Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

The advent of technology is great, a wondrous thing to behold. Or so I thought, until I had to re-enter the job market. Now I find I am a job search dinosaur in my approach.
I grew up in a time of the human condition. A time where you knew your neighbors and a town was a community. A handshake was considered a binding contract and people were quick to smile. The neighborhood watch when I was a kid, consisted of the neighbors policing all the children and looking out for each other. Not because they had monthly meetings with people they didn’t really know, but simply because they cared about the people around them. Most of our neighbors never locked their doors and would come into your house without knocking first. Why not? They were like family. I remember sitting on the porch and openly smiling and waving to passersby. Milk, the paper and fresh bread were delivered. Everyone knew you by name and would be there in a heartbeat if you needed help.
My mother was the extended pantry for her neighborhood friends and they were hers. If you borrowed eggs to make a cake, you took some over for them to share. We had neighborhood parties and BBQ’s. We shared the sorrows of loss and the joys of triumphs together. You felt anchored, connected to something bigger and better than yourself. I’ll never forget when I applied for my first job, I was 13. My teacher wanted to know if I would be interested in working as a teacher’s aide for the summer. I was so excited and made the appointment for the interview. I followed the example of everyone I knew and dressed like I was serious about wanting the job. It didn’t matter what the job was, I was told you always dress to impress. I walked in and filled out the application and was given an interview on the spot. We could look each other in the eye, as I answered pointed questions. They were able to read my body language and I theirs.
The interview ended with a handshake and a job offer. I didn’t have to take an evaluation for an hour and a half and then go for a drug test, a physical or a psych test. I didn’t have to wait for them to receive an answer from their corporate office in another state, before I was hired. I started immediately, which meant I changed clothes and went to work. I purchased a bicycle with my first paycheck and rode it the twenty-five mile round trip every day. Due to a failing economy, I now find myself back in the job market. Having worked consistently for over the past twenty-five plus years, I have not had to face the lack of human contact that comes with today’s job search. I polished my resume and naively started my search for prospective employers. I walked into several businesses and was told they wouldn’t even look at my resume, until I filled out the application on line. I would then be more than welcome to drop off my resume and someone would probably call me. I was feeling disappoint that hitting the sidewalk had left me with no results. I had come up empty. I now entered stage two of the job hunt. I went home to attack the search from a different front: the computer. I downloaded my resume into a plethora of job search engines. There was MONSTER, SNAG A JOB, YAHOO HOT JOBS, SALES JOBS, CAREER BUILDER, JOBS.COM, AMERICAN JOBS, ALL RETAIL JOBS, WORKING IN RETAIL, and ALL JOBS.COM to name but a few. Within minutes my email was inundated with potential jobs. Of course, over 50% of them could be immediately ignored. They were well beyond my scope of capabilities or far below. I had stated a desire for full-time employment and there was page after page of jobs listing part-time work. Most of the jobs had literally no information about what the job requirements truly consisted of, or the experience level required. Just brief overviews for the most part. I called a few of the companies to get more information, but was told there was no one who could offer any assistance, but I was more than welcome to try their corporate headquarters. Calling their corporate headquarters resulted once more in no human contact, only a recording stating the jobs available and to go online to apply. I bit the bullet and started applying online. It seemed pretty straight forward at first. Press, apply for this job and so I did. Attach your resume, so I did. Now fill out the application, which I did, and then after about 40 minutes I was directed to take a test which was only going to take 55 to 60 minutes. I was then asked if I had ever been convicted of a felony, would I submit to a background and credit check and a drug test. I felt more violated than if I had just experienced a pat down at the airport. I spent over six hours at the computer and came away feeling like I had not accomplished anything. Yesterday, I downloaded an application, which I filled out at home and today I am taking it along with my resume to a potential employer. Someone I will actually be able to talk to, shake his hand and have some human contact with.
There’s a lot to be said for taking an application or resume in person. The ability to read a person’s body language is so important. Do they seem interested or distracted? Is their appearance clean and presentable? Are they chewing gum, texting, fidgeting, making faces or seem impatient?
The computer can’t tell if someone is friendly and outgoing if they are applying for a customer service job. The computer can’t ask a potential mechanic questions about how to rebuild a carburetor or how to set the timing on a vehicle and see if he has traces of grease under his nails. The job search is so impersonal now and unfortunately is a sad reflection of our society. Have we lost our humanity amidst the advent of so much technology? Have families forgotten how to laugh, hug, play board games and talk? Or like corporate America do they process their children in their harried lives and have forgotten what it’s like to experience the human condition? I prefer the handshake an

More like this:

Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close