Not Having a Job is Keeping You From Having a Job

In news that will possibly make your head explode, several states are considering legislation that would prohibit employers from exclusively seeking candidates that already have jobs:

State lawmakers say they see the bias turning up in a nation with an 8.3% unemployment rate: Companies that explicitly advertise that they won’t hire someone who isn’t currently employed.

The proposals from Connecticut to California range in scope from banning advertisements that require current employment to allowing unsuccessful job candidates to sue businesses under the same discrimination laws that apply to bias on the basis of religion, race, gender or national origin.

Yes, in order to get a job you must currently have a job. Apparently, employers regard the long-term unemployed as shiftless layabouts with an atrophied brain:

Employers often worry that job skills erode the longer people go without working and may pass over unemployed workers because they assume other managers didn’t hire them for good reason, said Gary Burtless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former U.S. Department of Labor economist.

“The longer you’re unemployed, the more likely you are to be perceived as a risky hire and the less likely you are to get a job,” Mr. Burtless said.

Ah, the beauty of a vicious cycle. Predictably, companies are none too pleased to have Uncle Sam forcing them to hire the unflushable turds of America’s workforce:

“We are challenging this. As a private employer, the government has no right in legislating how you hire and what’s in your business’s best interest,” said Robin Lord, an attorney for Crestek, Inc., a Ewing, N.J., maker of industrial cleaning systems.

I can certainly appreciate a company’s unwillingness to allow their human resources department to become an unemployment center; however, there must be some way to balance the needs of a company with the needs of those people who have been unfairly shuffled out of consideration for present employment. While some of the long-term unemployed might lack specific skills, surely not all of them do; requiring a person to have a job before they can even apply is patently ludicrous.

Unfortunately, since this is America, there’s little doubt as to who’ll win out on this issue. Compromises are dumb, anyway.

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So You’re Going to Interview for a Job

Congratulations! You’ve somehow beaten the odds and landed yourself a job interview. But now the pressing concern becomes succeeding in the interview and getting hired; to do that, you’re going to need to follow some simple advice on how to behave during an interview.

1. Pretend that you’re interested.

Maybe you’re lucky, and you’ve got an interview for a job you care about, and in that case you won’t have to pretend. But that’s not likely in this economy, Mr. Philosophy Major! More likely, you won’t give a shit about this job–so you’ll have to feign interest. Just like you used to when a cute girl from Campus Crusade for Christ was talking about…well, whatever the hell those people talk about.

2. Don’t update your Facebook during the interview.

I know this will be hard for many of you, but entering status updates in the middle of the interview is probably not the best idea. Especially if the employer checks Facebook. Because they will not appreciate your “This dude smellz like cheeze lol” witticism.

3. Don’t wear a Boy Scout uniform and then not explain why you’re wearing it.

Perhaps it’s best to avoid wearing a Boy Scout uniform altogether, even if you can explain it. Other uniforms to avoid: circa 1942 German military uniforms, your McDonald’s polo (even though it’s your only collared shirt–buy a new shirt, dammit!), or anything that screams “my parole officer loaned this to me.”

4. Don’t get arrested during your interview.

Obviously, it looks really bad. Unless you’re an undercover cop and you’re interviewing for a job with Jimmy Fingahz, the Butcher of Boise. Because then it might look pretty good.

5. Bring your own beverage.

As delicious as your interviewer’s coffee might smell, don’t ask for a sip. Bring your own beverage, or, if they offer you coffee, do not assume that they mean from their own cup. That’s just bad form.

6. Don’t bring a book on interviewing techniques.

Unless you wrote the book on interviewing techniques, in which case, yeah–you should bring it in.

7. Don’t vandalize the company’s property when they tell you they’ll get back to you.

You never know–they might have actually meant it. Wait until they hired someone else and then vandalize the property.

8. If you’re interviewing on the phone, don’t place your interviewer on hold.

And if you do, do not offer as an explanation “Sorry, it’s just that someone just answered that swinger party ad I put on craigslist! I know what I’m doing this weekend!”

9. Keep your clothes on.

Save the harassment-bait behavior for after you’re hired–the lawsuit will be stronger if there’s a pattern of harassment!

10. Refrain from cutting someone off in traffic and then shouting to them “Eat my ass, bitch!” before the interview.

Because if you’re unlucky, that person you cut off will be your interviewer. And with that new power dynamic, it certainly won’t be the interviewer who eats some ass.

Mothers: Don’t Let Your Children Grow Up to Be Cowboys

Because as cowboys, they’ll be part of the “Farmers, Ranchers, and other Agricultural Managers” job category slated to lose over 90,000 jobs by 2020.

In a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics detailing the various occupational growths and declines, the above category topped the list; trailing behind was anyone involved with the postal service, sewing machine operators, switchboard operators, and fast food cooks, among others. The Huffington Post has a gallery, complete with oddly depressing photos, here.

But don’t be depressed just because you’re attending one of the nation’s few agricultural schools, or because you just got your home certification in sewing machine operation! Wait, no, you should be depressed. Because you made a huge mistake!

But that mistake can be remedied, if you switch your career to one with higher projected growth! What does it matter that you have no skills, a terrible personality, or an unsettling ability to input data on a Sharp EL1801V Portable 12-Digit Calculator?

Here are your top five alternatives:

1. Personal care aides

Change an old guy’s diaper!

2. Home health aides

Change an old guy’s diaper at his house!

3. Biomedical engineer

Travel back in time to prevent yourself from partying the night before the SATs and thus ruining your chances at Yale and a career in the biomedical healthcare industry instead of your current (not for long) career as a postal worker!

4. Construction or Landscaping “Helper”

Learn Spanish, then get paid a relatively shitty wage to move bricks around. Or, learn Spanish, find a union, and give them 25% of your wages for…something, I guess.

5. Carpentry “Helper”

See number four!

As you can see, not all hope is lost. There are plenty of shitty jobs in the fast-growth sector, and even some good jobs (number 3!). But you probably won’t get one of those jobs, because it seems pretty clear that no one in the “greatest decline” category has the skills necessary to develop better HPV vaccines. So you’d better sign up for some Spanish classes.*

*As a footnote, I’d like to point out that if you’re the kind of person who complained about immigration, and how all immigrants should learn English, and you’re now looking for a job, you’re screwed. Because while you were maligning immigrants, they were starting companies and hiring their compatriots. So good luck finding work with them, jackass!

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