Just take anything

I have been arguing with my parents who tell me I am being “picky” and should consider anything. My mom has been pressuring me to apply at the grocery store as a cashier or at the gas station because I am “worthless” to employers I feel I should be applying. My parents tell me I am wasting my time applying for jobs at my level and slightly higher and lower because “those jobs won’t hire you”. The reality though is these jobs probably won’t hire me either. They were never supportive of me attending college as they always believed I should take a retail job and work up. They almost kicked me out of the house when I was 20 and trying to balance a retail job I hated with college. The retail job messed with my health and I dropped to about 100 pounds and affected my college grades. When I quit my parents told me I was stupid for choosing school over a job because the job had a future. Yeah right, several years later the retail chain went defunct (it was called Venture).

Strike 1: Yes I am overqualified. These jobs don’t want people they perceive as smarter than them. Since I have a masters they often see that and reject on the spot. Sure I could remove it from my resume (and I have a resume where it is not listed), but a quick Google of my name shows my masters and I am not removing it from websites that are catering to professional people. I worked hard for that degree. Several employers did tell me they do not hire college graduates.

Strike 2: I hated these jobs in my 20’s and had a tendency to quit right away sometimes after a day.  I despise cashiering and hate customers. One customer would tell me off and I would go off on them. Luckily I was model type because I am not sure what I would have done otherwise.

Strike 3: My experience in many of these jobs is outdated. I would go back to waitressing, inventory/overnight stocking and even telemarketing. However when I have applied for these jobs I was told because my experience goes back over 10 years they aren’t interested. Besides most of the telemarketing jobs have left this country anyway. Then again being overqualified prevented one employer from hiring me.

Strike 4: I can’t work weekends. Saturday I am usually involved with activities at church (including mass)and Sunday at the American Legion. Many employers will only hire people who can work weekends and these jobs tend to be inflexible. It can be argued I can give up these activities but to be honest they are the only thing I have going in my life now (and at the American Legion I see the guy I am interested in who is apparently interested in me). Giving up activities I enjoy to work a job I know I would hate would depress me even more.

Strike 5: I can’t stand for long hours. When I did these jobs I was much younger and no arthritis. Now I have arthritis and it can get severe at times. This isn’t an excuse this is fact. So I would hurt myself and likely fall over and not have insurance.

This economy is really ruining so many lives.

23 thoughts on “Just take anything”

  1. You might just have to go through the motions of applying and interviewing to get your mother off your back. Once you have several “flush letters” (or e-mails) in hand, she might back off.

    I think that one of the main reasons that retail companies don’t hire college graduates for positions on the floor is that the pay isn’t what a college graduate expects, so the person will leave quickly when they find something else. What employers underestimate is the handicap that a full-time job puts on job hunting. If you want to take interviews during the week, there is an advantage to working weekends to free those days. It’s harder to do that if you are working a regular job with weekends off.

    What grocery or other retail store employs you also matters. I’d pick Safeway, or any other grocery chain that has a fairly strong union so that the job does provide employer-subsidized health insurance coverage, over Wal-Mart or any other company that is known NOT to provide benefits. One of my friends has been working as an assistant manager or manager for Safeway for over 30 years. He worked his way up from stocker on the overnight shift, and he still tends to work nights. As he puts it, it’s boring, but he makes a decent living.

    It is almost always a mistake to presume that you know rather than check the latest information. That said, working with the public is often fairly foul. This is why I tip well and tend to let small errors against me slide. My three sisters are or were opticians, and what used to be somewhere between a skilled trade and a profession is now relatively low skill, and the pay has followed the decline in skills required, even as the qualifications required have increased.

    Having your career not live up to your expectations, much less your dreams. is surprisingly common. Chemical engineering has been pretty dead as a field for about 30 years. I’ve always had a job, but I did a lot of work that I expected not to do. Now I’m back to plant start-up, which I enjoy, but within a year and possibly within six months, I’ll be back to doing shift work. The reality of working seven days on and seven days off is not what it seems to be. I get behind on household chores because my workday is roughly 14 hours when you count the lunch break and time to drive back and forth to work. I suspect that sequestration may limit the number of engineers who we have working shift to few as five, which is the minimum that you need to have for 24/7 coverage to let people take their training, sick leave, and vacation. We have six, but I expect at least one of the engineers to look for another job.

    Working seven-on/seven-off is marginally better than working rotating shifts, where you work a few days, shift to nights, back to days, back to nights, and then get seven days off. There are a couple of days off in between rotations, so you work 14 days in 28 days. That will turn you into a brain-sucking zombie. One of my former colleagues says that there are two kinds of people who do shift work: those who are divorced, and those who will get divorced. It might be hard to see how I view this as better than a regular desk job, but one does have a lot of autonomy in this job, where I was micro-managed by my old boss. Even when I succeeded, I couldn’t get it right as far as she was concerned.

  2. This is a small local chain (they have several other stores)and she claims they pay well but doing checking not much more than minimum. The departments like bakery and deli pay better and a lot of those ares are early hours and little weekend time but I think you have to work up to them. I can’t remember if I applied there in the past but did with the other local stores along with the bigger stores in a nearby town and most never called for an interview at all. A few when I got rejected (I called)told me yes the degree was the reason I was rejected. Their thinking was I would quit as soon as I found a better job and of course I would. However with this economy there may not be a “better” job so who knows. The only good thing of course with working weekends is getting interviews off, but I would rather work a part time job during the day or week nights which would still give me time as needed.

    I will admit readily I am disappointed with how my career is as of now. I know it will get back on track but it has hit a bump so to speak.

  3. That guy needs to get real.

    What happened to saying to somebody “Dawn, would you be interested in going to dinner with me on Friday night? I know this great Italian place…how about it?”

    Dude, take it from me: he isn’t that interested. He’s using you as more or less free entertainment when you show up at the American Legion.

    Find yourself a guy who does not hesitate to let it be known he wants to date you.

    You are better off with a mom and pop establishment, for either retail work or waitressing.

    See my post above: everybody is busily farting around and they are now taking 6 times as long as they used to when it comes to bringing in a new hire. You never saw this nonsense 10 years ago, 15 years ago or 20 years ago. These people who are doing the selecting are not smart enough to make change at a kiddie lemonade stand.

  4. This guy is interested in me but is very scared. Apparently he is very inexperienced in dating. I know, I did consider that he was not interested but he is. He also stares at me the entire time I am there. I guess I’ll see where it goes with him but I do have other guys interested in me (but not interested in them as most of them have horrible baggage).

    I do prefer small mom and pop stores when it comes to hiring but the problem is most can’t afford to hire. The above mentioned guy owns a pet store but is a small store he runs with his mom and they can’t afford to hire. Same with other people in town.

  5. The faint of heart never won Lady Fair. I might not have the quote quite right, but there are at least two kinds of interest men have in women: productive and nonproductive. Productive interest leads to being asked out on a date and a possible relationship, and nonproductive interest just reduces you to an object to be ogled at his leisure. You’re both in the humiliating position of living at home when you are getting close to middle age, so that ought to reduce the height of the pedestal that he has put you on, so you ought to be somewhat more approachable.

    It might be worth the money to ask him out just to get him out of your system. Suppose everything went well and you got into a serious relationship. A side effect would be the need to recommit to staying in the area because he’s not going to leave him mother and the pet shop unless the pet shop is sold or goes out of business. Pet shops are horrible businesses because you are in direct competition with Wal-Mart AND the local veterinarians, who also sell pet food, and premium pet food is one of the first things to go in the budget.

    Hope is what hangs you up and keeps you stuck. This is not to say that we should give up hope, but that hope that is not based in reasonable probability ought to be abandoned. People tend to do what they value, and often the prospect of something is more pleasing that the actual event because there is no chance of being disappointed when we are looking forward to what might be. Look at what someone does rather than what you hope that they will do.

