Monday, June 22, 2009

I must hide my education under my bed

Last night I laid in bed and looked over job openings on the Shore via the Employment Commission website. I was really excited to find a temporary position as a vineyard laborer a few towns down from mine. It was $7 an hour and it was only for a month and a half. This was the exact kind of employment I needed! I knew it would be rough on the hands and a lot of work, but it was a job and it was money. I filled out the required information and then the site told me to 'consult my local employment commission for more information.' I'm like...uh...fine.

So I woke up relatively late, and drove to said employment commission. I had already registered online so I just had to sit and wait to speak to a representative. I waited for an hour and half, wishing I had brought a book. Finally they called me in. "What can I do for you today?" She asked me with a big smile. "I'm applying for the vineyard laborer position. Your website told me to come here and allow you to review my qualifications." I could tell by the look on her face something was wrong. "Um." She said. "The job is filled isn't it?" I asked. "No, its just the employer is looking for non-local employees." "Oh, Hispanic individuals, I see," I said. "No, not exactly, just not local people. The gentleman before you was Hispanic and we can't hire him because he is local."

I didn't understand. The stupid website said only locals apply. At least that is what I thought. I explained my situation to her. That I'm a recent college graduate with a diverse experience and I really need a job to pursue my goals. I told her how I plan on volunteering in August in Philly pending acceptance into the program. I told her I had bills to pay, loans to pay back, and I needed a job to survive just as a mother needs a job to feed her children. I told her I had applied for 13 positions and only got interviewed for one. I told her I recognize the fact I'm over qualified on so many levels but that is discrimination to deny me a job because I have an education. She sympathized with me. Asked me how her daughter could get more scholarships.

Then she told me I was shit out of luck. I'm a college graduate and fast food, hotels, and farms are not going to hire me. The damn chicken factories won't even consider me! She said I was doing everything I can to get a job. I should follow up at some places. Oh, yeah, and I should conceal the fact I have a college education. Yes, borderline lie. She was trying to be helpful but she straight up told me to "not flaunt my education." To not provide these small jobs with my resume. To keep it to myself as best as possible. She was sorry she couldn't help me anymore and wished me luck.

Then she congratulated me on graduating college. I laughed.

I can flip burgers, debone chickens, cut back vines, answer phones, clean hotel rooms. Do these businesses think they are doing me a FAVOR but not hiring me for their crappy jobs? I'm better than that? Um no, a job is a job as long as it pays. I can't believe it. I'm being discriminated against because of my EDUCATION. I went to college and the world expects me to have this great job with great pay and not a care in the world. I'm so angry. I'm constantly being denied employment because I am TOO QUALIFIED. Because I am EDUCATED. What?

I came home feeling depressed and defeated. My interview with RMC is in SIX days. After that I have approx a month and a half to get a job. Yeah, who is going to hire me for that small amount of time? Its not worth it to most employers.

On the bright side, I got a letter from RMC today. It was a detailed description of my interview process this coming week. I'm super excited and a little bit nervous. The director did say in the letter that one person already interviewed, one person was awaiting their placement location, one person has an interview in mid July and of course I have an interview this coming week. "If all goes well, as I think and hope it will, we will have four volunteers for this year." This was the best news ever. As long as I do my best at this interview I've secured a Philly position!

I'm going to be picked up by a current volunteer and take the subway to her community house. I'll eat dinner and spend the night there. Then in the morning I'll be driven to the headquarters where I'll be staying for the remainder of the interview process. I'll be fed, have a nice bed to sleep in, be orientated to the Sisters and volunteers and have an adventure pretty much. I'm super excited and can't wait. SIX DAYS. OMG.

So today was a good/bad day. I hear thunder in the distance and I am quite pleased.

Until next time...

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