Resume Fodder & Resume Reality

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It has been my experience over the years that one’s resume is often no more than a list of jobs that one has endured year to date, mine included. Resumes do a decent job of painting a picture without any real details. The proof is in the pudding, it rears it’s ugly head when a person is put to task, when one is asked to prove their knowledge of the process, and to be able to work alone, unattended by a trainer or supervisor. We all know that after all the streamlined bullet points that most of our resume is just sugar coated bullshit. I said most people. Now you’re asking, but where are you going with all of this? Fair enough of a question, I actually have someplace I’m taking y’all. I’m taking y’all to work, my work specifically, where one of my tasks is to train new employees in our department how we do things, our culture, and how to do everything we do in the safest manner possible.

This act of training is very natural for me, it has always been easy for me to teach, from people who don’t have a clue to those who come with a little or allot of experience. So, I have worked at the same place now for almost exactly two years, I have been sent to schools as well as trained by other mechanics. As a mechanic we have a daunting task, we are responsible for the maintenance and repairs on a very broad spectrum, from building (facilities) maintenance to equipment maintenance, and everything little thing in between. I’m forbidden from mentioning the company I work for, but to give your imagination a run for its money, here are a few facts.

It all started in 1962 as a small grocery store in small town by a man with an unfilled vision, and is today the biggest retail chain in the world. From hitting the $1 billion mark for the first time in 1979, it generated more than 482 billion dollars in revenue in 2016. This is more than the total revenue of Apple, Google, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and Facebook combined! Just so you know, these are the top five most valuable brands in the world. Quite remarkable! In fact, this store brand has more revenue than the total GDP of countries like Poland, Belgium, Thailand, UAE, South Africa, Singapore, Portugal, Qatar, New Zealand, Croatia, Iceland, and Mauritius. Speaking of countries, if this store was a country, it would be the 25th largest economy in the world. A country with only the stores employees alone would also be more populated than 88 countries in the world. Want more?

Wait, did someone mention employees? Well, this store has many, many of them. With more employees than McDonald’s (1.9 million), it is the biggest private employer in the world. In fact, only two organizations have more employees than this store, the US Army and the Chinese Army. You know you are big when you are competing neck and neck with the biggest armies in the world. Which is why it should be no surprise to see that it employs more people than HP, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, General Motors, Starbucks, Ford, Walt Disney, Amazon, Costco, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook AND American Airlines COMBINED. Phew! All of these companies: ~2,199,000 employees. This store: ~2,300,000 employees.

You might be wondering how is all of this even possible. Well, the answer lies in the fact that Americans spend more than 36 million dollars every single hour at this store. That’s 864 million dollars in just one day. Additionally, more than 200 million customers shop every single week in its various stores. In other words, more people shop at this store every week than the entire population of Germany, United Kingdom, and France combined. Of course, this means that it makes some serious profits. How much, you might ask? No less than $21,000 every single minute. This store can literally buy 30 iPhone 6S every minute, burn them and still be in profit. Most of y’all have probably figured it out by now who I work for, but I’m still not saying. However, I don’t actually work in a store, I work in the logistics part, not the retail part. I work in one of thousands of the distribution warehouses that receive and distribute groceries to only a handful, 70 or so stores, in the logistical web of stores seen world wide. Many of the details I listed above were in our latest issue of our monthly magazine. I can’t actually give them full on credit without giving away the name of the company.

Ok, now back to my role. Fortunately for me, I learned my department and it’s role very fast. Fortunately for me, I came into this mechanic’s position bringing years of mechanical experience and knowledge, the results of not having a resume full of fluff, fodder, or bullshit. And if the truth must be told, being a jack of most trades has served me well here because there are many days I have to dip into my resources of experiences to solve problems. But wait, there’s more. It was all a trap, almost like being given a lengthy rope to see if I could hang myself. Actually, becoming the trainer did come with extra money hourly and a little prestige since I’m not just another drone mechanic, I actually have a purpose and people depend on me to do my job to a higher standard. Plus, I really do like and appreciate all the daily challenges. Plus, training keeps my own skills sharp and many times I learn a little more. I never know who I will train or what their personal skillset actually contains. I’m not part of the interview process, but my words speak loudly when I have to do the person’s training review close to the end of a person’s initial 90 day period. Fortunately for me, my words, in a company this size, have merit and do determine if a person will continue in the new career he or she has chosen. A fortunate aspect of who I am and how my personality works is that I can spot bullshit a mile away and read a person in a way that interpretation is not necessarily needed. Luckily for me, the human brain has done most of the work for me because one is either mechanically inclined or one is not mechanically inclined. There is no in between and there is no fudging any of that. Remember, I NEVER see the resume that was used nor was I part of the interview process which got a person hired, I get the person cold. I suppose one could say it’s like a blind date, if it goes well for him or her, we get to move forward.

