Little Boxes

I don’t have a day-job at the moment.  Every Monday, I have to go to down to the Jobcentre and report on what I’ve done to ‘look for work’.  Last week, my ‘activity’ equaled 36 hours.  This week’s projection is also 36.  That’s a full-time job.

For me, this involves drinking coffee while clicking through more than 6 job-sites, looking for the magic words, ‘please send CV and cover letter to’: someone who is probably younger than me at Shehasajobandyoudon’tdotcom.

Actually, those are easy.  Because I have a CV and can write damn good letters.  It’s the forms that get me.  Especially the ones online where you get timed out after let’s see, 6 minutes and thirty nine seconds.  That doesn’t even cover my email address.  Because it’s really long.  I also have a long employment history.  Because I’m older than some of the people hopefully reading my application.  And I’ve worked at a lot of places for little or no money.  Yes, that counts.

I could copy and paste.  But the only thing I hate more than full online applications is screwy formatting.  This over here is bold, this is in 8point and this is text-wrapped.  Obviously not too tight.  Cover it up.  Go away.  This is the point where I step away from the computer and watch Modern Family.  Or a movie with lots of hyphenated curses in it.

Sometimes, like today, I’m able to get my hands on a printed application.  They still exist.  The only thing I hate more than online applications and screwy formatting is BLOCK capitals.   And those little boxes.

I’m looking into some volunteer work.  This involves three forms.  My advisor looked them over.  And I tried to answer the questions in her eyes.

Yes, I’m aware I have a long email address.  Yes, that is my mother’s maiden name.   No, it isn’t German.  Yes, I have lived in 6 places in the last five years.  Yes, really.

After signing my name 8 times, I gathered up my passport and two other forms of ID and I left.

I still have to do a few hours of work to find work today.  After that, I may watch Pulp Fiction.

Oh, really?
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14 thoughts on “Little Boxes

  1. Good luck with the job hunt! I’ve been there and know exactly what you mean. When I was laid off in 2009, I spent all my time looking for work. Some of those forms were incredible. I felt like they were a test to see if I had enough of … some quality, I don’t what … to be considered for whatever crappy job I was applying for. I finally gave up, started my own business and have been happily scraping by ever since. Don’t let the bastards get you down!

  2. I have no patience for online aps either. And JobService in the U.S. is done on the state leave which means some states are really well organized and other states are totally NOT user friendly. The state I where I most want to live has the worst. You can’t even accesss the sites unless you already live there. I often wish for more federal standardization amoung these programs.

  3. Sucky times! My dad’s also looking for work at the moment (and both of my siblings went through the same process in the last two years), and I hear plenty of complaints about the system and how everyone wants something different and how there are all these time consuming and unnecessary stages to the applications, or skills tests that weren’t actually needed, or whatever… it sounds like a nightmare. I’m not looking forward to when my turn comes in a few years.

  4. Don’t let that soul destroying activity get you. I can think of nothing worse than perusing non-stop the want ads and then, as you pointed out, sending a cv & letter to a twelve year-old. May you find a light at the end of your tunnel soon…that sounded better when I thought it… 🙂

  5. Oh my God. I haaaate applying for jobs online! The worst part is when you know a computer looks over your resume/application before it even gets to a real person! Good luck to you!

  6. Whenever the job hunt gets to be too much, just watch an episode of Modern Family. That’s sure to put a smile on your face. Since it’s almost Halloween, check out last year’s special. If you’re a fan of Happy Endings too, make it a back-to-back feature.

    Good luck on your job search!

    1. Modern Family is my go-to show now, The Hallowe’en episode was the best. We are six eps away from the end of the second series and impaitently waiting for the more recent ones on Netflix!

      I shall reply to your lovely email soon-ish. 😉

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