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Notes on being unemployed

My brain is turning to mush. Itís true. If you donít have exposure to an activity that requires attention, you sort of lose focus. At home with Junior, I spend my day watching Nogginí and having great philosophical discussions that consist of:

  • You gotta go poo poo?
  • Which one is bigger?
  • What color is the ball?
  • Did you go pee pee?
  • One, two, three, four, five.
  • So, during the day the only thing remotely mentally stimulating is surfing Al Goreís Internets. Because of this lack of mental stimulation, Iíve even gone on some job interviews for jobs Iím not really interested in just to interact with the occasional adult other than my wife. I think this mental mushiness from lack of adult interaction is common. After all how many times do you hear of some business sort who retires only to go insane or die shortly thereafter? I think the reason is they lack a challenge.

    Also, recruiters and headhunters are almost completely useless human beings. Of the several interviews Iíve been on, only one was arranged by a headhunter. And these recruiting firms make shit up. They post jobs they donít have in an effort to get you to send them your rťsumť. Iíve even confirmed this with a headhunter friend of mine. I have basically written off one local firm because they have nothing but made up jobs. Seriously. I contact a local firm and tell them I saw a particular ad they had in the paper and express my interest. Should be no problem setting me up since they have my info. But they donít have a job. I ask about the ad and they tell me it’s already been filled. Really? You filled it in 20 fucking minutes? I should have figured that out since they probably wouldnít run ads if they already have candidates who were qualified.

    Also, a special note to headhunters: When I send you my rťsumť, thatís what you should work with (and maybe a list of references). Do not call me into your office when you have my rťsumť and ask me to waste a couple of hours (counting driving time) filling out your proprietary paperwork that is a complete duplicate of information that is already contained on my rťsumť. Donít ask me to take some proficiency exam either, particularly when said proficiency exam is targeted towards, say, a clerk and Iím there on the premise that you have a director level, upper management job. Then, donít act all surprised and patronizing when I score in the 99th percentile on said exam. Of course, a CPA is going to score high on an exam that targets clerks. And why are you asking me to fill out tax info when you donít have a job for me.

    Iíve even had a couple that have called me in on the pretense that they have a job I may be interested in and they want to discuss it with me. So, I arrange babysitting, put on a monkey suit, drive the 40 minutes to their office, fill out their paperwork, take some stupid test, then finally meet the recruiter, who promptly implies (without actually coming out and saying) that they donít have anything for me now but Iím on file while making vague references to jobs I know they don’t have orders for.

    17 Responses to “Notes on being unemployed”

    1. tgirsch Says:

      Four weeks was the longest single stretch of unemployment of my adult life, and I went absolutely nuts. I started applying for minimum wage jobs just to get out of the house and do something. And nobody would hire me, because they presumed (correctly) that I’d do great work while I was there, but would bolt as soon as a “real job” came along. (I would have given appropriate notice, of course…)

      If you’re really going that nuts, you might consider working through a temp agency. A crap job answering phones for $10/hour (filling in for sick days, whatever) is still better than being stuck in the house all day.

    2. SayUncle Says:

      THe problem with that is that said crap job would have to cover the cost of day care. Not a lot of those out there.

    3. Manish Says:

      ouch..sounds like you’ve had the distinct displeasure of having a Robert Half interview.

      I once went a little over 6 months without a job and it was hell, so I definitely feel for you. I would suggest to make it a point of getting out (probably a little harder with a kid). Go to a cafe with wi-fi and work from there on occasion. Perhaps take a temp job for your sanity even if you lose on the daycare. Also take advantage of the all the things that you’ve been wanting to read (and stay off the internets..its a major time suck if you aren’t careful).

    4. countertop Says:

      Don’t know about regular headhunters, but I find legal recruiters to be just as bad.

    5. Sailorcurt Says:

      The kids would really put a damper on things. Both of mine are grown.

