Seriously, Universe? SERIOUSLY???

You all are going to think I’m just making this up. Like I’m a parody of the job market, since this is what? The fourth post I’ve written on this topic?

I got laid off yesterday.

Thank God I wasn’t wearing my pajamas.

I went to work in my jammies yesterday – purple flannel with colorful owls on them, plus my hair in pigtails and toting a stuffed frog. It was Halloween, we were encouraged to wear a costume. I went as a slumber party-goer. I thought, “Who DOESN’T want to go to work on Monday in her pajamblies?” Of course, there were only a handful who dressed up in the company and only two in my department – let’s face it, I can’t compete with a woman dressed as a whoopie cushion. So when I went home I changed into jeans and a shirt.

At three o’clock The Boss called me in and when he sat down, I let loose. I knew what was coming.

“You have GOT to be kidding me.”

Silence. Stunned. He and the HR woman shook their heads.

It’s not my first time at the rodeo, kids. When you get called in by your boss and the HR representative is there and she has a plain manila folder with a sheet or two of paper in it, mark my words: NO GOOD CAN COME OF IT.

They said they were sorry.

I glared at The Boss. “I told you, this is exactly what I didn’t want to have happen when I came here.”

He said, “I know.”

“I cannot believe this. I cannot believe this. You have got to be kidding me.”

<blah blah about the company making tough decisions, didn’t know this when they hired me fourth months ago, etc ad nauseum>

Finally I got up, got my stuff together, bid bon voyage to the co-workers and – ONCE AGAIN – set sail for the murky waters of unemployment. First port of call? Panictown.

I went home, posted on Facebook, and sat down with a Large Wine to watch Jerseyliscious until Husband arrived home. He’s good about assuaging the panic. Six hours later, around 2 am, I got up because it really started to hit me then.

Once again, I’m cast adrift from the safe anchor of a paycheck and health insurance.

Once again, we have to postpone starting a family because I can’t justify a baby without a steady paycheck and health insurance. And I’m no spring chicken so I might not get a chance at all.

Once again, I feel so much angry!! At the ex-friend who could’ve eased this panic, had she helped Husband two years ago into a better paying and more stable job instead of stabbing him in the back; and serious resentment toward my in-laws who could easily afford to HELP – to help with bills, to help Husband finish his nursing education sooner rather than later, instead of having to wait for classes to open up at the community college where he goes, anything, instead of asking why we can’t get our shit together.

Once again, I’m looking at long days of doing nothing, of feeling restless, of the company only from the anxiety of the situation.

And once again, I feel pathetic. Thirty-five years old and haven’t had a job for more than three years since 2003. I might miss my chance to have a family because my job situation has been so unstable. Husband is in nursing school, and sure, he’ll eventually finish and get a job but how long with that be from now? Classes are full at the community college, we can’t really afford the larger university or the private schools.

I usually am one to believe in signs from God, the Universe and Everything, but I just don’t know what the hell it’s trying to tell me.

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Crazy like a JobFox

After a long dry spell with nary a JobFox email in sight, I thought they might’ve cut their losses and moved on. 

BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE. 

I have here TWO emails from none other that the BIG CHEESE himself, founder and CEO of JobFox, Rob McGovern. Move over Madeline! There’s a new sherriff in town. 

             Sara,
               I’m the founder of Jobfox, and I’d like to give you an entirely new way to outsmart the job market. We’ve been developing this new product for nine months, to help good people get hired,                despite the economy. Break Through normally costs $30, but you can use it for only one penny. FYI, the candidates who have tested Break Through give it rave reviews. 

No actual data on how many people have found jobs through JobFux. No actual reviews. So I guess I’ll take your word for it, Rob. Carry on.
Break Through will be available on June 11th. The innovative new tools in Break Through will transform your job search, giving you far more opportunities than simply searching for jobs. All you have to do is click here, make your one-cent payment, and you’ll be reminded to use the service on June 11th.  

 

It sounds so easy, Rob. I can’t see how this could be anything but AWESOME. 

Why Break Through? Only 13% of jobs get filled through online job listings. Break Through will help you get hired the way the other 87% of jobs get filled. Best of all, it will only cost you one penny. 
AMAZING. TELL ME MORE. 

Here’s what you will get:

  • An Easy Way to Network with companies: You know you should network, but that’s not easy. Here is a comprehensive system to use Facebook and Linkedin to network with employers.
  • This information is available to me from the Internets for free…I know you’re just charging me a penny but still…you’ll have all my INFO and you’ll SPAM me if I do that. I already use LinkedIn, Twitter, and my website to connect with employers.

