I received my first unemployment compensation last Thursday, making me officially part of what I was raised to believe was "the problem." I definitely come from a fiscally conservative family, and I'm honestly surprised there isn't some sort of framed picture of Ronald Reagan in the house.[1] The natural prescription for people fixing their economic problems wasn't government assistance, but their own bootstraps. Now, that's not exactly my viewpoint these days, but I can't say theirs has changed a whole lot.

So you know times are bad when the first thing my dad did after I lost my job was advise me to file for unemployment. Which he then followed by wistfully wishing he too could file for unemployment.[2] Yeah. I think that, more then anything else, scared me a bit about this whole situation. I pretty much had to accept that, at that moment, the truth is that I might be out of a job for awhile.

We're ending week 4, and the interview count is at 3, thanks to an out-of-the-blue interview request yesterday. The application count is something at 50+; I can't say for sure because I didn't really keep track of all the jobs I applied for the first week I was unemployed. I can probably count the rejection letters on one hand; most people you just never hear from. But to be fair, most of them are just fake craigslist postings designed to redirect you to other job sites in an effort to drum up traffic and increase their own revenue.

What, you mean J. Howard isn't real? K. Phillips isn't holding a position for me? T. Miller isn't really a representative for the wonderfully generically named Human Resources Company?

No, I'm afraid they're all part of the dark underbelly of job sites - the scammers. Honestly the ones who want you information just to flood you in spam really isn't the worst of it. The thing that I have a hard time with are the people out to get your social security number while promising some sort of great opportunity.

Once, I applied for a "company" that wanted me to provide my name, social and address for a "optional" tax evaluation record. When I declined (on account of needing the social), it went to a different screen that instead just wanted my social in order to submit the application. Right.

Internet scamming is part of life, but honestly some of this stuff really upsets me. People's lives are bad enough without a job - the last thing they need is for someone to take that opportunity to engage in a little exploitation and identity theft. I realize that the golden rule of internet safety is to "Be careful." And it applies just as much when you're looking for a job as it does for any other internet activity. But honestly I'm not sure you can blame people for being a little desperate when they're filling out these forms, and sometimes thinking with their hearts as opposed to their heads.

Either way, I'm being careful. I might miss out on a job or two, afraid for it to be a scam, but that's okay. At least I won't have to worry about giving my information out to someone only too eager to use "K. Caulfield" as the new representative of the Human Resources Company.

  1. There is a framed picture + quote of Theodore Roosevelt though, so take from that what you will. There's certainly a valid argument that he is the most badass President of all time. Personally I think my dad just likes that big stick quote.
  2. Yeah we're not sure that you can when you own your company, which is unfortunate.

Posted by Kevin on 1:21 PM


Colure said...

I know this is hard, babe... we'll get through it. We always do.

love you!

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