Paul Haeder, Author

writing, interviews, editing, blogging

There are so many reasons why “they” don’t hire folks like “me.” Strike up the ageism and sexism band. I am 65, a male, and the jobs I am attempting to get are in the social services arena.

Educational navigator, state and county jobs, even city jobs. The writing is on the wall, in a rural county, and, when I do get interviews, it’s four to six women. Many times the interview is couched with “we are a tight-knit family, a very close team so how do you think you’d be part of that?”

I am a great interview, and I am able to put on a face, bring up interesting connections to my long work experience and my education to each respective job I’ve applied for.

And, that small knit female group is not wanting to have an outsider, someone who doesn’t look like them. These people, to be blunt, are seated inside a nanny mentality, and drawn into paperwork and following procedures to the letter. They are not giving and creative souls. They seem to be pretty one-dimensional. I get through the screening, then the interview, then the email a week or weeks later, which is a form letter, that states:

PAUL — Thank you for interviewing for the position of Permanency Workers (Social Services Specialist 1) Newport . Although you have not been selected for the position, we enjoyed learning about your background and experience in greater detail.

Again, thank you for your time and interest. We encourage you to apply for other opportunities in the future.

Thank you.”

Yep, my mother told me I should have continued at the U of Arizona and got the medical degree. Even a law degree. That was way back when, 19 years of age and having the gift of gab, the gift of testing to a high level, above 89 or 90. Gifts . . . now, at 65, feeling, well, embarassed that, a, I have to look for work with no retirement, in this shit hole country, and in any shit hole state (you name it). Democratic or Republican governor, the scum rises to the top. With so much scum below them. And, b, I am pissed off and in this predictament. And, c, that I even feel this way — useless, a throw-away, disposable, nothing (I don’t feel these for many minutes in a day, but still, feeling this shit is like hot lead down one’s gullet).

All terrible people lifted through the prostitution called politics. There are so many mean, dog-eat-dog, I-got-mine-tough-you-don’t-got-yours fucking Americanos. Yankee or Stars and Bars, most are cut from the same shit-hole Mayflower cloth.

This is the shape of things to come, for many of us, who are self-avowed radicals, willing to say and write and publish things that are definitely outside the bold lines of the center fold of American meanness. American group think. American belonging in the bandwagon. Infantalized. Disneyfied. Now, gGet stuck in a rural arena, with few opportunities, and this is the weekly routine —

  • change up the resume
  • write a new cover letter
  • do an on-line application
  • sometimes complete these timed tests, many of which are psycho personality tests — sick stuff
  • attest at the end of the application, before hitting submit, that all stuff is truthful, and that they, the prospective employer, has the right to go back into all manner of work and legal and living history

And it is almost impossible during this process, and while consuming corporate, commercial, un-News news, to not get jaded, cynical, pissed off and, well, dejected. Since all the stories are about the beautiful people, the celebrities, all the crap around stars and sports stars. All the felonies committed by politicians, corporate heads, even those in positions of state-county-city government.

There are so many undeserving folk. Yep, we know that. And to hear any manner of these people who get quoted or get the limelight is to hear monsters who have zero idea how the 80 percent live.

Then, to see folks circling their wagons interviewing me only because they may be checking off — “get a white old male in the mix to look like we are diversity mavens” — to have at least three people in the pool. I have had my application stopped because not enought applicants hit the pool. Imagine that.

Then, there’s this blasphemy — more and more staffing firms, the bane of humanity:

Contracting is Worker Exploitation — (source)

Staffing agencies perpetuate this ugly cycle because they make a hefty profit exploiting contractors. Staffing agency recruiters will lie about the length of the contract and specific requirements, they’ll alter resumes without your knowledge, and make little to no effort to find another assignment once a contract ends. Some of these staffing agencies are so unprofessional, they’ve sent me emails meant for other people they’re trying to recruit. Staffing agencies are the worst. They don’t disclose how much they charge a company for a contractor’s services to maximize their profits. For example, for one of my recent contracting gigs, the company paid the staffing agency $60 an hour. I received $40 an hour while the staffing agency received $20 an hour for every hour of my work. The staffing agency received $800 a week for doing practically nothing, while I did all the work. These are the risks of contracting work, but it doesn’t make it right or ethical.

