Job hunting in January when it is cold and dark, when you are fat and sassy but “sassy” left the building and you are a deplorable or perhaps it is just a 65-year-old undesirable. My African son sent this message this morning, “mother, finding a job probably might be difficult provided that your age is a bit advancing. It seems companies like taking in young people.” In Swahili or English the message reads the same. Let’s see if I can muster up some humor to describe the week.
The Booming Funeral Business
Apparently, business is indeed booming and the dead are piling up leaving no time to return my calls, emails and online applications or perhaps all the funeral homes in my area have been in contact with each other and they have issued a pact not to interact with me until I am actually dead and need to pay them for their services. Oh, I will remember their shuns. I plan to purchase a pre-paid cremation policy from the competition. It would not have worked out anyway with the black suit and mask requirement. Had I actually been allowed to wear my western flowing skirts, snake skin cowboy boots and be allowed to smile and talk to people, I could have put the grieving at ease. I could tell them stories to take their mind off their sorrow.
Valentine’s Day Flowers
A dear writer friend read my stories about needing a job. She sent me the lead last week for the virtual receptionist. Both of us were rejected. Feeling sorry for myself and just wanting to hear her voice, I emailed her just as she was picking up the phone to call me. She had just been interviewed for a job she thought I should take. It is work from home taking flower orders for Valentine’s Day. I am perfect. I officially have a Horticulture Degree from Purdue University. I have been a floral designer and sales consultant for a variety of florists (long ago.) I am good on the phone, can take a conversation in any direction and could convince someone that they really did not want roses when roses were not available. I was ready to commit to full-time work if it meant I only had to do it for a month. I was immediately available, had the computer and internet to supply any requirement. I even took the silly test to measure my abilities in customer service. My friend recommended me. My friend turned down the job because she thought I was better suited for it and communicated all this to the Florist. They have NOT called.
Payroll in Pakistan
Remember last week when I discovered the remote payroll specialist was based in Pakistan? I was wrong on all fronts. The on-boarding specialist who I thought was a “she” turned out to be “he.” My phone rang from a south Florida number and through very broken English, Rory profusely apologized for not calling me last week. I asked who was calling and learned this was my on-boarding specialist from Paycor. This is when I figured out Rory was not a girl. I could not place his accent, so in my usual way of extracting information before they realize what is happening, I asked about his accent. I told him I had a son in Africa and was a writer and I am intrigued with accents (which I am of course.) I asked where he was from originally. He paused and then said he was from Cuba but he was a mix of Cuban and African but his mother died and he never knew her.
Now wait a minute, Cuba and Africa don’t go together. This was about to become fun. I had heard this story before or at least a close rendition of it. Another book I am working on is about my adventures in Key West called Conmen and Criminals at Mile Marker Zero. That guy was half Cuban half Brazilian. I know how that story ended. Crime Stoppers is my friend and I put that conman back in prison. Ok Rory, let’s have some fun.
“Rory, what is this job about.” I asked. Rory said, “this is online work from home and we pay $20 per hour. You will be paid weekly with a direct deposit to your bank account. The positions are data entry, clerical admin, customer service, accounting and payroll clerk. Which are you interested in?” “Rory, I can do all of those. How many hours a week can I work?” Rory told me, “you can work 45 hours and it does not matter if you are good at any of the positions because we would definitely train you. All we need to get started is a copy front and back of your driver’s license, your social security card and your bank account number where you want the pay deposited. As soon as I get that, I will rush it downstairs to shipping because they are going to send you a secure computer to use for this work. We will be sending someone to come to your house to set it up for you. I also need to schedule you for an interview and verify your ID electronically. I also need to send you our terms and conditions. Do you use WhatsApp?”
I assured him that I did use WhatsApp as that is what I use to talk to all my international friends and family and even the telemarketer I made friends with who really is from Pakistan. I told Rory I was not good at finding anyone on it but if he could find me, then we could communicate. Within seconds, I heard the alert. The phone number he used was registered in Nigeria (African land of conmen.) He then switched over to his south Florida number (American land of conmen) and identified himself and sent the terms and conditions.” These were clearly written by a third world conman. “below are the laid down policies for staffing of new employees. The fund for the procurement of equipment shall not be left dormant in an employee account for more than 24 hours. On no account should an employee divert company fund for personal use, excuse of paying back at a later date and defaulting party would be turned over to the company’s legal department.”
