Reinventing myself

I have come to the very sad conclusion that I will never work in my chosen fields ever again. My last job was instructional design which is a very technological field. Basically this involve developing training programs for employees along with training them on the software. This field is always changing. My fields before that was public relations and broadcasting and finding a job in these fields is slim to none (leaning towards none). All of these fields are changing because of the internet, outsourcing and technology. Many employers are hiring these jobs part time if at all. Several employers I interviewed with told me that they often doubled up jobs because often one person can do a job that several used to. Let’s not forget that I am a 41 year old woman, not exactly prime hiring person. Sure, I am very smart and responsible but we all know they often don’t care about that.

So it looks like in the spring I am back to school. As of now I am leaning towards checking into becoming a Catholic school teacher and checking how to become one. I know several who became Catholic teachers and as I have been told often you just need a degree. In the event I need a certificate I will check into getting it, and when I looked years ago I found it would take me a year. Other fields I considered are massage therapist and speech therapist because both seem to be in demand, but to be a speech therapist I would have to go and get another bachelor and a masters, and we are talking 4 years or so. Massage therapist I don’t think is as long but just checking into it now. I really want to be a pet trainer but am striking out on that and am having trouble finding info.

I really hate this. I do know when I do go back to school I will do things differently like really network. Of course I did last time but apparently not good enough.

More job hunting comedy…

(This is why i cartoon. I swear that there is a cartoon in just about everything)

An ad ran on our local Craigslist. The job was for an office assistant and ap/ar person. If you were interested, interviews were held all afternoon this past Monday.

I went to their interview — granted the place is in a little ole rundown building but what was at the front desk and what was workin on the inside was the big give away the salaries were stinko. Sometimes you can tell.

I completed their app and then spoke to the interviewer. THe guy kept me 10 minutes — told me nearly nothing about the job and asked me maybe 1 or 2 questions about where I worked.

I took the mike and asked why the job was open (“we had a Turkish girl here she took her baby and went home”) and wht the salary was — he said $18 an hour but somehow I think he made that info up; there are also benefits after 6 months (and he did not volunteer any more info).  And it also turns out that you will be assisting the CEO with everything…. and help him operate 3 other companies.

Dude, you want an exec admin and you are off by about 15K or 20K a year. This is also tooo much work for one person. It is also taking advantage of who you hired.

He told me the second interviews are next week. I won’t be holding my breath.

My guess is that they will hire what just left: the same type of person. That means I’m definitely a no. I’ve seen this a thousand times in a thousand places: they all want some sort of type and they all keep the status quo intact when a new employee is hired.

I can’t tell you how sickening and sad this is — this is no loss but what i don’t appreciate is that I pretty much was rejected on the spot. I swear he wants another Turkish girl with a kid. And that ain’t me.

It’s a shitty way to run things; nobody else will be given a chance — and even if you are, you will be an outsider. That’s my take on it.

We Have Less Privacy than We Think

There is a system called P2C (Police to Citizen) that is in use in a variety of towns across the country.  You look up your local police department’s website and see whether or not they offer it or a similar system.  I was wondering whether there was a police report on an event that I had been told had occurred, and I didn’t believe the person who told me.  P2C offers an interesting service to people: you can search their database to see whether people have gotten certain kinds of traffic tickets, like DUI, or are under investigation for a crime. There wasn’t a police report on the incident that I was told had occurred, but I learned that the person who told me about the alleged incident was under investigation for fraud.  I also learned that someone who I was considering hiring to trim the trees in my yard had been convicted of domestic violence.

There are over 3800 entries on the “wanted” list in my town, and the vast majority are for people who failed to appear in court or failed to pay their fines.  Suppose that half of the entries belong to people with more than one nonpayment or failure to appear for traffic tickets, loitering, theft, or other misdemeanors. There’s still about 2000 people who have issues wth the police.  This is about 2% of the population, and probably about 4% of the adult population.

I have mixed feelings about this system.  In some ways, it is just an electronic verson of the police blotter, but if you have a common name, it’s easy to make a mistake and think that someone is in trouble with the law who isn’t. One thing that helps is that the entries have the person’s age and other descriptors, so you can tell John Jones who is white and 25 from John Jones who is black and 50 years old.

