Monday, December 10, 2012

Response to Whole Foods Job Inquiry

I came back home and found that the resume that I had sent to Whole Foods had been rejected and was almost immediately inundated by a wave of apathy. I went and raked some leaves up in the yard to get the shot to my self-esteem out of my mind, but it seems that it’s something on which I want to brood for a while. I want to brood on the whole farce that has been my job search since I’ve been back here. When we got back to the Bay I was resigned to live in the East Bay for a while. Rent was free, the area was quiet and we would be able to help out Gina’s family if they needed us. We got into town the Friday after Thanksgiving and I decided that it would be best to relax before going out to look for a job over the weekend. On Monday, I got all dressed up and set out toward Niles, which I had seen a little of over the weekend. Upon arriving in the townlet I found everything to be closed and figured that I would walk into Fremont proper and see what was available. Fremont, when I got down town, was little more than shopping complexes strung together down a double-wide boulevard. It reminded me a little of unwalkable suburban Detroit, only here there were bike lanes and sidewalks, albeit unused. I had only been back in the country about two weeks at this point so I was still enjoying the newness of the area. Personally, it was new, as in something I hadn’t experienced in a while and it was also new, as in brand new. Everything shone, everything smelled of fertilizer, warm plastic or new car smell. It was the America that people who don’t like America complain about or the America that tourists are happy to leave behind but also happy to return to. For me, ut was just another permutation of America. It didn’t represent the majority, nor could it be called an under-represented minority. I was still thrilled by the variety of stores and the variety of things they had inside them. On one corner there was a Safeway, a Trader Joe’s and the future site of a Whole Foods. Inside Safeway there are now something like 10 varieties of Wheat Thin cracker. I walked around for the morning into the afternoon walking toward businesses, peeking in, and usually walking away. It wasn’t the look of the places that deterred me, but rather the age of the employees. It’s much easier to work at a place you feel overqualified for when you’re in good company. In San Francisco and other large cities, grocery stores and cafes are usually full of twenty-somethings waiting for something else to come along. The job would really be a career and everyone who came in would know that you didn’t think of it as such. In Fremont, it felt like something more permanent. I would be working with a bunch of high-school students. Either they would try to promote me to management right away or I would remain a grocery stocker, happy, but annoyed that I hadn’t at least been offered the promotion so I could’ve turned it down. I dropped off one resume at a little café. The owner happened to be in and he gave me a little impromptu interview. I felt I did OK and after finding little else decided to go back home. That night, I decided to check out Craig’s List for the area. It hardly yielded anything: mostly driving jobs, very little service industry stuff. All the businesses hiring were chains and I could guess what the majority of their staff looked like. I checked in San Francisco, out of curiosity and found a flurry of jobs, mostly independent cafes in hip neighborhoods. I decided then that I would look for a job in San Francisco and that I would commute until we moved. It seemed like a good choice. I had once found a café job there with no experience within a week. If I moved my search over to the city I could be working within no time, or so I thought. The next day I began checking Craig’s List. I have been checking it ever since. Every day there are at least 3 new barista jobs posted. So far, I have applied to all of them. I’ve been called in for two interviews. Both of them ended with face-to-face encouragement and then an e-mail a day or two later that broke the news that I had not been selected. With so much café experience, I am surprised that I am having such a hard time convincing these people that I am qualified for the job. I could understand if there were a serious dearth of jobs, but with so many posted every day it seems like I would be the right guy for one of them. Most employers don’t even get back to me. I write concise cover letters for each position, attach my resume and then never hear anything back as though I had sent it into a void. And that’s how it’s beginning to feel, like a void. Whole Foods was a desperate act. I hadn’t really even considered it, but Gina mentioned maybe trying to get a job there. When I found a store that was hiring online, I decided to send in my resume. I wrote that I had complete availability, years of experience in customer service and knew my way around a cash register. ‘No,’ they said, ‘you’re not what we’re looking for.’ What are these people looking for? Do I need a PhD to work there? Should I have left the degrees out of my education section? The promptness of the rejection made it even worse. I sent the application out this morning and had a rejection e-mail by 4 pm. They obviously saw something about my application that actually made it STAND OUT as unworthy. I don’t care about working at Whole Foods, and I’m actually not all that concerned about getting a café job, but dammit this does not bode well for getting any kind of professional work. Along with my café search, I have been applying for editing positions as well as internships. Often the requirements to apply for these jobs take me all morning to get together and/or write. Since I have begun applying for these jobs I haven’t heard a word back. You’d think that a local guy with complete availability and a Master’s degree would be qualified to work at an entry-level position for free, but no one has even bothered to tell me ‘thanks for trying.’ So, I’m back where I started again, practically addicted to Craig’s List, searching the classified about three times a day. New ideas keep popping into my head throughout the day and I want to rush back home and send an e-mail to a place I used to work, or send a Facebook message (a Facebook message fer shit’s sake!) to a Georgian restaurant that’s going to open in the Spring, just saying something like, ‘Gamerjobot, how about a job?’ Even now, I am consumed by the idea that perhaps I have missed a job posting in the time that it had taken me to write this. I don’t want to let the Whole Foods thing get me down, but I am tired of looking for jobs. I’d like to have some kind of work, so that I could continue the job hunt with a little more peace of mind.

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