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.
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