I will discuss, briefly, the latest candidate, and then let y’all get back to your lives. Sam is 32, the mother of 3 girls, recently divorced, muscle car enthusiast, and out in the workforce for the very first time ever in her life. She came in the shop this past weekend looking like an 80’s Guess Jeans poster girl and my first impression was that I’m screwed, not getting screwed by her, but the girly girly smells real nice types don’t usually like to get grease under their nails. My initial impressions were squashed real fast and I must admit I was more than a little shocked. Task one with Sam was to identify why a fully automatic shrink wrap machine was inoperable. I noticed when we arrived at the machine that it had stopped abruptly in a strange position, generally meaning something broke or seized. By the time I mentioned we need to get out the 16 foot ladder (weighing in at 135 lbs, in my opinion weighing more than her by 15 to 20 lbs) she already had it set up and was climbing to the top. She proceeded to request I hand her a flashlight, a 9/16″ open end wrench, and the 6″ crescent wrench. I’m, okay Sam. After a few minutes of silence except for a little grunting, she explained she had identified the problem, the shaft from the main drive motor which drives the rotation gearbox has either has broken into three pieces. I was also informed that we need to go back to the shop for additional tools and the parts to complete the repair. Due diligence states I have to do my own assessment and inspection, which by the look on her face, was insulting. Not my intention, just protocol.

Needless to say, I merely had to show her access procedures, where to find stuff, how to use our hand held computer, and that it was time for break. By the end of our three day weekend (42 hours) I found myself to not only be amazed but also very respectful to the fact that no matter how the package is wrapped that there is always a surprise inside. We did have time to talk, she explained she’s from a family with 8 boys and she was the baby. She had gotten pregnant in high school and married shortly after graduation to the father. She ended her dream of going to college to become a better mechanic because she liked being a wife and mother. Her ex and her were into restoring and building hot rods, an expensive hobby which is one reason they divorced, the other reason was in an argument about money (which she was not earning) that resulted in him punching her in the mouth in front of their 3 children. In her eyes they were now done.

Anyway, after getting to know Sam I realized she was going to make our team better, and even though there is 11 more weeks of training, I don’t see any problems. Wait, unless of course she doesn’t like the cold, because then she’s screwed because we spend allot of time in the -30 degree freezers. But we will find out that next weekend.

Two Feet And A Heartbeat

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To think that over the years I have given thousands upon thousands of dollars to that special place in all of our hearts, a little place many Americans shop every day. I never, not in 50 lifetimes, thought I would be on this side of the fence where I would become part of this machine. Eventhough I do enjoy a fair amount of anonymity here on this blog and in social media, my conscious forbids me from revealing the name and/or location of this place of employment since over the years I have read the many instances where corporate retaliation ends up in termination of employment. So, for now, until I know what I can say legally, I will remain as vague as I please. Y’all have a fucking imagination I would assume, this would be a fine time to start using it. But wait, this post is about two jobs actually. I think before I begin I will say that yes, I did consider an offer to go back to being a bartender. An option that was quickly dismissed by my significant other unless it comes down to being the very last resort. I will be the first to tell y’all that $28.59 an hour, 30 hours a week, and NO weekends was a very hard opportunity to turn down and dismiss. With that being said, I respect my wife’s wishes. Yes, it would mean going back to the very club I worked before. New here and curious? Just search my blog for the answers you seek.

Anyway, I have been trying to get back in at the very place which laid me off 18 months ago because they are hiring now, the money is decent, and I know the work involved inside and out. I’m a perfect fit. One problem though, a big problem, the position doesn’t open until the 3rd week in August. Which means, plainly, that I can’t want another month for a job I don’t even know if I will be hired for in the first place. Fortunately for me, taking a night shift weekend job gives plenty of opportunities to work day shifts full or part time at the same time. Seems, as I have seen, its almost better to have two part time jobs. I have also noticed, in this being round two in an 18 period, that many companies are simply looking for people with two feet and a heartbeat to fill mindless jobs for $9.00 an hour. Unless you’re fucking McDonalds, where I was turned down employment opportunities because I lacked one year of fast food restaurant customer service experience, identifying that I don’t have the skills to serve their products to the demanding public. Yea, WTF is the term you are searching for. Which, for me personally, gives me one more reason to hate that company with a bitter fucking passion.

