Monday, January 16, 2017

Dear Scammers, Letter from a Job Seeker

I've been looking for a new 'real' job.

Sounds perfectly normal, right? Well, to be honest, it's been twenty-two years since I was unemployed and the market and methods have changed dramatically. No longer do you race out on Sunday to get the want ads to be the first to send out a resume, or make a phone call on Monday only to hear the position was filled two weeks ago and they forgot to pull the ad.

Now, everything is electronic, This makes things super easy for employers, but for those of us on the other side of the equation, it has become another area where you have to watch out for people trying to separate you from your hard earned money.

Here is an example that was sent to my email after spending an afternoon painstaking looking over a dozen web sites, trying hard to sort out the wheat from the chaff:

"Dear job seeker 

Our recruitment team viewed your resume published Application :Administrative Assistant- Full Time/ Part Time) and we are pleased with your 
qualifications,we believe you have the required qualifications to 
undergo an online interview.

Your resume was shortlisted for an online interview with the interview
manager Mrs Carol Rawson via G-mail Hangout or Google talk with the
following email address ( Add Her to your
buddy list and message Her, She will be online waiting for you ASAP to
conduct the interview with you.

Your verification code is ( XXXXXX ), this would serve as your
identification number throughout the online hiring process. Your
timely response matters a lot.

We look forward to having you on the team.

Interview Scheduled : Online.
Time: 9am-5pm
Date: January 16th-23rd 
Venue: On Line Via Google Hangout
Training is Available
Human Resources
Your swift and timely response matters a lot in this beneficial 

Best Regard :
Yours Truly,
Hiring Manager

There are so many things grammatically wrong with this email it would be hard to believe a reputable business HR department put this together. Second, Google Hangout? Really?

I followed one of these rabbit trails months ago when I was a fresh faced newly unemployed idealist. It led to a chat room where the contents of the front page of a real company website were splashed before me, which then led to a hiring offer. They would send a check to cover any expenses I might incur to get the 'new' district office up and running.

Sure enough, two days later a delivery man dropped a parcel on my doorstep containing a cashier's check for $2700.00. I was to deposit it in my account, then send a new money order to so and so for the purchase of the equipment. Yeah, right. I bet there's a Nigerian prince in this mess somewhere.

Look, all I want is a job. If I had money to be scammed I wouldn't be on the hunt for gainful employment. In preying on those who can least afford to be catfished, you are taking grift to a new level of lowliness. In the immortal words of Septa Unella from 'Game of Thrones', SHAME, SHAME, SHAME.

Or maybe I am looking at this the wrong way. Instead of answering advertisements, I should place one: "Wanted: Admin/Office Manager/Receptionist/Lemming/Human Resources/Gerbil. Must have valid checking account for payments. Work from home trying to find new office space. Only the gullible need apply. Make your own hours all for $40/hour."

Click to Apply

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Hello New Me

It snowed this weekend, always an exciting time here in the Deep South. Stores ran out of milk and bread, our DOT finally got to use all that road salt they had stored up. I made chili and watched my dogs stare at the ground with undisguised revulsion at the idea I wanted them to soil their delicate little feet. But snow always makes me reflective and since it's the first of the new year, I've decided to air a few of my annoyances and fears for the upcoming year.

I'm not crazy about the incoming government, but I'm wise enough to be willing to give them the chance to make a difference. Who knows, it might actually be a great thing, if people are willing to look past their own pockets and put the common good first. Isn't that what the Democrats are always screaming?

For the first time in a very long time, I'm unemployed. It's scary and the jobs market is a very different place from the one I knew more than 20 years ago. The industry I used to be in, computer hardware, is light years away from what I knew. While I'm great at a lot of things, I'm discovering I'm not special enough to stand out when there are literally thousands of applicants for every position.

It's made me very reflective of who I am. I am more than a one page list of accomplishments and skills. I've spend a long time these past few years digging into my past, the fears and accomplishments as well as my place among others, and I've come to peace with who I am and where I want to be. Becoming unemployed ten years before I can catch Social Security wasn't anywhere on the radar, that's for sure.

But I will endure. I've overcome loss before, and with God's help, I will again. Life is a journey, and this is part of my path. Doesn't mean I won't be frustrated; in fact, that seems to be my favorite emotion here recently. However, I will face my fears and my anxiety, and learn to grow with every experience.

Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth...