Am Facile. Will Travel.


     Isn’t today’s job search akin to escaping a pitch-black labyrinth? Landing new employment challenges during prosperity. Prospective hires and potential employers are now further separated by debasing technology and muddied qualifications.

   The latter can be overcome. The former fairly requires a semanticist. You know, a specialist who renders the fat around bullshit down to its bones.

    From the above paragraphs it’s apparent this correspondent is discomforted by societal dependence on algorithms and persnickety specifications. Particularly when the second are so broad they encompass the Asian landmass.

    Until 2011, I fairly pooh-poohed the possibility of seriously divining fresher employment. When younger and unfettered by seniority, I occasionally sniffed around different career directions. After time I understood there were plenty of other paths, but precious few offered notable improvements.

    Besides, sinecure, as many a civil servant might confess under slightest duress, has its advantages. Many generations arrived at that conclusion. Mine the last among them. Not a mistake. Empirically observed, no way I ever could’ve expected my productive middle-age years to have been tossed into turmoil.

    My former position exploited a lucrative niche. A lot of disconnected producers together could’ve performed what we once did. However, we were one of the few in that industry which assembled diverse elements under the same ceiling.

    First and foremost, we sold convenience. Competence was a close second. Money loves ease and dependability. Both provided the best publicity in the world: fine word of mouth. The company only really started budgeting toward advertising after once rare leaks multiplied into gaping holes.

    Even this promotion was half-assed and half-cocked. At the end, we bailed a foundering ship by hand.

    For any reading this smugly thinking there ought have been contingency plans, let me riposte Plan B’s derive from hi-signs, winks, flat-out warnings, or alarms. Preferably each alert given in a timely manner.

    None of the above happened.

    In a public company, sure, a nosy somebody in accounting would’ve started churning the rumor mill. The whoosh of all that wafting mongering should’ve eventually compelled substantiation or denial. A board or shareholders then could’ve prompted inquiries. Or for heads to roll.

    Yet a family held our long ago profitable, today deceased shop. Leadership inside those walls had devolved from second-generation striving into the most ill-fated of all, the third. It’s not apocryphal as my former colleagues and I can attest. Truly, third generation genes carry the imbecile trait.

    Of the boss’ five possible successors, each issue in his or her way either attempted suffocating in cocaine or drowning by alcohol. Two succeeded. One came pretty near close. There’s still time for a fourth to join the thinned herd pile, while the fifth is out of the money by being in the money through dumb-luck marriage to a wealthy spouse.

    However, there is a saving grace. Nature prevented these degenerates from reproducing. Copulate like demented bunnies as they have, they share mule incompatibility by failing to procreate.

    In this instance much can be said for barren wombs and stunted spunk. To which even an atheist might praise “Thank God!”

    The end came as an avalanche, not a gently falling mist.

    So here I am, one of millions rooting around for gainful employment. A rigor which left me untested for 24 years. Actually I found a job. A get-by job until I regain my rightful place under this sun or leave New York. Truth be told, though, it’s the sort of gig suited for someone just beginning a career climb. Again, a plight millions of American share.

    What’s tiding me over instills responsibility, exercises decision-making acumen, as well as improves comportment among skeptics. Were I in my late teens or earliest 20s, the position could propel towards a solid vocation. But I’m a good 30 years beyond that. Remedial lessons on how to rise from the bottom are beneath me.

    Unlike my antique era search, current methods and language used have changed enormously. Rather than use web sites that sift, slot and exclude, thereby excising most human components, earlier seekers like me needed to manually manipulate newspapers to acquire classified ads sections. What resulted best from that labor wasn’t reaching the desired pages, but perhaps coming across some news item which also edified. Or could be later repurposed for a Trivial Pursuit solution.

    Accidental piercing of ignorance is a worthwhile byproduct. One egregiously bypassed through cursors, dropdown windows and advance search keystrokes.

    Moreover, skimming through newspaper classified columns often led to intriguing detours. A prospect may’ve sought a position in x. Yet canvassing newsprint might’ve presented chin-tugging openings in y. Or z. Now, unless fate guides typing these curious categories, there’s small likelihood of ever incidentally coming across any intention-altering profession.

    Baroque language further hinders 21st century job chases. Before Strunk & White writing style guides seemingly became obsolete, classified postings were straightforward. Employers required candidates possessing clearly described backgrounds to perform plainly defined tasks. Salaries, hours and benefits usually appeared ahead of contact information.

    So simple even an Ivy Leaguer who skated through four profligate years as a legacy majoring in beer pong could’ve deciphered them.

    Now, necessary qualifications are larded with left-field covering tangents while the true job advertised remains a riddle. The copy itself flows with the kind of flourishes that would make a Restoration fop sound like jus’ folks.

    I can imagine the rabbits slapping together these Pollocks. Summoning all they can to cover every base and creating verbal Rorschach splotches as a result. They have ideas about who’s needed, but these are hazy. Which I suppose are insights to the departments represented.

    And don’t get me started on zipping resumes who knows where to who knows who for who knows what. Divulging to anonymous recipients feels untoward on the way to foolhardy. When did such disclosure become so widely acceptable?

    At least CV’s delivered via surface mail or, best, personally proffered across a desk narrow the suspect list if identity theft erupts. 

    We’ve gotten cavalier about our confidential information. Our confidences, too. Yet we anguish when our freely circulated identities are swiped for nefarious purposes.

    Decent employment. Evaporated. How many of us never prized those good grinds until circumstances beyond sanity erased them?
 

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