Oh right, get back to the present, and tell y’all about the job I will be taking, in fact I just spoke with the HR and I’m to go in for completion of my paperwork and orientation later today. Meanwhile, I will continue my pursuits in getting on the payroll of one of two former employers again. I have not been enjoying this fucked up little journey, but I have come out of it a little wiser in my opinion. This whole thing begs the question, why is my lack of customer service experience make me a least desirable employee versus a high school kids looking for his/her very first job? Is it because I have the obvious demeanor on my face that states I’m not a people person? I cannot help it, people have jaded my views over the years of my life which have given me fantastic people skills. It truly is a double edged and double standard society we are a part of. All I know is I’m not a candidate to prostitute myself out for sex because there isn’t much of a market for someone pushing fifty in the parts I live in. Plus, my wife would have issues with it. Too bad selling my blood and sperm wouldn’t be too profitable because I have plenty of both. Plus, I’m a rare blood type, AB-, that should be worth much more wouldn’t you think?

What’s a fucking shame is that my disability is in such a mess or I would just quit working altogether. I shouldn’t say it like that, but it’s very true. Someone recommended I monitize my blog with advertising, or sell shit here and in an online store, and a few other ways to use this blog to make money. I won’t ever do it because this blog is my hobby and would cease to be enjoyable if it became work. Hell, people coming here is their unfortunate accident to begin with so it really would not work out well. I’m boring enough without trying to sell y’all shit you don’t need or want. In the end maybe this new job will help get things back on track. I can hope, right?

Captain’s Log: Event Horizon

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I try very hard to always remain positive in no-win situations. Over the decades being a cynical sarcastic asshole has served me well, however, that fact may be really hurting my “people skills” overall. Long ago, in general, I lost faith in people, for many of what I consider great reasons. When applying for jobs, submitting resumes, and talking to people on the phone I feel very uncomfortable because I’m a hard person to “sell” most times. It seems that daily I have recap conversations with my wife and they all seem like not only is there no light at the end of the tunnel but it seems as though, daily, I witness my own personal event horizons, that so called light has gone to the place where all light goes to die. As much as I would like to say I’m discouraged with the prevailing party of unemployment, I’m really not. For the second time in a twelve month period I have found that I’m not a marketable person, its a reality that shines the fuck through each day that passes, seems what I know, what I’m good at, really has no place in today’s job market place. One knows he has hit the bottom when big box fast food chains won’t hire him because in all of his years of experience he has no experience in regards to fast food. I get the impression that the pimple faced kids doing the hiring feel that they cannot teach this old dog any new tricks. Maybe they’re right, maybe those jobs aren’t right for me, that I’m not a good fit for the fucking positions, and that is probably because I’m not really a good people person. Walmart has even turned me down, a low point in my personal life, compounded by the fact that I look at the opportunities in the minimum wage market merely so I can get some of the bills being paid once again.

I have found that being a veteran matters not in many cases as well. Saying a company prefers veterans with little to no experience in a particular field looks good in the listing but I wonder if they are just fulfilling legal obligations in the end of it all. I’m just saying its hard to find direction when it seems that everything I am doing has the same response, and I don’t care to be told no so often. Let’s do some fun math, as it has calculated over the last month shall we. On average I have put in 10.8 applications per day each day (including in person and on line) making a total of 324 to date today at the time I’m writing this post. Out of those 324 applications, I have had 13 calls resulting in 8 interviews which were dead ends for all interested parties. Plus 2 stray calls from companies who really liked what they saw in my resume posted on Monster.com. Yet, here I sit. I feel that my networking skills are, to say the very least, are really shitty.

So, against my better judgement, my wife tells me to just “take the day off” and regroup. Not to retreat or surrender, but to evaluate my efforts that have been made in my hunt for a source of income. As much as I would like to do it, I really can’t, which means that me and the wife are now at odds with one another. It’s been heard a million times, but I truly believe that one picture is worth a thousand words, and today the picture above about sums it up for me. No worries though, I will break the code to break the cycle so I can get my fucking life back on track. Which is so cliche since I don’t even remember getting hit by that big fucking train. Anyway, I gotta get back to doing what I really suck at, finding a damn job.