  6. I’m actually content living in this area and when I do get my life back in gear I would like to stay here. Since my unemployment I have built up a life here more than I did when I worked because back then my life was of working,coming home then chilling until the next day. With this guy I wasn’t sure he was interested in dating because he wasn’t making the move. I mean he would send interested vibes then back away. He did say recently he wanted to go out with me but time will see. I know he is struggling financially like I am, which is why I have long suspected he hasn’t asked me out before now but according to him business is starting to pick up. I am going to ask him to come over and take a walk (a free activity)and see what happens with that.

  7. Btw there is more to that story but s hard to describe it online except to say that if I thought he had no interest I wouldn’t bother. At one point I did give it up, even ignoring him and he started approaching me more and more. He is very scared and I don’t think he knew I was interested either because it was never mentioned.

  8. Anyway, getting back on track, I think what bothers me most about this economy is the fact that skilled people (college grads or just skilled)are going after the same jobs as those who may not have graduated high school.

  9. Re the guy: is there not a public park or an inexpensive coffee shop or some other place where the two of you can just… you know… hang out together? Sit and talk? If you’re able to have a conversation and really get to know each other, then some of the vague emotional quandaries you face can resolve themselves into practical problems you can deal with. And if he’s really not eligible, then you’ll know, and can move on.

    In another time, if you were looking for a typical college-graduate sort of job, and you didn’t want to work weekends, that was… normal. Fifteen years ago, not only did I have weekends in peace, but I could often have three-day weekends during the summer (using my vacation allowance): things were that calm. Today, as I write this on Sunday, I have drawings to tweak, reports to write, and all other sorts of mayhem that simply never stop.

  10. Yes there are cheap places we can go. There is a state park less than a half hour away,and a bookstore about 20 minutes from here. In fact there is several good sized towns (and one is a city actually)within a half hour plus it would get us away from this small town where everyone knows everyone. We have spoken quite a bit at his store and the Legion and it is really advancing where we are asking each other questions. I did ask him if he wanted to get together and he said definitely. He has done things that tell me he is interested, like at the Halloween party he approached me before anyone else.

    Oddly I don’t mind working nights and at my former employer I approached my boss about offering night training classes. I hated getting up early and the idea of working evenings appealed to me. Several jobs I applied for told me the hours might include evenings and that didn’t bother me. I wouldn’t even be bothered working a Saturday morning at times. It’s just that weekends for me are busy with my activities and I would hate to have to give them up for a job I don’t want to begin with.

  11. When I work nights, it is 4:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., or something close to that. You might have been looking for a noon to 9 p.m. or so workday. The really nasty shift rotation was when I had to work three nights, got four days off, then worked seven nights. I tended to become nocturnal during that time. It’s also unpleasant to come off night shift and be expected to work your regular time on Monday morning. It looks like we might be short-staffed enough to not have to do time in the office working on projects.

    Now my boss is talking about having a second shift from 2 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., or if we are on our regular 10-hour days, maybe 1 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. to cover the shift change and turnover meeting at 6 p.m. and get a sense of what night operations will look like.

    One of the things that drives our schedule for plant operations is our headquarters in Maryland. They want to know what’s happening as soon as they arrive in the morning.

    The downside of night training classes for the staff at your last place of work is that you might have been the only person who got paid to be there. It gives management a perfect opening to tell people that they are making training more convenient for them after hours, but that they won’t be paid. It probably didn’t go over well because it would mess up car pools and child care and the life outside work.

    You might not want to take a crummy job, but it might come to a point where the choice is take the crummy job or move out. Wasn’t it Oscar Wilde who said that work is the curse of the drinking class? Work does get in the way of the leisure that you want to have.

  12. Ironically today I got a call for a job that is part time but the hourly pay is really amazing and if I got it would mean more money than many full time jobs. I don’t mind working evenings and in fact years ago did an overnight job and that I didn’t mind at all. The only bad thing was I would come home and go to sleep when people are waking up or going to work but for me it worked well.


    You are either qualified or you are NOT. Period.

    This is the same thing as saying “totally pregnant.” You are pregnant or you are not.

    What’s the difference if they hire you for an admin job, or a receptionist job or something else, if you have a masters degree?? People need jobs and they need a survivalist job, if need be!

    Dawn: you need a man and not a little boy.

    YOu can, however, ask him out — and see what he says. If he says no, you move on.

    I don’t know if you are willing to give it a try. Pick some inexpensive Italian restaurant and have him meet you there for dinner. If the date is awful, you can leave whenever you like.

  14. I hate the overqualified term but sadly it’s another way of saying “people smarter than the manager need not apply” and it is so obvious. I have gone on interviews where I was obviously more qualified than the manager and nope never got the job. One job I even told them yes I had more experience than they wanted but it didn’t mean anything. If I had gotten it I would still be there possibly because I haven’t had any other offers.

    I am going to ask him out and go full blown with it. That way if he says no at least I know. I have gotten to the point where I am fine being single so if he’s not interested then I know. Apparently he is but has little dating experience which is odd at 50 but I’ll take that over a guy who has a string of failed marriages and relationships and kids.

    1. I myself wouldn’t bother with a single single unmarried male — the single single unmarried males that I know are all hopeless (and this includes my dumb brother..that is a story in itself. He is going on 54 and has never grown up. I blame that on no father figure here; we have been minus a father since we were 7 and 9 years of age…and things were just plain weird in this house, with one parent. Another story for another time)

      I myself am looking for:

      A guy who has a great job and a good pack of money. No couch potatoes: no emotional couch potatoes and no physical couch potatoes: they need to have a job, a life, a personality and money.

      I am by far no gold digger but thanks to the fact that my former husband was a pauper, I refuse to make that mistake again. I won’t date anybody who has a menial job or has done simply nothing with his career or work life.

      I am looking for a “young” 55 and up. he needs to be healthy and active; I don’t want a guy who is already “old” at 55 and up.

      No baggage is welcome; it is likely his kids will be grown and gone. Social drinker only and nonsmoker only.

      He needs to have hobbies, he needs to be out and “doing” and keeping busy. Nobody who comes home from work and flops down on a couch and does nothing until bedtime need hot apply.

      1. For some reason I thought you were married, but those make sense. For me being that I am never married and childless the never married childless men are the only ones I consider. Not interested in being a step mom or dating a man who can’ marry in church so this is important to me, so much that I would rather never marry than marry a divorced dad. Of course everyone has their own deal breakers but those are mine. I am a young 42 and could not handle a guy who is an older 42 or so.

        1. I used to be a notoriously devout Catholic.

          Ask my neighbors, friends and people who wer meh about me — they will tell you I was there just about every Saturday at 5:30 and there for nearly every holy day, the Easter Vigil included.

          I was in the church choir for awhile; then things went south with my mother (cancer killed her in 2 weeks) and somehow I never went back to that choir. I don’t know why.

          I guess that’s the reason why I have such a problem with returning to that church — I am divorced and I don’t like being a tenth class citizen. I don’t like the way they treat divorced Catholics. I feel like I have been betrayed.

          The way I see it — and it’s like my ma used to say and she was a real devout Catholic also: “It doesn’t matter; there’s only one God.” He’s everywhere; I’m pursuing other religions to see which one I’m the most comfortable with.

          I still want a guy I can go to church with. I absolutely won’t take an atheist. Out of the question.

          1. I think it varies with regards to divorce. I know several divorced people at church and they can take communion. They didn’t remarry though. I am pretty strict on divorce myself and really don’t support it in most cases. That’s not to say I judge people, but rather that I would be friends with a divorced person but wouldn’t date them, especially if there are kids (I am really against divorce when one has kids except for abuse and cheating).

  15. The legitimate reason you (as an employer) might not hire an ‘overqualified’ candidate is that he could run off as soon as a better opportunity appeared, leaving you in the lurch. But that was in the bad old days when hiring decisions were about one’s ability to do the job, rather than how one ‘fit’ with the organization (i.e. not being smarter than the boss, challenging his authority, or otherwise ‘rocking the boat’). It smacks suspiciously of the complaints from the school when I was a kid about how I didn’t ‘fit in with the group.’

    I’m over 50 and I don’t have much dating experience. When I was single, it seemed that I had the trick talent of saying exactly the wrong thing to women I was trying to meet. But once I found someone I could relate to, whom I wanted to know better, and who would laugh at my jokes… I knew what to do. So I’m a little suspicious of ‘little dating experience’ as an excuse for a relationship going nowhere. Yes, invite him out, but don’t pick an overly expensive place. I hope it works out….

  16. Many times the “fit” means something discriminatory and that is where it gets upsetting. I’ve had employers basically (including once directly)tell me I was too old for the position. When I go on interviews I look at the people who work there because it tells me my chances. A place with all people younger than me will not hire me (and they never have)or the same race/ethnicity or whatever will end up hiring the same person usually.

    With this guy I wouldn’t be wasting my time if I wasn’t somewhat sure (people told me he has told them) but the thing is dating is like job searching. Basically there are not as many people in the desirable category and too many undesirable people at the bottom, like job searching. Desirable isn’t looks but rather values like having kids or being religious. For example he fits what I am strict on in dating (basically he doesn’t have kids and is religious). That’s why I am terrified if he isn’t interested then I will be alone. Unlike a job though where I search day and night for anything, I will not settle for a man. The job of course may only last a few years but with searching for a man I want that to last forever. Not that I am making excuses for him but he is very socially disabled. He has low self esteem and all of that (he hides in photos because he thinks he is ugly).

  17. Working your way up in retail???

    That went out with the disco ball.

    I remember when you could indeed work your way up if you got a job in retail and started out as a cashier, or a floor person, etc. Not anymore.

    I remember the local department stores used to do that. All of those stores are now out of business and we had many: Two Guys, Korvettes, Alexander’s, Ohrbach’s, May’s, Ames/Zayre’s, A&S, B. Altman, Bambergers, Bradlees, Jamesway, Hahne’s, Houthhousen’s, S Klein, Caldor, Mickey Finn’s — and there were specialty chain retail shops that would do the same.

    That’s all dead and gone, along with the chain that was in business.

    Ames/Zayre’s was very veeery eeeeterestink, as we used to say in the day: Ames acquired Zayres for 800M in 1989 and that deal went over like a fart in a crowded elevator during a heat wave…with NO air conditioning IN the elevator — that deal went bust in less than a year. Isn’t that a frigging pisser.:(

    Ames was gone for good as of 2003. Pity. It was a good department store and somebody sure did a number on it.:(

    Then there were all the retail specialty stores that went south: Herman’s, Canadien’s, Merry Go Round, AD 3 and a slew of others.

  18. The retail chain I worked at (Venture) technically you could work your way up. By technically I mean that some of my coworkers did end up in management positions. However even when I was there (talking 1991)the majority of the management positions were going to recent grads. In fact I remember in housewares there was a woman who worked there 20 years and found out her boss was retiring. She applied for the position and it went to a recent grad. She was livid but after 20 years retail and nothing else she didn’t have options. Years later I worked at Borders during the holiday season and part time after that for a few months and even then you couldn’t work your way up. Most of the people there had degrees even the cashiers.

  19. Okay an update on this guy so we will see. Basically he asked me to go out but then after I said okay he mentioned “we will pick you up”. I asked what he meant by “we” and he said him and his mother. I did have a long conversation with him last week and told him if we don’t go out I won’t bother him again so we will see. He did tell me he wanted to go out but is busy trying to keep his business afloat.

    I have been arguing with my parents and they keep telling me all these people are telling them I have an attitude problem because I won’t take anything. First off, I will take anything but the reality is the these jobs won’t hire me. They hire uneducated people because they can abuse them. It’s always been this way because when I was in high school and college these jobs don’t hire college grads and never have. It’s not just me, another religious ed teacher at church is a special ed teacher and she has applied for the grocery store and they rejected her. The director of religious ed has a smart computer programmer son who is unemployed and he lasted 2 days before he was told he was “too slow”. She thinks it was an excuse to bring in an idiot and I agree. I have seen the people the grocery store hires and they are not the smartest people and often mess up orders.

    The fact is these jobs don’t want college grads and the ones who got hired are those where you can’t tell. With me it is easy to find my education online so even if I omitted it they would figure it out.

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