 'professional' references, the tests, etc., etc.

I am not talking about high paying white collar jobs, or jobs that involve defense contracts or other high security positions. I am talking about retail stores, factories, even fast food places. Usually minimum wage jobs; nothing you could steal except maybe a hamburger in most cases. So why are they so scared they might hire someone who isn't perfect??? They are managers aren't they? They deal with the employees, they have excellent people skills, they keep the business running smoothly; they get things done (in theory at least). But they are all scared to death they may have to fire someone from time to time. This creates the nonsensical situation detailed above: weed 'em out, keep weeding until the only possible hire is a perfect one. Despite their absurd efforts, all is for naught: turnover rates remain high. Their solution: start the process again on a ludicrous quest for another perfect employee.

NEWS FLASH, MANAGERS: there is not a perfect employee in existence. Not perfect enough for you. Get over yourselves and cut people some slack. Stop being wimps and fire lazy employees. Keep hiring new ones at random as long as necessary. Most of you make thrice to ten times as much as the people who are jumping through hoops to get a job that is much harder than yours. Shouldn't that count for something?

It seems like every time I do get a job, I am made aware that they did me a huge favor and this could be the opportunity of a lifetime. Then I am treated like a pion and earn a wage I can't possibly live on. Raises, if any, are generally a dime per six months. At that rate, by the time I am nearing retirement, I just may be able to buy myself some new shoes...

If employers were not so damned picky, they could just hire people already. Unemployment problem: solved. Logic escapes the white collars. That's why they are in charge(?).



(c) james platt

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