I Hate To Say It, But Here We Go Again

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Once again I find myself looking for a job in a sea of opportunity which I don’t have the qualifications for. But then again I don’t have the skills that “most” companies are actually looking for. There are plenty of jobs out in the greater Houston area for $10 per hour and over an hour away, but I can’t afford to take those jobs. So, I have been busy once again over the last three weeks looking for new opportunities. I won’t bore y’all with my resume here, but, if you are in the Houston area (north/ northeast) and looking to hire a disabled veteran and you would like to view my resume, I will gladly email it to you as soon as you send me an email. I don’t know what else to say, this feels awkward in so many ways, like I’m pimping myself out on the street or something. This is probably because I’m not very good at networking with people, when in reality that’s what I should be doing every day all day long. So, if y’all know something and wish to pass it on please email me. I’m return, I will send you my resume, it will come from my personal email and not the email you send your email to. Confused? My email is thestingofthescorpion@gmail.com and hopefully we can connect soon.

There’s A Monster Behind The Monster

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I’m not going to badmouth Monster. Com during this short post, but my resume seems to get found by allot of trolls claiming to have seen it on Monster. Coincidence? Maybe. But, in the defense if the other search engines I have my resume posted to, nobody claims seeing it because they aren’t calling me. Still a coincidence? Makes me wonder.

After dinner tonight I get a call, she saw my resume on Monster, seeing if I’m interested in a consultant position. Me? I couldn’t consult my way out of a torn wet paper bag. She claims my military background is what caught her eye. She thinks I would be the perfect candidate to go into high schools to work with counselers to promote the military as a valuable route. She claims independence from the military, but consults schools on the importance of it as a career. OK, where does my resume say I can do that or has experience doing that? Right, it doesn’t, anywhere. I ended the call with a no thank you.

So why do these dumb fucks keep calling and referencing Monster? Good question. I don’t actually care, I just find it funny that all the bullshiters use Monster as a point if reference. Come on, give me a break will ya. My resume was yanked off Monster tonite, fifteen or so of these bogus calls is enough for me. Just stop calling unless you have a job offer, save the bullshit for my email. Now I’m tired, off to bed.

Let’s Talk About Some Dumb Luck

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Okay, so I have been job hunting, looking for something to actually utilize what I know this time. Yesterday I go to an interview for a job, salary unknown, with a company which actually took an interest in my full resume. Little did I know that when I arrived the interview word get seriously sidetracked to say the least. Instead of discussing the job I actually applied for I was asked many questions about my, now expired, class A CDL. Then, I was told that I would be offered $30.00 an hour along with as many hours of overtime allowed by law at time and a half I could handle. Here’s the kicker, the potential employer wishes to pay everything associated with getting my CDL active. Really? Yes really, and yes I have a written offer explaining the offer.

What’s the catch? Why did I let it expire a year or so ago? Federal laws changed, making it impossible for an insulin dependent diabetic to hold an interstate CDL of any class. Well, at the time I didn’t have a use for it, so I didn’t attempt switching to a non-insulin injectable product. Come to find out, I can renew it, but here’s the catch, it has to have a rrestriction added to it, changing it to an intrastate CDL, meaning it is only good in the state it is issued and cannot be used to go state to state legally. After discussing this with the potential employer today I was pleased to be informed that the restrictions will not change the terms of the offer. Bonus!

So y’all are probably wondering if I accepted the offer yet. That answer is no, I asked to have until Monday to give him my decision. Why? I need to think about it, I need to talk more with my wife, and I don’t want to commit to something on the spot because there are things to consider. Like? The company does not offer benefits of any sort, no medical, dental, vision, 401k, and so forth. Not a particular problem for me, because I’m covered through the VA, but my wife has the very expensive burden of providing coverage for our family, dental and vision only for me,  since I was laid off. As you can see, there are things to consider first. A plus is the money, do the math, that’s grossing over $60k annually plus the overtime. As well, I will be home every night. We just need to figure out if the money outweighs the benefits shortcomings. I guess I will let y’all know in Monday or so.

Apologies For My Sudden Absence

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Recently I started a process, which come to find out, has been very, very time consuming. As I attempt to place myself back into the workforce I made a choice to take a very different direction and have been focusing on federal employment. More specifically, within the Department of Justice, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the DEA. Its a very trying process especially when attempting to apply my military work background, my civilian work background, and the disabled veteran preferences allotted to me. To say the process is tedious, time sensitive, and time consuming would be the understatement of the century. However, I found the secret, it cuts a bit if the work out, have all of one’s supporting documents in PDF, plain and simple.

So, as I found myself with a little time on my hands, I decided to go ahead and update everyone. Do y’all feel up to speed now? On another note, if you or your company is hiring, please pass on that information if it is in the Houston Texas area. If one were to have questions or information, please email me here. Thanks. Now that the “hard” work is done I should be able to get back to things here and @ Guide To Ball Pythons with any luck at all.