     
     

  • The Best Jobs for You: See where you’re highly rated at 5,000 companies. Receive feedback about the employers who are interested in you.
  • What does “highly rated” mean, Rob? Rated by whom and for what? And how much are you charging those “employers” to phish look at my resume?

     
     

  • Impress Employers on the Web: Impress employers by easily building an About Me page. It’s a creative way to demonstrate your skills, experiences, and strengths. 79% of companies check out candidates on the Web before scheduling an interview!
  •  I already have a web site…and I pay for that one…. 

  • Be Smarter than the Competition: receive weekly job search advice by the Internet’s most experienced job search expert.
  • Smarter than the competition? Your competition doesn’t send me ridiculous emails promising ridiculous things and asking for ridiculous amounts of money. Seriously? 

    Click here to get started.

    This one-penny offer expires on June 10, 2010.
    Best regards,Rob McGovern
    Founder and CEO, Jobfox
    Founder and former CEO, CareerBuilder
    Author: Bring Your A-Game: The Ten Secrets of the High Achiever
     
     
    What if I post this and send the link to Rob? Do you think he’ll visit?
     
    Rob, if you’re here, please find my other JobFox posts. For the record, I found a job. And I found a job without your site. Your site did not help me even a little bit.
     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Job Hunt 2010: Mid-March Madness

    Days since layoff: 28

    Resumes sent out: 18 (not including the blast to friends)

    Interviews for actual positions: 0

    Pre-screen phone calls for actual interviews: 2

    Suggestions that when various hiring managers reappear from vacay, will have face-to-face interview: 2.5

    Response in the negative for positions applied for: 3

    Hopeful lunch dates: 1

    Lunch dates to bitch about situation: 2

    Number of times per day I think about not having a job: a google

    Naps taken: 18

    Number of jobs I’ve applied to from RhinoGator: 2

    Number of emails I get per day with lists of “jobs” which are mostly sales jobs or sketchy work-at-home deals: 5

    Thanks, Jobfox…The Writing Spider Hates You Now

    Dear Jobfox’s Resume Critiquer Madeline Willis,

    You know I just lost my job right? And that’s why I searched for new jobs on your website. Mind you, it took me a good two hours to get through uploading my resume and filling out a couple of stupid questionnaires before I could actually LOOK for anything.

    Seriously?

    Can you make it more difficult to find jobs on Jobfox? Because I got nothing but time, sister. Time to fiddle around on your overly-elaborate site.   Jobfox asks you to “register” on their site which includes uploading a resume and filling out questions about your work history and it takes EONS. It is NOT USER FRIENDLY.

    So once I did finally get all my little ducks in a row, I didn’t actually find any jobs worth applying for.

    Believe me, Madeline, I’m a pro at search words for jobs.

    Can you imagine my feeling upon waking this morning to find an email from you, Madeline Willis Candidate Service Consultant, detailing in 1,900 words (I counted) exactly how crappy and horrible my resume is? Madeline! I submitted my resume around 3 pm yesterday, EST, and according to the time stamp on the email you replied by 1:53 AM. You must have stayed up all night combing my resume and writing nearly two thousand words about it!

    Bless your little heart.

    However, Madeline, turnabout is fair play and I’ve provided a resume critique critique for you here so you can indeed become a better resume critiquer. Best of all, I’m not charging you FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS to do it. I’m doing it FOR FREE. How’s that for customer service?

    (*Author’s note: I am listening to Pandora now, on my Baroque Chamber music station {don’t hate} and you know what’s on? Beethoven’s FIFTH. HOW APPROPRIATE.)

    Madeline, I think you’re sabotaging your message here by saying things like:  ” I didn’t find [your resume] to be exciting, and it didn’t make me want to run to the phone to call you. In short, your resume is effectively sabotaging your job search.” Sabotage? Is that really a good word to choose? I suggest investing in a thesaurus to help you find more appropriate words. Frankly, I’m glad you don’t want to call me. You’re a robot.

    Now, this was really hurtful.   “I’m concerned that your resume is selling you like a generic, and that it’s not likely to get picked among those of other candidates. The ideal resume design is airy, clean, and uncluttered, with the effective and strategic use of white space.”

    White space?

    Madeline, I really believe

    that this email letter I got

    was a generic auto-response generated from Jobfox to make me feel bad enough to pay you to “fix” my resume.

