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Dogma, Religion, Job Interviews, Public Transportation, and the Illogic of Blaming my Homelessness on Me

April 29, 2020

I would think that eight jobs from 32 interviews from 3,200 job applications (since 2012) is sufficient evidence that my interviewing skills are not even close to priority for honing, but that’s what “experts” want to work on. Most of these interviews were for a single opening, so there is no reason to assume that I flubbed the interviews for the jobs I didn’t get, especially when this is also counting interviews with staffing services that had no openings at the time.

I have not been counting phone interviews with recruiters the same as a face-to-face interview, because 100% of them have ended contact after I filled out the right to represent form. When I would contact them, if I got a response at all, they had no news from the client.

There is a grand total of one exception to this:

One of the aforementioned 32 interviews was in-person with a Staffmark recruiter on January 7, 2013 for the position title Editor. It was supposed to be an in-person interview with the recruiter and the client, but the client no-showed the interview. He called her, came back into the room visibly aggravated, and informed me that she had filled the position behind his back. He apologized profusely and said that he would keep me in mind for other opportunities, but I’ve never been contacted (although I did give him a follow-up call a few times in the first few months). He said that because the client ditched him, he wasn’t going to be compensated for any of the time he had spent recruiting me or setting up the interview, or the interview itself. To date, this is the closest that I have ever come to a recruiter getting me an interview with a client.

Of course, my trolls would say that somehow I was the one at fault in this incident. My trolls are something else:

How I became homeless:

* Escaped from an abusive neighbor by moving when I had no income using money I received from a deceased parent that I had no way to replenish when I wasn’t getting responses to my job applications. Add a dash of trusting someone I should not have (Raj Amit Kumar) for relocation for a job.

How jackass trolls keep telling me to leave the shelter system:

* Escape from an abusive situation by moving when I have no income using money I received from a deceased parent that I have no way to replenish when I haven’t been getting responses to my job applications. Add a dash of trusting someone clearly untrustworthy (Kevin Einafshar) for relocation for a job.

See something in common?

It’s very unlikely that the few relatives I have left in the older generation will have the resources to leave anything to anyone other than their children. I’ve spoken to my paternal 1st cousin 1x removed on the phone twice to learn about my family history, but never met her, and my maternal uncle hasn’t spoken to me since I disagreed with him on the validity of Iraq War II, which he thought was the right thing. I think those are the only ones left. They’re not exactly well-to-do. The cousin is a retired university librarian; the uncle is a retired truck driver. The only relative who mentioned me specifically in her will besides my parents was my paternal Great Aunt Olive (whom I never met). I got a lot of letters about attempts to sell her house and divide the proceeds among the people named in her will. I seem to remember in one of the phone conversations with my 1st cousin 1x removed that one of her direct descendants claimed the house and moved in. My parents had only one older brother each, and my cousins once removed on my mother’s side are all gone. The last one, with whom my mom spent a summer so her mom could work after she was widowed, I was the one who told my mother he had died (in 2016, less than a year before she did) because I had been researching my family history by then.

I once saw an article post on LinkedIn in which the reporter collected people’s stories of interviewers who did horrible things. One of the most memorable, partly from being a lifelong podophobe, and partly because it makes the interviewer look utterly stupid, was an interviewer who conducted the job interview barefoot, explaining that she had been in the lab all day and wearing sneakers and somehow thought that that was less appropriate than conducting the interview barefoot. I actually did once have an interviewer conduct the interview barefoot (not quite as bad as the aforementioned situation because the interview was conducted in the interviewer’s living room, and she had just come out of the shower, although knowing I was coming, it’s odd that she would have been in the shower at the time the interview was scheduled–I think what had happened is that she called me to reschedule the interview after I was already en route, commuting from Brooklyn to the Bronx for the interview and did not get the message, and she wanted to respect my time by conducting the interview anyway rather than having me come back later), but I got the job, even though I got laid off as a result of budget cuts on her client’s end a month later.

Someone who probably did not read the article was insistent that any problems in the interview are always the fault of the interviewee and never the fault of the interviewer. I believe he even wrote “never” in all capital letters. I responded to him that what he was saying was religion, to which I don’t believe that he responded. I have retorted this a number of times in Facebook debates recently and gotten laughed at and told that I don’t know the definition of religion. I am using the term religion in much the way Michael Perelman repeatedly did so to describe neoclassical economics in The Invisible Handcuffs of Capitalism: How Market Tyranny Stifles the Economy by Stunting Wookers, not in the sense of a formal, organized religion (although in some sense, neoclassical economics is just that), but in the sense of core beliefs that cannot be proven, and in these examples, can, in fact, be easily disproven, as the examples above show, usually presented as indisputable fact when they are actually opinions unsupported by evidence–basic second grade stuff. One of my friends in Occupy told his economics professors in college that everything they were being taught was religion, explained why, and claimed that his professor was forced to concede because he had no refutation for his student’s argument.

