Thursday, June 16, 2011

A new opportunity not to be squandered.


Not too many of us go out much anymore, I sure don't. Maybe it's just my age, or that I work nights and sleep during the day so my free time is during the dark hours of Springfield when nothing but Denny's, Walmart or the grocery stores are open. It might have something to do with having a minimum wage part-time job with no benefits and a schedule that changes weekly so I can't have a second job.

The first six or seven months of this job was particularly arduous because I was always on standby in case someone else had a schedule change or some kind of emergency. On top of that I worked in Jacksonville and lived in Springfield with my mother. Ever since I was laid off in 2001 from what I thought would be a life-long career, I couldn't find a job that paid enough for me to afford my own place to live. I've been in economic prison for ten years.

My most recent year at my job as a security officer has been mind-numbing. My job consists of making sure doors are locked, standing watch over patients under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both, directing smokers to the nearest off-property location, getting wheelchairs for patients and visitors arriving at the emergency entrance and keeping people from straying too close to the helicopter landing area. Ninety percent of my job is checking doors, the rest occur infrequently.

It's a far cry from my experience in mass media production which has been with me most of my life. As a child I was fascinated by magicians and illusions. I loved creating special effects, visual and audible, for written stories, puppet shows, magic shows, photographs, audiotape, eight millimeter film, video, and now digital media respectively. It gives me a sense of power over nature to be creative. When I have that power stripped away from me, to be distracted by menial labor that pays too little for me to live independently, it kind of pisses me off.

It motivated me to create SPFLD.net because I was so embittered by the lack of respect and support for my type of skills in central Illinois. This is totally the wrong area for my skills but I must survive and I need my family's help until I can finally get on my feet again. Unfortunately I'm 47 years old. I'm basically un-insurable because of my age and companies that normally offer health benefits wouldn't be able to insure me.

I'm guessing that's the only reason they won't hire me because otherwise I would simply assume they were complete idiots. It could be that I'm not pretty to look at too. I'm overweight and I look freakish. Nobody wants to spend work time with a 47 year old overweight freak.

I have an opportunity to take a test for a job at the University of Illinois at Springfield for a position producing television. I already have experience working in the Office of Electronic Media, I was a student employee there for a few years while I finished my Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication.

I took the test before and didn't get the job. I wonder what happened to the last person who got the job? Is he or she still there? Did the person get promoted, transferred, fired or laid-off because of the recession of 2008? Did they quit?

I'm worried that if I do get the job, I might get laid off soon because the state budget is in tatters. If the university has a first-in-first-out policy, there's a chance the only reason I or the person they hire after taking this test will simply be firing fodder used to protect existing positions.

Because my skills have been squandered by so many potential local employers who tossed away my resume in favor of someone younger, prettier, familiar, or related, I must be cautious about the length of my employment, and budget accordingly by spending as little money as possible. It should be easy for me. I'll just keep my poverty lifestyle and pretend I have no disposable income.

I really don't expect to get the job at the UIS. If I do get the job I will need therapy to piece together the shards of my broken hopes and dreams so I can start smiling and caring about my health again.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fw: Thank You for considering USIC

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

-----Original Message-----
From: recruiting@nationalrecruitmentcenter.com
Date: Sun, 12 Jun 2011 04:00:14
To: <FREDSLOCOMBE@GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Thank You for considering USIC

The following is for non-HTML enabled mail clients:

Dear FREDERICK,

Thank you for your interest in the Utility Locate Technician position position in Morrison. We appreciate the time you spent exploring opportunities with us.

At this time, we have decided to pursue other candidates whose expectations and qualifications more closely match the position requirements.

Again, thank you for your interest in USIC.

Regards,
USIC Human Resources.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Firing Fodder

I've been working a minimum-wage part-time job for over a year and an opportunity to work at a university recently presented itself.

I applied for the opportunity to take the civil service exam and qualified, that is, to take the test.

If I pass the test, I must still go through the interview process. There are probably still more stages of qualification that increase the chances of employment disqualification.

But this time may be different. There may be a glimmer of hope for living-wage employment, but something seems wrong. In this economy, with the state so deep in debt and borrowing money to pay its bills, why is the university hiring again?

The same position was open two years ago. What happened to that employee? There are any number of positive as well as negative reasons why the position reopened, but there is one that is particularly heinous called "firing fodder."

Most places of employment have a first-in-first-out hiring policy. Usually these shops are union organized, but it's fast becoming popular with non-union employers as well.

In March of 2008 I was working a minimum wage temp job when I jumped at an opportunity to work for $11 per hour as an Audiovisual Services technician, what I was professionally trained to do.

I changed jobs and was laid-off eight months later. I was out of work for over a year during the recession. If I kept my minimum-wage job, I would have been working steadily as a temp in the health field.

So now I have this seemingly golden opportunity that under better economic circumstances would lead me down the path of prosperity, home ownership and comfortable retirement.

But chances are this time I will be picked up after quitting another job, then dumped again so it will look on paper like "sacrifices" were made, when really the whole point of hiring fodder is to preserve the next few people up on the totem pole.

I'm not sure I should follow through this time because the economy is getting worse again and I need at least the job I have.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Firing Fodder

I've been working a minimum-wage part-time job for over a year and an opportunity to work at a university recently presented itself. I applied for the opportunity to take the civil service exam and qualified, that is, to take the test.

If I pass the test, I must still go through the interview process. There are probably still more stages of qualification that increase the chances of employment disqualification.

But this time may be different. There may be a glimmer of hope for living-wage employment, but something seems wrong. In this economy, with the state so deep in debt and borrowing money to pay its bills, why is the university hiring again?

The same position was open two years ago. What happened to that employee? There are any number of positive as well as negative reasons why the position reopened, but there is one that is particularly heinous called "firing fodder."

Most places of employment have a first-in-first-out hiring policy. Usually these shops are union organized, but it's fast becoming popular with non-union employers as well.

In March of 2008 I was working a minimum wage temp job when I jumped at an opportunity to work for $11 per hour as an Audiovisual Services technician, what I was professionally trained to do.

I changed jobs and was laid-off eight months later. I was out of work for over a year during the recession. If I kept my minimum-wage job, I would have been working steadily as a temp in the health field.

So now I have this seemingly golden opportunity that under better economic circumstances would lead me down the path of prosperity, home ownership and comfortable retirement.

But chances are this time I will be picked up after quitting another job, then dumped again so it will look on paper like "sacrifices" were made, when really the whole point of hiring fodder is to preserve the next few people up on the totem pole.

I'm not sure I should follow through this time because the economy is getting worse again and I need at least the job I have.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T