SF Bay AreaWorkers Rights

The Worst Job of All? Finding a Job

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By Allison S.

It’s 8 am on a Monday and the now over 100k (and counting) unemployed SF and Alameda County residents
pour their cup of joe (definitely no Starbucks today) and log in to LinkedIn with a fresh dose of
high hopes to begin searching for a job opportunity that looks promising.

But what happens when you find these job listings? In conducting proper research, you will
discover that half of the people currently “working” for said companies have the “open to work”
badge pinned to their LinkedIn profile photo. Seems a bit contradictory, eh? This green badge is
currently concatenated across the platform like the Grim Reaper wearing a Grinch costume and
steadily increasing by the day.

After scrolling through hundreds of these job posts, you’re feeling a bit more hopeful. You see
that some companies appear to be legit funded, are going strong, and have announced that
they are hiring. So, you take the time to apply and notice that (in the fine print) where you would
normally see the stats of around 100 applicants who have already applied, the latest numbers
have skyrocketed into the thousands. Is this even worth the time, one has to ask?

2 months ago, you would have perhaps been a top contender in a good pile of resumes. Today,
you are swimming in a sea of competition, including recent grads who will work at 1⁄4 your
required salary and folks with 7 + years at enterprise or social network companies like Facebook
and Twitter.

Finally, a recruiter reaches out through a word-of-mouth referral. A sense of hope surfaces. If
you are lucky enough to receive a call at the scheduled time, you might hear back 2 weeks later.
If you take the time to send a follow-up email, you’re in line to get a 3-word response (whilst the
recruiter refers to you by a different name than your own) stating “we are not moving forward at
this time”.

Just slightly dehumanizing IMO. The rejection is regular, rampant, and downright discouraging.
This is coming from someone who has worked gainfully in tech for over a decade now.

Going to just about any grocery market in the bay is rarely less than a $200 mission in itself.
With inflation taking over our pocketbooks for everything from food to gasoline, the average
Californian is strapped to afford just the basics. The Covid times so far have caused irreversible
damage, with debts at an all-time high and Americans everywhere struggling to stay afloat.

As if $3k/ month minimum on avg expenses (including only rent & bills) was not enough, how
does one now retain the information that they have lost their only source of income? Not to
mention, the foreseeable future looks beyond bleak as you see folks with 10x your qualifications
who are also jobless.

Mid-2022, those of us who survived Covid were optimistic regarding the future. Online business
seemed to be thriving again, there were tax breaks, loan forgiveness plans, and larger companies
received their bailouts. This was intended to allocate jobs for Americans in order to
stimulate the economy. With some less favorable new laws in place including being able to hire
“exempt” employees as “contractors”, we finally felt safer to be around other people more and
had a little cash in our pockets.

We wanted to start living our lives again, to go out to enjoy ourselves, and many families were finally
able to put their kids back into schools and make plans to go on vacations.

What happens now?

The news that Amazon would lay off nearly as many as Meta (10k+) adds insult to salt
already seeping into wounds. Considering they thrived through Covid lockdowns due to
inventory and fulfillment problems in retail stores globally, this comes as even more of a surprise
than the tech giants who are cutting costs by cutting human beings as they continue to maintain
around 245 Billion Net worth (each).

Shocking.

What’s more, daily I am scouring Google and news headlines in anticipation of finding a
statement from Governor Newsom regarding this immense impact. Just last month (Oct 4th),
Newsom announced several new employment laws, including a ban on mass layoffs to take
effect in January of 2023.

Interesting timing, wouldn’t you say? This all occurred during the elections as well, which means
the politicians are inundated with addressing (or we sure AF would like to believe) the other
serious economic, environmental, and social challenges we currently face.

For this moment, friends, I am among those affected by the layoffs. With the holidays around the
corner and families everywhere barely holding on, I have no closing statement that aligns with
the positive affirmations I am seeing from most people on LinkedIn “taking the high road”. I can
of course count my blessings but to be honest, I feel the trauma from the past two years was
enough for all of us, and this is beyond unacceptable (albeit unnecessary) in these times.

Tonight I’ll pour a glass of two buck chuck (which I think is now $4), & sign off truly wishing the
best possible to those dealing with financial fears in unprecedented times.

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