Greed Is Good!!!

And the employees will pay for your greed….by losing their jobs:

 http://www.northjersey.com/news/Nurses_union_Layoffs_coming_to_Englewood_Hospital_closure_of_2_care_units.html

Layoffs will be “far reaching.”

What happened here: A hospital about 15 miles from there closed in June of 2008.

There was a movent to reopen it.  Englewood’s stance was that their hospital would lose too much revenue and admissions if the hospital was permitted to reopen.

They were locked in a battle with another facility to stop the opening. No deal; the hospital is opening and they can do nothing about it.

Looks to me like all of the attorney’s fees and other incidentals to stop the reopening of the hospital took a huge financial toll…and now the middle class  at Englewood will pay for it by losing their jobs.

Do you think the staff that’s laid off will find another job, comparable in salary and seniority and rank and benfits package to what they have now? Doubtful.

Nurses and allied health staff are not being hired in this neck of the woods. And there are other hospitals that are floundering — their closure is a possibility. So they can’t even try there for jobs.

Greed is Good! Let’s have some more…

Letter from Chile

Last week, I took a business trip to Santiago, Chile.  A prospective client was holding a pre-proposal conference, which are scheduled with very short notice and no opportunity to reschedule.  So off I went, returning a couple of days later.

Besides the business, I like visiting Santiago.  I’ve found it very much a place with really good food: not quite Paris or Barcelona, but light-years better than the suburban experience I encounter when travelling within the US.   I’m also glad to escape the weather in New York City in August.

I like to watch the people on the streets and in the subway.   It’s not necessarily that the people are better-looking than in other parts of the world, but there’s something about how they dress and carry themselves that’s different from New York.  Perhaps their mothers told them not to slouch.  On the weekends when I ride the subway, there’s always some number of young couples being sweetly affectionate.  It reminds me of happy moments from my own youth.

The Chileans are more capitalist than we are, and more matter-of-fact about money.  When you pay with a credit card in a Chilean restaurant, you tell the waiter how much you’re tipping, so that he can punch it into the machine.

It’s not perfect: there’s more income inequality in Chile than the US, and Santiago does have slums.  Most of the jobs come from small businesses, but their share of the nation’s economy is smaller than other Latin American countries.  So I imagine that many Chileans get along by scraping together odd jobs and selling this or that.

Nevertheless, it seems to work.   Business gets done.  People are polite, but don’t waste your time.  Other than the usual caution about pickpockets, I’ve always felt safe walking the streets.

The Chileans seem to have gone through the transition that we’re banging our heads over right now in the US, and come out the other side.  And for them, it seems to work.  But to get to this point, the Chileans had to endure about 20 years of military dictatorship, which we (the US) inflicted on them.

How will we manage the transition that we face?

It’s coming, like it or not.

Sarah Palin Had Better Legs

My television is still sitting on the floor where the movers left it last March, so I doubt that I will be watching either convention.

It’s a strange election year for the Republicans, at least from my perspective.  The Republicans have nominated a ticket that reminds me of my history teacher, who modeled underwear for the Sears catalog, and the guy who ran the AV club. 

We never really do leave high school. 

Hospitals in financial trouble redux…

It will be interesting to see how that situation pans out.

We never expected to have so many individuals who have either no health insurance or mimimal coverage — and we also did not forsee such a tidal wave of illegals who are now in this country.

Send back the illegals? that would be part of the problem solved; what about everybody else who is uninsured or underinsured? That problem still exists.

A friend of mine had an idea:

At the hospital where we used to work, there were girls who were pregnant — the hospital put them up in the dorm accross the street that hospital staff used and in return for more or less room and board, the girls were given jobs to do at the hospital — it would be things like work in central supply, help out in the cafeteria, etc.

She suggested that those who were admitted and were self pay more or less barter their time and skills to pay off the hospital bill incurred for services.

Great idea — but to an extent: suppose you are too ill to work or you are too elderly? What then?

At any rate, the uninsured/underinsured is now like the Social Security program:

We have too many people in the system.

And they will be in the system indefinitely.

Obamacare won’t cure this — illegals will not be required to subscribe to it, nor will certain religions — so in other words we still will have charity care for those who cannot pay. We’re stuck at Square One is where this is at.