    I

    think

    Jobfox

    PREYS on people who’ve just lost their jobs.

    Moving on.

    “From the way the resume is worded, you come across as a “doer” not an “achiever.”” Thou dost wound me, lady! As a card-carrying member of the Overachiever’s Club of America, I don’t see how you came to this conclusion. Perhaps I should fax you copies of my middle school report cards? I reviewed my resume after reading your letter and truly – it’s CRAMMED full of ACTION VERBS, RESULTS, and OTHER FANTASTIC STUFF. Here are some verbs I used: planned, facilitated, organized, supported, wrote, edited, proofread. Those are verbs, Maddie.

    But I guess since you’re probably an autobot….NAY a DECEPTICON…you can’t really read.

    Here’s where we come to the crux of your letter. See how she repeatedly uses my name to show that it’s a Personalized Letter to Me?

    Sara, it was difficult for me to evaluate your resume because there was so little information and this is a big problem. You would really benefit from working with one of our writers. They have a way of helping you articulate your strengths and identify accomplishments that will transform your resume into an impressive document. My clients tell me the process also helps to prepare them for interviews.

    I would REALLY benefit huh…? Tell me more!

    To encourage you to make the investment now, we are offering our best price on our resume writing services in the first 5 days after you view your resume evaluation. Save $100 off our price of $399, a 25% discount. In addition, we are the only resume service that offers the option to pay for your resume in installments. We spread the cost over six months to make our service affordable for everyone.

    If you purchase in the next 5 days, you have the option to make a one-time payment of $299 (a $100 savings), or six monthly payments of $53.29 (a $100 savings). Either way, you will still have your new documents back in 4-5 business days so you can improve your chances of getting hired quickly.

    Egads a discount! What would I do without that discount? The ONLY service to offer payment in INSTALLMENTS? So you’re like the QVC of resume rewriters!?

    I felt badly about my resume after I read this letter. Well…until I realized it was a cleverly disguised marketing ploy designed to prey on the panicked job seeker who wandered into the Jobfox’s den…

    In short, Madeline, and Jobfox – shame on you.

    In conclusion, I feel my time at Jobfox has been wasted. I feel manipulated. I’m also sorry for the unwitting who pay you money to do anything.

    Best regards,

    The Writing Spider

    PS – How’s that for a generic no-talent self-sabotaging copywriter?


    I’ve become a statistic

    Well…I’ve become another statistic. I’m already part of larger groups like “college grad,” “people who own ferrets as pets,” and “those who like vegetables.”

    I was informed yesterday that my position with Large Corporate Monolith, Co. Inc. was being terminated. I knew layoffs were coming, but I didn’t realize they meant ME.

    Basically, I have 60 days to find a position within the company. Then I have 30 days severance. Then I will be a free agent.

    Yesterday, as I sat in the room with a co-worker, our manager, our director, and an HR rep, it was surreal. Our director read from a script full of corporate nonsense about how Large Corporate Monolith (LCM) is grateful for our service and this was a very difficult decision. She went on to say read that LCM will support us in every way through this very difficult time. My manager looked shell shocked. My co-worker wasn’t surprised – this wasn’t his first time at the rodeo, he’s been laid off several times from different jobs (the hallmark of a career in advertising).

    I was just mad. I was mad that I don’t have bosses who will stick up for my talent. I was mad that I’m going to have to spend the next two months hauling ass to find a new job. I was mad that “at least I have a job, in THIS economy” no longer means me. I was mad that you can’t just work someplace for twenty years anymore.

    However, strangely, very strangely, the overwhelming feeling is…excitement. I actually feel like something cool is coming. Don’t misunderstand – there is a streak of sheer panic there, too – oh my lord what about money and what if the car dies and health insurance and oooohhh nooooo. And I certainly didn’t WANT to lose my job. But I hope to make the most of the opportunity, however oddly it may have come to me.

    Yesterday, I text messaged my sister, Boot, with whom I had planned to attend my first spinning class last night. (As a side note, I hate cycling. However, I know that spinning is a good exercise to do, and I should at least try it.)  Boot gave me an easy out – you don’t have to go, you just lost your job. I went anyway. I did a whole spin class and it was fun. I might even do it again.

    I hope getting laid off will be just like that – a series of new little adventures. We’ll see.

    In the meantime, I am a writer, graphic recorder/facilitator, and creative soul in the Louisville, Kentucky area. I will be beefing up my professional site, sarathompsonwrites.com, in the coming days so drop me a line if you have something interesting in mind.