November 2004


I am The Cyberwolfe and these are my ramblings. All original content is protected under a Creative Commons license - always ask first.
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The following is a rather long-winded rant regarding the trials and tribulations of a job-seeker in this ‘booming’ economy. I had originally planned to keep this to myself, but hey, if I can’t rant here, where can I rant? Read on at your own risk.

Last week I was forced to bite the bullet and haul my ass down to the Department of Human Services and apply for government benefits: food stamps. With no contracts coming in and no hits on my job apps, it was the only thing left to make sure I could feed my kids.

Ye Gods, it hurts to say that. Here I’ve been the responsible one among my friends for so long, but I couldn’t find work.

Anywho, the process was actually fairly non-traumatic. Online application form to print out, 5 minutes going over it with Svetlana (surprising number of Russians in the DHS office) and then a scheduled appointment with a case worker.

Two days later, met with the case worker. He got me signed up for benefits, including emergency cash assistance to make sure the rent gets paid. He also got me signed up for the required job-seeker seminars.

This last was a bit of news to me. I had been on food stamps once before, back when I was living on pocket lint in Ashland right after high shool. The policy then was you had to track your job apps, and turn in at least 5 a week – something I could do in one day.

Now, they have you take a week-long course on resume building, interview techniques and other stuff. 5 days, 8am to 4pm. For most of the people in the system, that is a good thing. For me, it seems like a week in which I won’t be able to do any job searching. I have an excellent resume. Until this year, I have won the job for every interview I had done. The two interviews I lost this year were due to the stiff competition and availability of techs – I interview very well, but it doesn’t help if the interviewer is more impressed with certification initials than actual talent.

There is also a second portion of the program that continues for as long as you receive benefits. Every day at 8am, I am to report to another program for daily job-seeker tips, tricks and discussion, as well as access to the career center they have set up with computers, faxes and printers. This will have some uses, I’m just not sure it really needs to be daily.

I went there this moring, and have to admit I did get immediate use out of their fax machines, but they picked a bad day to talk to me one-on-one, as the poor guy that did got hit with 9 months of frustration right in the teeth.

But, from the ashes of all this frustration, there is a little bit of light: one of the jobs I applied for today responded within an hour of receiving my email with a short phone interview and an offer for a personal interview Wednesday morning. Woohoo!

So, there’s hope that I may yet survive all this without going Postal.

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