The only way to get the uninsured/underinsured out of the program:

Supply these people with well paying jobs where there is adequate health care coverage…. but I do not see that happening at all.

Awhile back, I worked for a small company. There were about 50 people working in both divisions.

There was health insurance but here is how it worked: the employee chose any plan they wanted, paid for it out of pocket — and the boss would reimburse the employee for the total premium each month.

This was probably cheaper for him than taking out a group plan.  That benefitted everyone: you get your full ride with coverage and he pays for it and it works out cheaper for him.

Getting back to hospitals that are in financial trouble in our neck of the woods: thes facilities cannot expect the state to pump wad after wad of money into their coffers.  The state gave a 100M bailout to that one hospital I mentioned. There is now 39M of debt, guaranteed by the state… and now they’re pretty much broke.  what do they do? go and hit the state up for another pack of money?

This will not come to a good end for anybody. I suspect the hospital will close. Doubtful if it will be bought in an auction, but maybe it might. I have no idea who would be the buyer.

The world of the freelance worker

I have given up at this point of finding an actual fulltime job in my field, which is instructional design. There are other titles for this job, such as e-learning, training, and many more. Basically to get into this field you need to have many computer skills that apparently aren’t that common. I know Flash, Dreamweaver, PhotoShop, Flash, Captivate and of course Microsoft Office. If I don’t know a skill I learn it. The good thing about this is that this job pays around $25 an hour, but the bad part is most companies don’t hire fulltime for this job anymore and the few positions are highly competitive. I know, I am often contacted for these jobs, and once I got to a third interview then nothing. The majority of the jobs I see though are freelance, often lasting a few months if that. Basically they bring in someone to design training programs (which are increasingly going online, and through platforms like social media, iPods, YouTube and websites, to name a few)and then the job is done. Only the big companies keep someone permanently. Some keep on people also to teach people various programs but once again only the biggest companies.

The thing is though I wouldn’t mind freelance if it paid enough for me to survive and buy insurance. However freelance can be hard to get and I might get a few jobs here and there but not enough to survive. I don’t see it getting better, I see it getting worse because this is a field that can be done almost entirely at home. Why would any employer hire me for $55,000+ when they can hire me for $25 an hour? I didn’t start in this field, I fell into it after struggling to find jobs in public relations/marketing, broadcasting, journalism and film. I never even had a desire to do this job, but finding a job in pr or radio at this point would be far worse.

I am definitely screwed and no idea how to get out of this. I want to go back to school for another field but can’t afford it, and besides what would I study? Many jobs are going freelance or part time, including nursing and other medical jobs. I wanted to teach but I know long time unemployed teachers. I considered going into speech therapy but I’d have to go to school for 4 years and once again this is another field going freelance. I know several who got into aerobics and pet trainers but, yep you guessed it freelance.

More of what is wrong with the hospital system…

http://preview.tinyurl.com/8f9occy

Deal falls through with the purchase of a string of hospitals.

The hospital in question relies mostly on charity care — it’s also a sanctuary town.

A group of investors wanted to buy several Catholic hospitals. The investors wanted a smaller hospital to partner with a much larger hospital about 4 miles from there; the larger hospital turned the suggestion down.

The group of investors that is backing the deal owns Dave and Busters, the Carribean Burger King chain and a chain of drug stores. In total they own about 3 dozen businesses — and none of them entail owning and operating a hospital.

This is already a bad deal — you know zero about the health care industry. Just based on that it won’t be a success.

Factor in most of the clients that are admitted to that hospital are non paying clients — the state has been pumping aid into this hospital for years.  The 39M of debt that they have is guaranteed by the state.

There is a weeks’ worth of money on hand — and there is also the pension program that is short on money.

Last year, a group of investors bought a hospital. When the buyers breezed in with their bags of money a year ago, they promised the moon; they were going to upgrade the facility and add many many more beds to the current facility. They guaranteed that there would be many more births at the hospital and they said they’d have a prosperous and florishing oncology program in place.

None of it happened. They too have about a week’s worth of money and paychecks have already bounced.

Add many more beds???

