Why Telling Poor People To Get Jobs Won’t Help Them Get Jobs, Duh

Why would an educated person with a degree think that just telling poor people to get jobs would magically cause them to get jobs? What rock have you been living under? Really, you must be the sort of person who wishes that Santa would bring you Jet-skis. It’s cute, but not realistic.

I have been job-hunting since 1980. Yes, you read that correctly: 1980. I have had two crappy deadend jobs, one in the 1980s and one a few years ago. In each case I took the unsuitable job against my better judgment, and because I thought it would help me get a better job, which neither of them did.

I have applied for thousands of jobs. I have tried being flexible — open to working weird hours, or at far-away locations. This does not result in more interviews, or in any interviews at all. In the 1980s, when I applied for many, many salesclerk jobs without getting even one interview, I suspected that the shopowners were putting me on, even though it made no sense. Why would complete strangers be having a giggle at my expense? The fact that I was applying for jobs right, left and center and wasn’t getting any interviews also made no sense.

In the late ’70s and early ’80s, when I was majoring in theater in college, I tried to volunteer at the theaters around the Twin Cities. I was unable to get even one interview.

A special shout-out to all theater-people: What the hell is the matter with you? What makes you so damned la-di-da and exclusive that you can just ignore people trying to volunteer at your theater? God, you are so lucky you have audiences to buy tickets to support your ego-trips, or you’d shrivel and die. Idiots!

I am a VERY creative person — artist, writer, and yes — stage-costume designer, AHEM! The best job for me would be a creative job, without much contact with people throughout the day. I have tried to get jobs creating art, sewing and fixing clothes, wrapping gifts and lettering signs. There are very few such jobs available anywhere.

I have a mental illness which keeps me from socializing. Therefore I am not able to do any job which requires coping with customers. And yet, I was so desperate to be employed, I applied for many, many people-person jobs. All a complete waste of time.

Explain to me, educated person, how telling me to get a job will actually cause me to get a job. What incentives are you, or the government offering the companies, to make them hire poor people? If you answered, “None at all,” or “What’s an incentive?” then you have a lot of work and a lot of preparing funding to do. If you do not offer the companies incentives, they will not hire poor people.

There is an intelligent suggestion that you may freely give to poor people: that they create a piece of intellectual property which creates an income stream for them. For example: song-writing.

Poor people can write a song based on any subject. They can even write a song about inept government officials! The sticking point is the copyright-application fee, which must be paid to assure royalties, and which may be too steep for many poor people to afford. Since you, educated person, are so eager to see poor people make a living, it is a very sensible and productive idea for you and/or the government to assist poor people with their copyright-application fees.

I have solved your problem for you, educated person.

You’re welcome!markerlined

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About Mary Borchard

Fabulous art available.
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