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Brother can you spare a job?

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader

2004-05-31


Everywhere you look, people are looking for jobs. While watching the news recently, a job fair was highlighted. Baby boomers vs. the young and hungry, willing to work for less. People thinking about returning to school. Hereís some advice from yours truly: donít major in English. Trust me on this.

Anyway, I know itís hard to get a job these days. I wouldnít know how it feels, but it must be excruciating for a former $40K a year professional to have to elbow someone like me aside for the last available position at Plenty ĎO Pretzels or Crazy Edís Coffee Bar and Speed Lube.

Thereís a job hunt column that appears in one of the local papers. The lady is obviously from the land of Delightful, Meaningful Jobs ĎRí Us, because her advice applies to those who wouldnít take a job unless it offered $50K a year, health insurance, retirement plan, sick leave, paid vacations, personal days, mental health days, school shopping for the kids days and Calgon Take Me Away Days. She urges those looking for jobs to pursue what they are really passionate about. Sounds like good advice, but it sucks. Hereís why. My personal passions are eating french fries and chocolate, sleeping late, watching Nick at Nite, writing, photography, reading, listening to music and shopping. So far, no one has paid me to do those things (well okay, Iíve been paid to write, but not very much) and no one will.

People who are unemployed need to remember this: Lower your expectations. Big time. These days, you need to be realistic. I think thatís part of the reason why some people are continually unemployed. Notice, I said ďpart.Ē Sure, we all want to move up when we get a new job, but right now, it just isnít possible for the majority of unemployed to do that. Instead of dream jobs, it will be a dream just to get a job. Forget the high wages, health benefits and personal time. All you privileged professionals, itís time to get real! Come toil in the job of your youth! And itís not like you wonít get any benefits. That employee discount will probably knock your extra value meal to an unbeatable $2.50 plus tax!

The last job I had paid pretty well for what I had to do. Iíve worked a lot harder for less money. What was funny is that it paid better than jobs that I had to have a degree for, yet the job itself didnít require any higher education at all. And despite the rumors regarding the place I worked, the lowest-status employees (i.e. yours truly) didnít get insurance, sick leave, or retirement benefits. We did get breaks every hour and an occasional free flu shot. We got to listen to music on personal stereos. And it was a quiet, clean environment. With benefits like that, who needs health insurance? Right? ďRight,Ē she typed, while sneezing uncontrollably.

True story: my brother recently asked to borrow $15 from me, his financially-strapped sister. Why approach me for some quick cash? Well, you see, he quit his job back in July, and ...

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