Don't Hold Back!

Voice Card  -  Volume 25  -  Janine Card Number 3  -  Sun, Jun 7, 1992 2:00 PM

This is ONE OF 2 responses to VC 24 Drury 5 ("Club sandwiches")...

Subtitled: Tell us how you really feel!

Seeing as we already discussed the Loser's club at John and Betsy's shower, I was braced for your response to John's card! However, for those who couldn't attend, and to give a clearer picture of my particular situation, I offer the following:

First of all, the Losers' Club is really a tongue-in-cheek kind of thing. As most of us temporary or term employees (a PBD concept - a term is one who gets all company benefits, but is hired for a term of from 1 to 3 years. This is what I was hired as. Since the company is going through a restructuring due to a new computer system, my job is available to anyone who may be losing theirs due to the restructuring.) are really trained for other positions, it's just one way of keeping from becoming overly dour about our situation. We could lose our jobs at any time.

The Reality of Life in the Big City at this time is that there are hundreds of very qualified people (especially graphic designers like yours truly, who seem to come a dime a dozen) and an extremely tight job market. Even my parents, who raised me to believe I could do anything I wanted, are finally seeing how dire the employment situation is. I sent out so many resumes with absolutely no response back from the potential employer, it was (and is) depressing. One firm I called to verify that they had received my resume told me they had no idea if they got it, as they had received over 300 resumes for the single posiiton they were offering! So when I was offered the term position at Pacific Bell Directory, you better believe I jumped on it!

I didn't intend my card to come across like I was some big kvetch, or that I hated every minute of my job, because I don't. There are many redeeming qualities to it, mainly my co-workers (not necessarily fellow "losers"), who are really wonderful. Yes, I get benefits. Yes, I do my job well. Yes, I even manage to have time to get things like Archipelago done (which is fine as long as my work is completed)! Yes, my rent is paid.

The downside of this is that I am treated like a receptionist (or receptacle, as the other two receptionists refer to their positions!). People talk to me when they see I have the phone up to my ear handling a call. They deposit their belongings on my desk "just for a minute," or completely invade my personal space by reaching over (or coming up behind my desk) and using my phone, which usually rings off the hook with calls. I've even had people open up and start rifling through my desk drawers without asking. They grab pens and pencils out of the holder on my desk. They look over my shoulder to see what I'm working on with the Mac (some of the work is confidential). And, some of them knock or tap on my desk every time they walk by!!

My main issue is, as John pointed out, we are all human beings and we just happen to be working in different positions. This does not necessarily mean that those higher up are "better" or "smarter," they've just a) worked at the company longer, and b) applied for the higher position with the support of upper management.

When I attempted to do the same, my supervisor typed onto my application "Unable to assess management skills due to short time on the job." This was totally unneccesary, as the application only required her signature to show she knew I was applying. Besides, she had just been promoted to her position as a supervisor - how were her management skills assessed, since she was never a manager before?! I had to explain to Human Resources that an Art Director (which is what it says on my resume) is a management position, but because I didn't have the word "manager" on my resume, he didn't pass it on to the hiring manager!

Anyway, all this is meaningless now. I was just informed that a permanent employee interviewed and was accepted for my position. They gave me a whopping one week's notice, so Friday is my last day. I haven't even used my benefits yet (there's another saga behind that - they were supposed to be effective May 1 but didn't start till June 1 - and I'm still not listed on HealthNet's computer!). In a way, though, this is the kick in the posterior I needed to get on the job hunt again. Wish me luck!