      The one time I found myself “job seeking”, I simply made finding a job, my job. I worked at it 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

      I checked every want ad, online job source, etc every morning and printed out those that looked interesting, researched the employers for background info, re-engineered each resume to best match the position I was applying for, ensured I had good contact info for the HR people, I dropped off resumes in person whenever possible, set up informational interviews before applying for positions, etc etc etc.

      I don’t know if that was the key or not, but I had a good job within a couple of months…and it kept me gainfully employed and intellectually stimulated at the same time.

    6. Chris Byrne Says:

      Dude are you sure you arent stealing my notes?

      I swear to god if I hear “I’m not perfect no I’m not” ever again I’m gonna find that Berkner comiie bitch and kill her.

    7. power5483 Says:

      I want to know why you don’t just go ahead out on your own. You are motivated, intelligent, and young enough to have the energy. You are in a fairly high growth area. Of course, I am not an accountant, much less a CPA, so I am sure there are many things to consider in this field that I am unaware.

      Two anecdotes: Our accountant, not a CPA, started in his home (after moving from another state) with an ad in the paper. He grew quite well with referrals. Personality helped him a lot. A neighbor does a lot of business out of her home, not sure her level of accounting/bookkeeping.

    8. SayUncle Says:

      Power, I thought about it but most local stuff is for taxes. I don’t do much tax stuff. I have some clients on the side (have for years) but not enough business to do it full time and probably not enough contacts to get it. Plus, i’d have to get ungodly expensive insurance since we accountants are liable for tons of stuff.

    9. tgirsch Says:

      THe problem with that is that said crap job would have to cover the cost of day care.

      I guess I didn’t realize the wife was working. Sweet!

      Anyway, I won’t bother with a recruiter who isn’t willing to feed me. No lunch, no talkie. ūüôā

    10. tgirsch Says:

      The other alternative is what my parents did: get a crap job whose hours that don’t conflict with your wife’s job. Means you see your wife less (but trust me, she’s probably tired of you being around all the time anyway), but you get out of the house.

    11. Billll Says:

      Been out of work for a too high percentage of the last few years. Too a job assembling bicycles and grills at Wal-mart and Toys-R-Us. Ex rocket scientists can be pretty good at that. Got the job based on having designed and built about 20 recumbent bikes myself. I suppose the folks at Micky-Ds have to have 5 years experience at cattle ranching with collateral experience in the cattle futures markets to become burger flippers.
      Doing better now, but still not back where I was.
      Being out of work corrodes the soul.
      Like sucks, then you die.

    12. Beth T. Says:

      Just wondering how come any of us that have used recruiters – headhunters – whatever [I used a number of legal recruiters, and you’re right, Countertop, they are not good] – haven’t actually said what Uncle said here to their faces… I am sooo glad I am not “there” anymore and can be prematurely retired. If my situation changed, I’d be back there in the States hoofin it on the pavement doing the 9 to 5 to get a 9 to 5 [which in the legal field is actually 7 to 7!]. I do, however, agree with SailorCurt as well, that getting a job is a full-time job. Best of luck, Uncle! And, thanks for sharing what we’ve all felt at one point or another about those damn recruiters!

    13. SayUncle Says:

      Actually, I did share that with them. I doubt they’ll call me again.

    14. Jay G Says:


      Screw the CPA biz. Open Crazy Unc’s House ‘o’ EBRs.

    15. The Strata-Sphere » Blog Archive » The Raging RINO’s Are HERE! Says:

      […] Say Uncle (’Uncle’ – can’t resist) relays the joys of parenthood with the young ones when you are the stay at home parent. Ah, those were the days! And its about job hunting. Just go read it… […]

    16. SayUncle » More on headhunters Says:

      […] I’m not the only one who had trouble with recruiters. Miriam did too. […]

    17. SayUncle » Suing bloggers - the day after Says:

      […] I’ve had issues with some headhunters before. […]

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