♫ It’s Been a Long Time… ♫

♫ …shouldna left you…without a dope beat to step to…step to…step to…step to… ♫

My bad. I was listening to Aaliyah’s “Try Again” a little while ago. Last Monday, which is also my little sister’s birthday, marked the 13th anniversary of her death. One of the worst days in music this century.

A lot has happened in the last month or so, and I haven’t had much time to post. I’ll try not to induce narcolepsy as I regale you with my tales of whimsy, woe, and WTF.

First, I am now single. I’m going to save that for another post, as the story surrounding that is just…yeah.

Secondly, I had gotten a part-time gig with a company in the south suburban Chicagoland area at a call center. I had actually written about it in one of my previous posts, but I have since removed information about the company – as well as the exuberance I felt about being semi-employed again – as I did not want to be caught up in some type of libel situation with what I am about to say now. Granted, the pay was shittier than the septic tank in Joe Dirt, and the commute was hell, both of which I knew would be the case going in the door. However, the worst part was that the job was not what it appeared to be.

The way that the position was touted was that I would be helping job seekers set up a “job matching profile” to help them with their search, and then at some point, I would gauge their interest in whether they would be interested in pursuing education. The way it worked was like this: A job seeker is at a job board like ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and so forth, and when they go to apply for the position, they are led to a website that is, supposedly, the employer’s website where they have to fill in a bunch of information. Anyway, when the job seeker fills his/her information in the “application,” almost immediately, the job seeker receives a text message telling him/her to call in about whatever position they have applied for. The job seeker calls in, and reaches…you guessed it…

ME.

The job seeker then notes why they are calling, and they are all excited to talk about the position, as they think that they are talking to a recruiter. I then had to go into this phony spiel of informing the job seeker that I would be doing a “pre-screening to determine (his/her) qualifications for the position as posted by the employer,” and then I would “help (him/her) with (his/her) job search by setting up a job matching profile containing open positions in (his/her) area that (he/she) might be interested in and may qualify for.” Sounds nice, right? Well, it would be, except for two things: (1) In no way was I affiliated with the employer, and as such, there was really no “pre-screening” being done on its behalf, and (2) I was never actually setting up “job matching profiles.” I was simply reading, from a script, questions about their employment background, education background (which was really a blurb), their long-term career goals, and then switch to the education piece. I was tasked with asking job seekers if they would “consider furthering their education within the next few months,” and rebutting job seekers’ opposition to doing so in order to get them to agree to be transferred to the “premier education advisors” we supposedly worked with. The job piece was not the main goal of the call; getting them to sign up to be harassed by schools of which they had neither the intellectual, financial, or motivational wherewithal to attend.

To give you an idea of how this bait-and-switch bullshit scenario worked, let’s take, for example, an administrative assistant gig at Loyola University (which is literally right down the street from me) that I was interested in not too long ago. I learned of the position via one of my e-mail alerts from Beyond.com. So, I clicked the link, and it took me to a website called Gigats, which I had never heard of. However, it had the Loyola seal and whatnot on it, so I initially thought it was legit. Then, as I read further down the page, it started to get fishy…

The scam page I encountered when applying for a job with Loyola University.

The scam page I encountered when applying for a job with Loyola University.

So, that’s when I decided to go to Loyola’s careers page, which looked drastically different from the above…

The real Loyola University careers page.

The real Loyola University careers page.

The warning bells went off bigtime, so I decided to see what would happen if I entered my information into that bogus website. And, as predicted, not even 20 minutes after I had, I got this text message…

The text message I received after "applying" for the administrative assistant position @ Loyola University.

The text message I received after “applying” for the administrative assistant position @ Loyola University.

This was the kind of text message that the aforementioned job seekers would get that would start the whole stinky turd ball rollin’.

I felt dirty.

So damn dirty.

So much so that I quit the gig after three weeks. I couldn’t stomach making a living deceiving people into signing up for something in which they had no interest, and, in the long run, incur massive debt that they will never be able to pay off.

For $9/hr and only 30 hours a week, they could keep that shit.

So, I am back on the hunt. I have had several interviews in the last few weeks, many of which resulted in my not being what the company wanted (despite me nearly-perfectly fitting the job description and possessing many of the attributes for which they were looking). I do have a second interview for one gig on Tuesday, and I am really hoping I get it because it totally falls in line with what I will be earning my Master’s degree in. The pay is slightly less than what I was making, but at least there is room for upward movement, and once I earn my MA, I am sure doors will open.

I suppose you could say that I am currently embodying the adage of Aaliyah’s song: “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.”

And try again I will. *blows dust off of shoulders*

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