Unemployment Nine: It just gets worse

Burning roller coaster

Burning roller coaster

The roller coaster I’ve often spoken of in this blog is very close to burrowing underground.

The first e-mail I read this morning delivered the horrible news that an icon at my former publication was kicked to the curb, along with a companywide announcement of a large percentage of layoffs taking place today. Further e-mails informed me that some of the victims were people I have a great deal of respect for on both personal and professional levels, who had been with the company even longer than the first person I mentioned and who, much like myself, did not deserve their fates.

It’s truly frightening that mismanagement and pure numbers dominate decision-making, and that years of loyal and valuable service mean absolutely nothing when cutting time comes.

Yet the “lucky” ones who remain are expected to double and triple their efforts, despite being told in the same announcement that there will be no salary increases this year and that a hiring freeze was imposed. And when things do turn around, who do you think will reap the benefits: the people busting their asses and doing two or three jobs to keep things afloat, or upper management?

Am I surprise or shocked? Absolutely not: I realize businesses have to do what they have to do, and I also realize the people guilty of the mismanagement are usually the last to go, often with severance packages that are likely equivalent to the total salaries of the underlings who were already let go.

This doesn’t mean I have to like it. So many people who don’t deserve to be unemployed, myself very much included, are in very uncomfortable positions thanks to years of horrible decisions.

Putting aside my sorrow for today’s victims (which is not easy to do at all) and looking at things from a purely selfish viewpoint, the frightening trend continues of more and more people applying for fewer and fewer positions. This means the people making decisions on the few positions that are available will likely be even more picky than they already have, sitting comfortably and waiting for a person whom they consider to be the perfect candidate.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I hope the people in charge of hiring decisions realize that, if I may temporarily assume the voice of the unemployed, most of us want to work, even if the positions being offered are supposedly lesser than the ones we were ejected from.

As I said in November, while those in charge of hiring may view a potential backward move as going from 100 down to 70, from the perspective of most of the unemployed, we view it as going from 0 to 70. If there wasn’t an interest on our part, we wouldn’t waste our time if we weren’t interested in the position.

If the decision-makers are worried about candidates such as myself taking their jobs as stepping-stones to “better” jobs in the near future, my question to them is: What better jobs? And as far as near future, does anyone really think this mess is going to right itself in a matter of months? Try years.

And if anyone who lost their job is sitting around and waiting for the perfect position to open up, they are either very rich or very stupid.

Another trend I’ve noticed recently was going to be my topic for today before I checked my e-mail and got the lousy news above. I’m seeing ads for positions I’ve applied for running for the second and, in many cases, third times. And in many cases, the web sites hosting the jobs don’t allow people to reapply for them.

So many of these jobs are excellent matches for my experience and skill set, yet those in charge of hiring decided that it would be a better move to rerun the ad than to explore the credentials of people who have already applied and are clearly interested. Why? What was so wrong with my résumé or cover letter? Don’t I deserve a chance over someone who just joined the ranks of the unemployed?

As the four-month anniversary of my layoff approaches, I’m finding it more and more difficult to stay positive and to not let the stress affect other parts of my life. I’m finding myself more and more irritable for greater lengths of time, and I’ve had more and more trouble sleeping. And as I’ve stated repeatedly, I’m in a relatively good situation compared with many of my fellow unemployed people.

I just don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel right now, and it’s hard to stave off feelings of depression, bitterness, anger and boredom.

This truly sucks.

3 comments on “Unemployment Nine: It just gets worse

  1. Jill says:

    Dave, I don’t even know what to say to this. I’ve been where you’re at — it sucks and there’s nothing anyone can say that will make it not suck. This is more painful than you anticipated, but it’s not permanent. You will get back on track eventually. In the meantime, you have a lot of people who care about you. My whole family is crazy about you. And you have a girlfriend with a lifetime of experience dealing with cranky people, so that’s good. Sorry I didn’t get to see you this weekend. Sadie misses you!

  2. Aims says:

    I’m so sorry that this unemployment bullshit seems to have stretched out. It’s just not fair. It would burn me up to see those re-issued ads. It’s so hard to not to let times of extreme stress — whether due to unemployment or other issues — affect all other areas of your life, including relationships, self-esteem, hobbies, etc. I know this and have experienced it; and my only piece of advice would be to try, try, try to stay positive… and when you can’t possibly do so, call on someone else to stay positive for you. I don’t know you IRL, but if what Jill says is true –and I don’t doubt it is — you have a great support network to get you through this. It’s okay to admit to people that you are struggling. Our situations are very different, but if there is ONE thing I’ve learned from my situation it’s that you HAVE to give people an opportunity to help and support you — they want to — they will come through — but you have to give them the opportunity. It really helps. Will be thinking of you and hoping that your inevitable success comes as soon as possible.

  3. […] comment » I was hoping that my job hunt reached a low point two weeks ago, when I wrote this blog entry. Sadly, things are continuing to spiral […]

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