Here, in my neck of the woods, the Lincoln County School District, again, sell outs and they give shit about workers: “ESS is a staffing firm specializing in placing highly qualified staff in daily, long-term, and permanent K-12 school district positions, including paraprofessionals, substitute teachers, and other support staff. The company innovates education staffing to provide dynamic solutions to schools and professional opportunities to passionate educators. ESS provides its employees with the ability to work for schools across the country and competitive training, flexible work schedules, and professional development. The company’s partner schools receive personalized solutions, hands-on management, technology, and program reporting and analytics. ESS was founded in 2000, and its headquarter is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, United States. The firm’s expert professionals serve more than 3 million students with a pool of 60000 substitute and permanent employees throughout the United States. ESS provides healthcare benefits and other perks to its employees.”

So these schools, public schools, have sold out their food to profiteers (Sodexo), the janitorial profiteers (Sodexo; Bon Apetite), buses (Student First, et al) and their hiring too, sold out to the profit gougers. Staffing firms and those all-American welfare cheats who look, sound, smell like, well, good people. This is what the average person has to confront.

A national labor phenomenon known as “The Great Resignation,” or “The Big Quit,” began to take hold in January 2021 and has since grown. Millions of workers in the United States have turned the turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic into opportunities to rethink their professions and reframe their lives.

The trend is especially pronounced in the accommodation and food services sector, which experienced more than 5 percent worker attrition each month from June to October of last year.

Online, people flooded a Reddit forum called “r/antiwork” for commiseration and solidarity; by year’s end, the page had reached 1.5 million members. In the streets, thousands of unionized workers in manufacturinghealth care, and higher education went on strike last fall for fair pay and protections. (source)

So, with two master’s degrees, and three dozen years teaching, and some of that including substituting K12 in Washington and Texas, I have to face jobs where $14.89 an hour, no benefits, on-call, at will, are the options. But add to this paltry pay: a substitute needs to pay a fee to get a substitute certification, which is $350 in Oregon. I even had to take a civics test, here in Oregon, a test that was so fucking easy that, well, another fee to pay in order to get a shitty $14.89 an hour.

You will not hear VP Harris or Jill Biden or Henry Giroux or Chris Hedges writing about this stuff. Believe you me, this is below them, to be blunt. I am part of a legion of older folk caught in several levels or circles of THEIR hell: the arbitrators, the people in high and mid office, making some of the worst decisions ever. We are at the whim of lock-step fearful folk. We are at the beckon call of the most uncreative people on earth. I have seen the antithesis of education, of journalism, of social work, of college teaching in my many decades wandering the planet as a writer who should have gone the route of med school or law.

I’m sixty-five and really part of the growing throw-away contingent of millions in this Western Culture who are just the flesh and blood (and data mines) in a pipeline for more rich and super rich and almost rich people to take their pound of flesh — fees, penalties, late charges, triple taxation, tickets, surcharges, foreclosures, evictions, repossessions, evictions, code infractions, add-ons.

Oh, cry for me, United Snakes of America. Evictions, uh? They — the landlords, the BlackRocks, the BlackStones, the Banks and the Insurance and the Real Estate monsters, they are the Stinkin’ Badges!

February/March 2022

Never forget who we are:

See the source image

But then, forgetting is in the water:

See the source image

And, you can’t get Whoopied when you got no millions:

See the source image

Unemployment, on the dole, on the fiddle, under the table, riff-raff, deplorable, welfare king, trash,undesirable,vermin, dreg of society, scum, outcast. Hell, just look at the Chosen People’s movie channels — all those narratives, those Hulu and Netflix and Amazon junk, how they depict (they never really depict real struggle) us commoners, those of us who still have a few good years left to be “contributors,” but for many reasons, will never get the third, fourth, tenth chance.

Remote Area Medical? Shit, we are an underperforming country, intentional, vis-a-vis the corporate whores, the lot of them:

Scale this shit up. Dental clinics, care homes, medical clinics. Free, of course. Reroute that Biden-Trump-Bush-Obama-Clinton war money to what we need: Stan Brock, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom: “A debate over healthcare has been raging nationwide, but what’s been lost in the discussion are the American citizens who live day after day, year after year without solutions for their most basic needs. Remote Area Medical documents the annual three-day “pop-up” medical clinic organized by the non-profit Remote Area Medical (RAM) in Bristol, Tennessee’s NASCAR speedway. Instead of a film about policy, Remote Area Medical is a film about people, about a proud Appalachian community banding together to try and provide some relief for friends and neighbors who are simply out of options.”

Fucking Stan Brock — they don’t make people like him anymore!

Image
Stan Brock presented a popular wildlife show on US television in the Sixties

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