Archive for July, 2004



Peace on Earth, But Goodwill Is For the Dogs

9:23 pm · category: Uncategorized

So, I got a job through a temp agency working at the local Goodwill Industries because there were no clerical jobs available.  I accepted the assignment from the temp agency because having a job was increasingly more important than having my pride.


The Goodwill location I was assigned to is like a giant garage sale: people from all over the county donate their cast-offs and such.  Unfortunately, the location hasn’t been able to keep good workers, and there were at least 600 garbage bags and boxes full of clothing and household items; on average, this location makes it through about 10 bags a day.


I was assigned to work in the warehouse (sans air conditioning in the Arkansas heat and humidity), going through the donated items and determining what was worthy of being put on the floor for sale.  It turns out that it’s against the rules to sit down while you’re on the clock, and there were no empty tables on which to put the bags.  Consequently, I had to bend down every single time I pulled an item to examine from a bag.  Now, I’ve done a lot of physical labor in my time and am in relatively good shape, but this was outrageous.  Two hours into the job, my back and calves ached with an intensity I hadn’t known since I took the Presidential Fitness Test in college.  Moreover, Goodwill insists that all donated items must be clean; however, they don’t check the donations before accepting them.  I was, therefore, stuck in a sweltering building pulling dirty underwear out of bags that had been sealed for six months or more. 


Perhaps most importantly, the temp agency hadn’t said anything about Sunday work.  Unfortunately, my position required me to work every other Sunday.  I had made it quite clear to the temp agency that I couldn’t work Sundays.  (I am, after all, studying to be a minister; parishioners don’t look too kindly on you missing Sunday services.)  I told the Goodwill supervisor that I wouldn’t be back the following day as soon as I returned from lunch, although I did finish out the day.  (Mama taught me good manners and a work ethic, okay?  I’d already committed myself to it, even if I was willing to do it for only one day.)


On the up side, I applied today for a job with the local daily newspaper as a church and religion writer.  This can either be spectacularly good or devastatingly bad.  I mean, I have a BA in communications and worked as a professional journalist before I moved on to a career in public education.  (Where, I might add, I was a successful yearbook and newspaper adviser.)  Presently, I’m five months away from finishing my MA in religion.  Moreover, I worked for said newspaper for almost two years before I began teaching.  If I’m not qualified for this job, nobody is.  I’m terrified that I won’t even get an interview, even though I’m (I think) very qualified.


Regardless, tomorrow I have a one-day job cleaning a pet grooming salon.  Thank God my aunt loves me.



Despite What They See, I Have Confidence in Me!*

12:16 am · category: Uncategorized

So, the big ole job search is going exactly nowhere. It turns out that I am, officially, overqualified and overeducated for just about any job I can fit into my schedule. Come on, people! I’m asking for a job that pays about $500 a month, and I’m free 5.5 days a week. Is it my fault that I’m smart? Is it my fault that I went to college? Is it my fault that I worked as a professional for several years? Well, yes, it is. But aren’t those things supposed to work in my favor when job hunting? My high school counselor lied to me. Doing your best and being successful will get you absolutely nowhere in the job market.

*That would be lyrics from the song I Have Confidence from The Sound of Music. Screen version only, of course.



I Can Read

10:18 pm · category: Uncategorized

I spent the better part of yesterday applying for various jobs. The search for employment is a real pain, because I’m over-educated and over-qualified for just about everything I could possibly do that will fit with my school schedule. It turns out that BurgerKing doesn’t want you to man the FryDaddy if you have a couple of degrees.

At any rate, I filled out an application at Hastings (a bookstore), hoping for any sort of employment. I also sent out a resume for a job with a local radio station selling advertising and writing copy for commercials.

The funniest, however, was a job at the county library. They have a part-time position for an adult literacy coordinator. The application was four pages long. However, the first three pages were the job description, and the final page had the typical questions: name, contact information, etc. The only real information they asked for was what degree I held — no college name, no experience, no specifics whatsoever.

The literacy job has been open for more than two months, but they haven’t found anyone suitable for it. When I turned in the application, the girl working the desk asked, “Do you think you’re qualified for it?” I replied, “Well, I can read.” She didn’t think that was funny at all. I’m glad I scribbled in all sorts of extra information on the last page of the application, like how my degree had an emphasis in print journalism, and how I was a professional journalist, and how I advised award-winning newspapers and yearbooks, and how I was a certified English teacher with years of experience. If I’m not qualified for this job, I need to seriously re-examine my educational experience.