Sep 13, 2010 @ 3:14 pm | By TheFeministGriote | 3 Comments
“I’ve been workin’ this graveshift and I ain’t made shit
I wish I could buy me a spaceship and fly past the sky
I’ve been workin’ this graveshift and I ain’t made shit
I wish I could buy me a spaceship and fly past the sky”
Kanye West from the song “Spaceship”
I am part of a very elite club. This club is comprised of 14.9 million Americans. 14.9 million people represent the number of unemployed Americans according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics www.bls.gov. 14.9 people who are not spending money, buying goods, purchasing a home, saving for retirement, or doing anything positive to stimulate our very dead economy. Currently, the nations unemployment rate is at 9.6%. Although, I am part of the 14.9 million unemployed Americans the dubious honor doesn’t stop there for me. I am a resident of Florida which boasts an unemployment rate of 11.6% and as if that doesn’t make matters worse I am Black. The unemployment rate among Blacks is at 16.3% which is the highest among all the races. With daunting numbers such as these its a wonder how I even wake up in the morning because clearly the game is rigged against me and my failure has already been charted.
About two weeks ago I went on a job interview (my first one since Moses parted the Red Sea.) I wore my best fashionable yet conservative suit that I had in my closet. My navy blue Tahari suit with black trimming that has beautiful military looking buttons. I wore silver studs being that I could not wear my huge Afrocentric hoops that I usually don. I was the poster child for European business chic. I had on my Steve Madden heels, Steve Madden valise, Mac lip gloss, Anne Klein specs and although I had already faxed my resume I carried extras in my Juicy Couture folder. I looked powerful, expensive, assured, and smart! I walked into that building looking like I was interviewing for the CEO position and not the menial position that I was actually there to interview for. I got to the interview early and therefore the wait seemed endless as I rehearsed my answers before I was presented to the firing squad. I was interviewed by a man and a woman. The interview went very well. I could tell by the main interviewers body language that I was answering the questions to his liking. They were very impressed with my resume and the fact that I had extensive experience for the position in which I was interviewing for. They questioned me about the pay which was significantly lower than what I am accustom to making, but I told them that I was willing to take the pay cut as long as the company offered growth. Truth is I have a car note, car insurance, credit card bills, medical bills, and a student loan that kicks in in another two months and therefore I am in no position to be choosy or dismissive of any opportunity that presents itself to me. I will not flip burgers, but other than that I am flexible.
After the interview I sent the interviewer a thank you email to which he answered promptly to. In my mind I had it. I looked the part, sounded the part, I had the qualifications, I have a college degree, I was charming during the interview and I even sent a thank you email. I had this job right? Wrong! I didn’t get the job and honestly I can only attribute the fact that they thought I was I over qualified for the job. This is very frustrating. I want to work, I can work, but the jobs I apply for shun me for being educated, having an impressive work history, and being marketable. What are professionals suppose to do in this jobless work environment? Everyone has bills to pay whether or not you are blue collar or white collar. I am too qualified to get a menial job and I don’t have enough experience to get a high paying corporate job. Also, I am not poor enough to get help from the government. I have no children, I am not homeless therefore I cannot qualify for medicaid, cash assistance, or food stamps. Either way I go I am screwed! I often go to my local unemployment office to check up on job leads and when I walk in I am immediately looked upon as if I am an outsider. The majority of the people who frequent that office have little to no education, blue collar workers, and heavily rely upon on public assistance which mandates they attend programs that make them more suited for job placement. When I walk in dressed casually in my bohemian dress, aldo sandals, and English Literature degree in hand I am looked at with great suspicion. I feel out of place and I am treated with contempt. I am judged if I dress to nicely and I am judged if I am dressed to casually plus my resume screams OVER QUALIFIED. Not only am I unemployed I am also forced to interact with the unemployment office workers who would rather humiliate you and berate you instead of aiding you in trying to find employment. Being unemployed takes a toll not only on your finances, but also on your self esteem and faith. So, I am left with this question one question. Where do overly qualified people work and can I get a referral?!
Categories: Mind Over Chatter