Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2008: the bastard year i never wanted*. (part two)

2008 was a pretty rough year. This is the second part of a five-part post on why it's been so bad for me personally. Please share your reasons, advice, condolences, or whatever in the comments. Also, read part one.

2. The terrible economy is probably (hopefully) why I am still unemployed.
What a time to enter the professional world as a fresh-faced (read: inexperienced) aspiring ANYTHING. I knew it was going to be tough, but I didn't realize it was going to be so bad that I can't even get internships or clerical work. It kind of makes me wonder why I worked SO VERY HARD in college. Why I worked hard in high school to get into a good college, then worked even harder in college to graduate with distinction. Look at all these rewards! Pfffth. A waste of time, as far as I'm concerned. I should have majored in something useful, like civil engineering. Studying PEOPLE? Unnecessary. SOCIETY? Useless.

I don't mean to belabor the point, but I really worked my ass off in college and I'm bitter. I spent night after night pulling 12-hour study sessions at the library, drinking buckets of coffee to stay awake, forming calluses from recopying page after page of notes so that the information would be seared into my brain. I woke my clinically depressed ass up (almost) every morning to get to class on time, I forced my socially anxious self to speak in big, scary lectures so I could get participation points. I studied something I was passionate about and learned about the economy and politics and food production and poverty and globalization and the media and international relations and everything involving people. And now? I can't even find work as a secretary. The fuck? I'm qualified, damn it. What's wrong with me?

I guess, in a less selfish way, it just points to how far from a meritocracy this society is. All too often, it doesn't matter how hard you work. It depends on who you are and who you know. Whether daddy can get you a job with his company, or you interview with an employer who was in your sorority and is thus a sister 4 life. This sucks for me, who has no connections but did well in school, but it sucks even more for the poverty-stricken child who can't even get a decent education no matter HOW hard they work, simply because they don't live in the right area of town.

And I've applied for, um, I'd say thousands of jobs. It's fine if you don't want to hire me, but could you at least get an intern to write a simple email saying, "Thank you for your application, but we do not have a position we believe best suits your skills at this time." (Unless it's a receptionist job, because that's just condescending.) Oh, and if you call me in for a second interview and tell me you'll notify me by the end of the week whether I got the job or not, please stick to your word. If you don't plan on ever speaking to me again, just say "Due to the high volume of job applicants, we cannot notify those who are not selected for this position" or whatever your preferred method of polite rejection. It's pretty shitty to just leave me hanging like that. Especially when I diligently fill out each and every one of your company-specific registration forms where each one needs a unique user id and password. Where you have to submit your formal resume and then manually enter each and every exact thing you have provided on that resume once more, just for good measure. I spent an hour filling out each one of your applications, and I even tailored my cover letter precisely to the job description to boot. Could you at least take five seconds to respond? I'm kind of appalled by the rudeness of people.

No comments: