There are a few pillars of the American mindset that we all care about. Homes, Money and Jobs are three of the biggest. Last week I touched on my take on the home foreclosure crisis. This week I am gonna take a stab at the Unemployment crisis because guess what?

 

I am one of the Millions of UNDEREmployed people in the US. That is not to say I am unemployed, because I'm not. I’m just not paid very well. I'm a blogger (Unpaid) and a real estate developer (Unpaid) and a bartender, (poorly paid). I am also a US Sailing Instructor, a US Powerboat Instructor, a US Keel Boat Instructor, a Safe Boating Instructor and I have a USCG Captain's license which I expect, when I get it back from  the USCG, I will be able to drive 100 ton vessels in the Atlantic Ocean, a career goal I have had for a very long time. I also have a Masters Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University and a Double Major Undergrad Degree in Journalism and Political Science from UCONN. I am a told I am quite well qualified to do any number of jobs, but alas, the calls don't come, the interviews don't pan out, and the jobs offers, (yes I have gotten several offers) are just shy of insults. And so I make more money bartending and enjoy my quality of life, that is much better as a blogger and and real estate developer (both pie in the sky I realize that anything will work out, but that's why I have a night job).

The truth is I have had a LOT of job offers over the last five years, but none offered the enticement to give up my freedom, my lifestyle and my current position which many times paid better than a full time opportunity with benefits. For example, I was offered a job working for the Boy Scouts, a fine place to call your employer. Unfortunately at the time, what they wanted to pay annually, I was making in 6 months at my job as a dock master at a Yacht Club. And at the end of six months, I decided to head to sea and had the freedom to do so.

Another offer I was given paid $60,000 a year in Florida at a Yacht Club. They wanted me bad. Unfortunately the only way they would allow me to accept the offer was if I signed my life away for 2 years in non-compete agreement in exchange for a $3000 relocation bonus from Connecticut to Florida. I don't know the last time you moved a home and family across the country, but it costs a lot more than $3000 and who is going to hitch their star to a yacht club for two years?  I had step away from that one too.

The truth is I have been offered jobs from Maine to Florida, California to Texas. Many have paid between $40,000 to $60,000, but none were jobs I could accept for one reason or another. Ultimately to accept them meant I was shutting the proverbial door somewhere else wherever I went, and that's just bad business.

I have one rule I live by, you can either treat me like crap or pay me like crap, but you can't do both. And the level of crap I must endure, must be directly proportionate to the size of the paycheck or we will not get along.

So maybe that makes me Unemployable. Maybe that is why I am still under employed after three years hunting for the perfect position.

But what the job recruiting industry would have you believe is there is a stash of high paid, GOOD jobs with lots of perks and a good lifestyle hidden just behind the door of every major firm in America. All the big job boards say they post all the jobs out there, but the big recruiters and resume writers tell you to believe in the unbelievable.

And then they offer pay for service resume writing services and recruiting services and interview coaching services. The Self Help Book industry brings in millions from poor saps looking for a better job. And don't even get me started on the "Lifestyle Coaches" who think they can make a living by telling you why you're not making a living.

Its not that I think they offer services that are without value. If I had an extra $10,000, I would love to hire someone to listen to me a bitch about my job hunt and my eventual bad day at work. My life would be golden if I could afford to pay someone to help me find a job, because then I wouldn't be so desperate to get a job, cause I would have money to pay my bills!!!!

If anyone tells you that for $50, they will tell you how to write a resume or for $5000, we'll introduce you to the promised land of jobs, they are either evil or outright liars. Why do I say that? Because they are no different than the Television preacher who says you will be saved when you are down on your luck if you only can send $100.

Only an Evil man would pick the pocket of a poor man, to lift a man out of  the poverty he endures and only a liar would say he could do it and pretend he believed he could actually do it.

People who shake you down for cash to save you from your condition are either doctors, lawyers or Salesmen who deal in despair dollars. We all need a doctor at some point, and odds are we all need a lawer at some point, but no one ever needs to pay despair dollars to buy something that won't work.

Despair Dollars whether they help the fat guy who buys the diet book, the cancer patient looking for the amazing cure, the single man looking for love or the Barren Parents desperate for a child. The dollar they pay to assuage their grief or despair rarely if ever, solves their problem and most times just leaves them broke and in more despair.

And on the job hunt, the Despair Dollar is more insidious than any other form. Why? Because the very reason we work is to make money and the job seeker despair dollar is spent to pay a source to find you more money and they do not care really if you get a job or not. They will take your dollar with no promise of a tomorrow while selling you dreams of that a hidden treasure trove of jobs that you would be perfect to fill.

In a lot of ways that sounds like religion, but at least religion works out 50% of the time. Your saved or you're not saved. And you get some weekly encouragement at Church, and they will  feed you when you are too poor to buy food. So even religion has a better success rate than Job Recruiters.

Job Recruiters are lower than lawyers, television preachers and the pharmacy industry. Hey I'd even say they are lower than insurance companies. And even as I am writing this BEYOND.com just sent me a another email about resume writing. The Irony.

I have an idea. It's not a new one, they've been doing it in professional sports for years and it used to be how Employers found employees in the days before internet. In sports its called An Agent, in job hunting they are called Head Hunters. Not sure why that name fell out of fashion, haha?

"When you're bleeding a guy you don't squeeze him dry right away. Contrarily, you let him do his bidding suavely. So you can bleed him next week and the week after at minimum." Christopher Moltisanti, The Sopranos

It used to be, companies would pay a person to look for candidates to fill the job they needed filled. This of course was back in the day when people had retirement plans, business christmas parties and health insurance they could afford. When business actually supported their employees and all was right with the world. (Haha)

An HR person would call a head hunter and say " I need a widget salesman". And the Head Hunter would look through his files and say I got this guy and I will send him right over. And if he was hired, the company paid the Headhunter a fee for their effort. That's not all that different than the Sports agent.

From what I understand in the sports world, a young man or woman excels at a sport in college or maybe high school, and they put their name out there that they need an agent. Agents are all too happy to find their next paycheck player because they get a percentage of each contract and payment those players receive in their career. So they sign the poor broke college kids with a good right arm, and the agent then goes to all the talent scouts in their respective sport and tells them I got a kid who can throw a ball really fast and you gotta see them. Then the kid goes to throw the ball, the talent scout likes the way they throw the ball, and a contract is signed and the agent who is usually a lawyer, makes another boat payment for the next ten seasons. It's so simple.

Why don't we have something like that for commoners? A poor schmuck hires an Agent to sell them to the next big company who makes whatdoyoucallit and a percentage of every paycheck goes to the the Agent. The Schmuck is given the golden ticket because they are out of the stinking pool of commoners who can't find the elusive treasure trove of decent jobs with decent pay. And the agent gets a nice little sum for every pay check the schmuck gets paid. The Business gets a good loyal worker and they make money because the schmuck shows up to work every day and it doesn't cost them a dime more than the last guy they hired cost them.And everybody is happy until the day the schmuck gets drunk slaps his coworker on the ass on Thursday night after work and fails to show up one Friday morning in March. He is fired, the agent loses his paycheck, and the business needs a new middle manager.

But the Agent has another pile of clients to share with the business, the Schmuck gets legal representation to sue the business for wrongful termination and by the of the weekend, the schmuck has the feeling he is being represented well, the business has a new middle management schmuck and the agent, well he now has two clients paying for service, but just a little, every paycheck.

Im sure there is something ethically wrong with it, and of course the over regulated US business  community couldn't hope to embrace such a concept. But what if? I also know that greed will upset this apple cart as it does with every good capitalistic notion, greed kills all. But it's a far better model than dealing in dollars of despair when the 1% have everything and the poor 99% are squabbling with each other in the gutters for the refuse the 1% see fit to allow us to dine on. Just think about it.