ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What do You Want Me to Do Horror

Updated on August 11, 2010

That is what my friends say to me when we talk jobs- things they do not have. Many who have managed to remained employed for the past two years really have little clue as to what it is like. Seriously. They sympathize, empathize, dehumanize, the horror their friends or relatives live every day, and to themselves whisper, "thank god it is not me".

One friend has been out of work for almost two years. That is a thought that is hard to comprehend for me and most others. The usual response I have is, "you can't work at some Walgreens, Walmart, fast food as a last resort?". Their response is mixed with a combo of pride and realism of this job market. The pride stems from their college education, wiped-out dreams, high tech background, some have MA degrees, and maybe their personal "last resort" has been avoided thus far. The realism part is stark and a horror. They face at least six applicants per job, probably more like 15. For some, middle age now, their is a disgrace of sorts and age discrimination making it harder. The hiring manager perceives them more as a negative than a plus, and the few that are closing in on 60, it's simply a bloodletting. Qualifications? Some are well over qualified because of education or job history, yet, they will never get that " fast food" job because of that. Other jobs are a perfect fit, yet, competition and employers being picky, spell failure. Maybe it comes to their personality, age, perception instead, but the job goes to someone else.

For those who continue to work and were not impacted, they joke, "surely, you can find a job, doing something, like a clerk or cashier". That is naive. If the unemployed person is 40 yrs, a former engineer, or mid-level manager, going for these kind of jobs usually is a waste. You compete with nearly anyone 18 and older. Age is a factor, your past income levels are a factor, how you look is a factor (young or old?).

What is one to do? The statistics bring this all back home: over 435,000 beteen 35-44 have been out of work for over a year, the average length of unemployment is now 25 weeks (six months), 962,000 blacks are out of work over a year, 367,000 between 55-64 yrs, have been out of work over a year, 608,000 between 45-54 yrs have been out over a year.

More horror.

July produced only 71,000 jobs. That same month, 181,000 left the work force. In the past three months, over 1,155,000 unemployed people have stopped looking and are not counted as unemployed. Had these been counted, unemployment in the US would be 10%. Many of these call themselves, 99ers, meaning, out of work for 99 weeks or more! There are 14.6 million unemployed in the US and 50% of those have been like that for sic months or more. If you count those and those who have given up looking and those working part-time, the levels reach what they were in the Great Depression of the 1930s. There are 3.4 million fewer private sector jobs than in 2000.

With 14.6 million jobless, 5.9 million that have stopped looking, and 8.5 million working PT jobs but seek FT, the grand total is 30 million who cannot find work or seek more work.

Washington seems more interested in funding billions to Pakistan, Afghanistan, bridges to nowhere, warlords in tribal areas to win the "hearts and minds", than helping the American people.

I thought Obama was different. Nyet.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Beaks is 100% correct. If one has limited funds for learning a new trade or education to switch fields, then, you have one shot. So, the hardest is choosing which one, its costs, its return value in wages. Being 21 or 55, and facing this same issue is identical, except the age. You might spend 15K to re-educate and get a new skill and find out you still are unemployed with more bills, or, it may work out. It's a gamble. So, pick one that has the best odds, cross your fingers, pray.

    • profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      My spouse has been out of work for almost a year and a half now. Whole industries are drying up right now and it;s hard to know what to do. What industry will be outsourced next? Manufacturing is gone, customer services is heading out the door and my former industry, journalism, is on its last legs. Many people just have no idea where to turn and how to enter an entirely new field.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      The last paragraph is so correct. for some, answering it is a difficult thing!

    • Springboard profile image


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      That's one stark reality so often missed by a lot of folks on the issue of jobs, and TYPES of jobs. We need more GOOD jobs in this country. Strong, industrial jobs with great pay and benefits.

      That all said, we are where we are. I come from the lot that says you do whatever you have to do so long as you have to do it. That means sometimes you have to hunker down and do something that may seem beneath you...but the alternative to NOT hunkering down, IMO is much worse. What happens if you reach the end of the line? The savings runs out. The unemployment checks aren't coming anymore. The credit cards are all maxxed out.

      All of your education and past salary and past status is moot if you're digging through the garbage on the streets because you are simply too ashamed to work for Hardees, or McDonalds or Walmart or something like that. And all the hard work of the past becomes for moot if you've used what you've earned and saved to live on because you couldn't swallow your pride and take on a lesser job.

      One would rather live on their future retirement than just keep going forward?

      What's a waste? Wasting away. Doing nothing. Feeling sorry for yourself. Someone you knew sees you in a Walmart and you were an engineer before, and they say, "Wow Pete. It's come to this?" Smile. Tell a white lie if you have to. "Oh this? This is just something to pass the time. I got so bored sitting around and living off my investments. Had to get out and do something..."

      Brains before braun was always the adage. Use them.

      NOT that I don't absolutely understand, appreciate, nor sympathize with your points here which are the reality for your friend, and so many others who are victims of today's economy. Only to say that I think we all make our own beds most of the time. And yes, we MUST lie in them. Whatever CHOICE we make, for whatever reason, is ours to own.

      Obama has it wrong. CLEARLY he has it wrong. But you can't wait for him or anyone else to get it right. In the meantime, you have to do what you have to do. If you don't, aren't you no better than the folks looking for a handout, waiting for someone to rain some money down on them?

      There are three kinds of people in this world. Those who makes things happen. Those who watch things happen. And those who wonder what happened. Which one is the better person to be?

    • eovery profile image


      8 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      We need help and help fast. I think if Obama and crew even rumored that they would extend the Bush tax cuts, the economy would have a boost, just from the talk.

      With all the think Obama, Reid and Pelosi are doing, things are going to get worse and worse.

      Keep on hubbing!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)