We already have a surplus of hospital beds in this state — 20 years ago, the state recomended the closure of about a dozen hospitals — and one of them that was suggested for closing is the hospital in the link I posted.

Investors that buy out hospitals? Not a good idea.  I can’t see how it will benefit the client. And if you know nothing about owning and operating a hospital, I don’t suggest you find out you know squat about buying and operating a hospital by actually going through with the purchase.

And how are you going to turn a profit when your clients are not actively making a purchase out of their own pocket?? Nearly every hospital in this area is getting by on charity care. We’re stretched to the thinnest — you will not turn a profit if all you have coming in is a handout from the state.

I wonder if the potential buyers of that string of hospitals know anything about New Jersey or the demographics of each town that the hospitals are in. I wonder how much of a feasibility study was conducted at all?

Private investors purchasing a hospital?

How does it benefit the client??

I can’t see how this will benefit the client. I predict it will come to nothing but a bad end.

9 minutes and 58 seconds I won’t get back

Unbelievable.

This afternoon about noonish I got a phone call from a woman who called me in response to an ad I answered.

Naturally, the caller will review your resume with you and ask you what she or he needs to know in regard to the resume’s content; sure, you’re going to hear them ask you where the company is, what your job title was, what your duties were and how long you were employed there.

Well, I got all of those questions and then some.

When she got the information about where I worked, etc wow, did I get the third degree — dumb dumb questions about what I did when I did it and WHY I did it.

The questions had no let up. she asked me the same dumb assed questions over and over again: “You went from being in HR to an artist…why did you do that?” “Why were you a manager when you were an admin assistant before that? And then you worked as something else after that manager’s job…why”?

Cheez…the HR job I had ended in 2000 — between then and now we have had 3 recessions.  You have to take the jobs you can get when you CAN get them. If it is a recession you can’t dilly dally.

Then she asked me what salary range I was looking for (this company’s ad asks for a minimum of  a GED; 2 year degree preferred and 4 year degre “a plus” so I am guessing that this is a very minimally paying job. Yet she’s barraging me with the Spanish Inquisition?) I countered with “What are you offering? I’d rather not waste your time nor mine.”

“I don’t know that.” I asked her about benefits “I usually do not get into that now.”

I said to her, “I don’t think this is for me —”

“Wait….I will take your resume and share it with the manager and if there is an interest, we will set up an interview.”

Colossal waste of time — and this is why we are in the jam we are IN — people who have no business interviewing that are DOING the interviews.

If she wants to ask a thousand detailed questions about the last job I had I am fine with that — but when it comes down to asking straight away stupid asinine questions, I have a problem with the questioning indeed.

How did I go from HR to artwork?

I took a BUS! My car wouldn’t start that day!

The Chick A Fil controversy

This story has been on the news a lot lately, more than almost everything. For those who haven’t heard the CEO said he was opposed to gay marriage, and many people were mad. In Chicago the mayor is trying to keep out a new store opening and an alderman is preventing them from opening.

Here’s the thing though, whether you agree with him or not, doesn’t the CEO have free speech? I couldn’t care less about gay marriage and have no problem with gay people getting married but I do know people disapprove of it due to religious reasons. However many of the radical gay right activists want to do things like make out in the restaurants. Is this appropriate to get your point across? I don’t think so. If you don’t like what the CEO said, boycott it. It’s important to mention he didn’t say he dislikes gay people, just that he disapproved of gay marriage. He didn’t mention discriminating against them either.

I have bought items from companies I disagree about on some things. I’ve never gone to Chick A Fil because there isn’t one near me. I would go though because I hear the sandwiches are fantastic, not because I support the CEO. In fact it makes no difference to me.

Finally, Chicago has no business telling someone they can’t move in because they disapprove of their views. Chicago is corrupt and I lost my job due to corruption. Nepotism is alive and well in Chicago and the joke is how to go to jail, work in Chicago government. I saw unqualified people getting jobs at my former employer and I don’t see the mayor fighting this injustice. Yet he’s preventing Chick A Fil moving in?

I swear people need to get out more. Get gay married, or don’t, I don’t care. Be for or against it, I don’t care either. However preventing companies from coming in (and in effect job loss and loss of tax revenue)is just plain stupid but welcome to Chicago.