These were the terms and conditions? Really. I said, “Rory, where I think I could help you best is with your written correspondence. Your instructions don’t make sense and do not guide the new employee through all the steps. Would you like for me to help you with this because you have been working with me for two weeks and at this rate you will never get anyone on board.” Rory was spellbound with my offer. But first I needed to send him my ID and bank account.
“Rory, I can’t do this today. I am off to get my DOT physical. Plus, I have to check you out to see if you are legit just like you want to check me out to see if I am legit. Please send me your website and some references.” I phoned the true Paycor company and was placed in a queue of people who wanted to report the scam. Except I had the best story and all the emails and phone numbers they used and the guy’s birth history. I am going to put him in Conmen and Criminals at Mile Marker Zero. Cuba and Africa are not far from Key West. Maybe he will be cell mates with the guy from Key West.
Remember last week where I might have mentioned a clinic in southern Indiana that will do a DOT Physical for $50 cash? I thought I might be able to pass that one. Off I went on a sorely needed road trip. The nurse was impressed with my vision (with my glasses on.) Doubly impressed that I could tell red from green as this is important while driving. I was told by the friend that referred me a vision test was all the testing they did. I panicked when the nurse asked if I needed to go to the bathroom. I said I did and she said, “fill this up.” Oh no. I innocently asked what they tested for and she told me I was in good shape with no sugar in the urine. She then took my blood pressure. I had a recent altercation at a medical facility about a mask and whether I wanted a flu shot. My blood pressure was sky high that day. But at the cash DOT doctor, my blood pressure was as perfect as my eyesight. The doctor came in looking like Bruce Springsteen and he said “I just have to listen to your heart.” He confirmed that I still had a heartbeat and then he was gone. I passed! I am good for two years.
And so what. ClusterTruck did not offer me a job driving my own car delivering their food to hungry patrons downtown. I did not impress them with my ClusterTruck App knowledge. I am sure I would have figured it out.
Another driving job wanted me to complete my on-boarding by downloading their app which was 100 times more complicated than ClusterTruck. They indicated their pickup location was in Illinois. Oh just forget it.
My phone rang from my loan signing company. What a precious sight. My excitement was short lived. It was vendor management wanting to clarify my last job. I reported that the client refused to close the loan as her loan documents said she owed a lot in closing costs. I emailed the company. They did not respond, so I conscientiously emailed again to cover myself. The company said they were sending it back to the lender. I answered the online inquiry as to whether I was ready for the closing. I told them there was a problem. I had no call from the lender, the borrower, the escalation team or the scheduling department. I got a call the day after asking if I had completed the closing. I repeated the fact that the client refused to close if they owed money. I was told I should have printed 300 pages of documents and gone anyway. I was told that people don’t mean what they say and they generally end up closing. And much like Joe Biden says, Come on man.
Speaking of Joe Biden. I received an email from him on Thursday. It was a well-written response to a letter I sent back in September of 2021. It is a lovely letter written by someone who excelled at NOT addressing my plea for help for my refugee family to be resettled in the US. It made no mention of why I had written. I will give him credit, he probably forgot since it had been 4 months since I had written. He must be a lot like me, writes well but brain power somewhat limited as evidenced by the two-hour press conference charade this week. He did encourage me to continue writing, “As we move forward to address the complex issues of our time, I encourage you to remain an active participant in helping write the next great chapter of the American story.” Don’t worry Joe, I am on it.
I went back to praying. My time with the Lord has been a blessing. I have a better chance of quail dropping from the sky to feed me than ever getting a paying job in order to go to the grocery. One friend even suggested that perhaps God did not think I needed one of these lame jobs and that He was working on what I was praying for. I hope so.
It is no wonder there is such a help-wanted situation. No one knows how to pick up the phone and talk. If someone would just talk to me, I am sure they would hire me. But in the meantime, I will just keep on writing thanks to Joe Biden’s directive. C’mon Man
Polly Riddell writing as G. Polly Jordan is a storyteller connectiong people and the stories they tell. She is also a geratric starlet in need of a job at age 65.