One of my fellow temps at MTA, with whom I’m still in contact via Facebook (he posted a rant about the unprofessional way he was let go, similar to the way I and four others were let go several years earlier, with brief notice, and with plenty of other work to be done, but because what he was assigned to do at the time was no longer considered necessary), is a senior citizen, and he said that in his years he had learned one way to know that he is not going to get the job for which he was interviewing is if much of the interview consisted of the interviewer giving a tour of the office, showing the desk where the person who would be hired for the position would sit, and having him shake hands with the potential future coworkers, which he believed was a tactic used by people who don’t know how to conduct an interview. I had an interview with Haymarket Publishing to be an editor on a magazine about cyber security (about which it was explictly stated that they did not expect candidates to have any real knowledge about and would be trained), the interview was conducted exactly this way, and I did not get the job. I vaguely remember having other interviews go this way in the past (before 2012) and not getting the job.

One of the craziest beliefs that I would consider religious was someone who said to me that the only determining factor in whether one gets a job is qualifications, and that if I’m not getting the jobs for which I apply, it means that I’m not qualified. I can only assume that this guy had never worked at any kind of job that wasn’t a mass force of manual labor because there is no way an intelligent person can believe that when a business has a singular opening for an office postion that only one applicant is qualified for the position. One candidate may be the best fit for the company’s needs and culture, but the idea that all the other applicants are unqualified is so absurd and easy to disprove that it’s really not worth discussing, and yet, people I blocked on Facebook, such as the aforementioned Kevin Einafshar, have insisted that lack of a response to job applications means lack of qualifications. Einafshar claimed he could get me a $16 an hour office job in Minneapolis and then started lying about my personal and family history after I said that that’s not much of an enticement to move, given that the minimum wage in New York City is $15 an hour and that there are more opportunities for jobs that I would actually want to do here, especially during a pandemic (although he did clarifiy that he did not expect me to do it immediately), and of course there is always the issue of transportation when moving from New York. Most of us don’t have cars here, and the monthly cost of maintaining and fueling a car is much higher than the monthly cost of public transportation in New York. While I haven’t researched public transportation in Minneapolis, I do know that Jacksonville (12th largest city in the United States as of the 2010 census) and Indianapolis (13th largest city in the United States as of the 2010 census) have very poor public transporation systems. When I lived in Jacksonville, the buses came once every two hours, which is hugely impractical if they are your primary source of transportation. When I lived in Indianapolis, buses were associated very poor people, generally minority, in part because the service of Metro, renamed IndyGo when I was in college, was so poor that they didn’t even post bus schedules or routes at the bus stop, but instead posted an 800 number, and we’re talking in the ’80s and ’90s when no one who would be using a bus would have a mobile phone. When I returned to Indianapolis for my mother’s memorial, I had to blow a lot of money taking Lyft. The trip from the bus station to the hotel, the Red Roof Inn on East 82nd Street in Castleton, by IndyGo required me to first take a bus that would take me to the far-end of West 86th Street, have a layover for many hours, then get me to my destination at 9 in the morning. I am not sure how anyone could find that reasonable, but these systems are designed with the idea that the vast majority of people will be using cars, and seem to give only lip service to the idea of even having public transportation, whereas New York City’s system is not designed that way.

It appears that the vast majority of Americans worship three things: capital, guns, and cars, and are able to come up with the most nonsensical explanations for why someone may be lacking in any area. I even had some of these people claim that their arguments are logical, while mine are based in emotion, an argument that I did not understand, and that they could not explain because it’s religious dogma that could never make sense to someone not indoctrinated into their line of thinking.

  1. And I will say, although I never knew the client’s name. I do know the name of the recruiter and still have his business card. I contacted the recruiter today just to see if he had anything new, but the e-mail came back as undeliverable.

  2. Johnny permalink

    For a “podophobe” you seem to talk about your feet a lot.

    What part of feet do you dislike the most? Toes, soles, or heels? Or is it the whole foot?

    Would you accept a job giving pedicures if it didn’t hurt your back?

    Do you mind looking at your roommate’s feet?

    • Considering that there is no mention of them in this article, I think you’re being a troll, but to answer your questions:

      1. There is not really any choice when you have a medical ailment in them and are providing details on how that affects your life.

      2, All of the above, though the instep isn’t so bad.

      3. No, and it would without question, so it’s a non-issue. I’ve walked by nail salons. Lots of bending and leaning forward.

      4. Yes. I’ve also been in big dorm shelters, and believe me, you see some really disgusting feet in them, but when you’re poor, you have to manage. Many people do not keep in socks the way I do.

      I just had an interview today that may be my ticket out of the shelter system.

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