I’m Unemployed again and losing hope

Crossposted at Daily Kos

     So the bad news is I lost my job. The good news is, well, coming soon, I guess. If anyone knows of quality employment that can be found in NYC, please let me know about it in the comments below.

     My little adventure as a Paid Progressive Activist (Fundraising) has come to an end because I didn’t make my quotas.

     Our daily quotas were $125 a day or $625 a week. Mind you, we’re standing outside, freezing our asses off while busy NYers scuttle by, bracing themselves against the wind. It is not easy to ask for charitable donations in such conditions. If you make your quota you get paid $375 for the week plus bonuses. If not, you get min. wage. I raised $525 in 5 days, but it broke down to 28 the first day, 10 the second, 425 the 3rd, 5 on the fourth and 20 on the last, so I was dismissed. I raised $525 and will get paid min. wage at 40 hours for the week. It seems a neat little scam, don’t it? You can pay people min. wage then sack them the first week whether they are performing or not. Sucks. At least I’ll get that one pay check though.

    Frankly, I am running out of hope for both myself and the political/economic system that is broken beyond repair.

    More below the fold.

      I need a job, a good paying job where I can climb out of debt and poverty, not a bunch of empty promises and talking points. I write this while checking out Craigslist for jobs in NYC, and there aren’t many available that I am not unqualified for or overqualified for.

     Millions of people like me who were living month to month are now suffering like they have never suffered before.

     High unemployment is driving wages down. This is good for business who want to profit by minimizing their costs, but bad for business who have no customers anymore because they can’t afford their crappy products and services based on their shrinking salaries and rising prices. The sooner the Masters of the Universe figure this out, the better it will be for every one.

    I know why the raving wingnut screams. It is because he or she is suffering, struggling and totally uninformed about why this is happening. Though their Obama=Hitler signs and fears of teh socialism de-legitimize their fears, their fear is real nonetheless. They are suffering, and so am I, and the first political party that assuages their fears will stand to benefit from it. Whether those fears can be assuaged by making our economy work for working class people or by killing the Government altogether is a matter for what Democrats in power do while that power is theirs. If they sell out to the special interests the leave open the door to the Conservative movement who would further outsource this country to the for profit system that has destroyed the middle class. Maybe this IS their goal. I don’t know, all I know is that millions of people like me need help NOW. Democrats can either use their power for the people or against them by siding with the special interests. If they don’t have the will to help people you can expect the fake populists to win and make things worse. In fact, you can take it to the Too Big To Fail bank.

    So I have been off the web for the last few days, applying to jobs and feeling pretty down. I’m tired of working BS wage slave jobs. I can’t afford to live on them and I am too smart for this shit, but I need to be able to take care of myself better. This last year has totally sucked.

    And I see Democrats refusing to use 50+1 votes in the Senate, I see the Obama Administration covering up for Bush/Cheney war crimes and spending more American lives and treasure to fight a war on something that ca not be won, and I am losing hope. I want to hope, but hope alone will not bring quality jobs back to America or keep the middle class from disappearing entirely. Hope is useless without action.

    Going back to my own dilemma I ask for your help. If you know of where employment can be found in NYC, please let me know. I can’t survive on minimum wage but I will take it over nothing. I hope to find a quality job, but hope alone won’t keep me warm at night.

    So, here’s to Hope. I could sure use some right now, though a good paying job would be more helpful.

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JesseLaGreca

    Also crossposted at The Progressive Electorate.com


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  1. The rich are STILL getting richer and the poor are STILL getting poorer, only now middle class is the new poor.

    Hope will need feed families or educate children alone. We want CHANGE! and not the kind that people put in your coffee cup as you freeze out in the cold.

    Any and all help is appreciated.


  2. so sorry, MoT.

    Go to school. Is there a way?

    • TMC on December 14, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    will mention here, too

    Go back to college. Check out CUNY. There are grants, financial and jobs in related fields to your major. Get thee to a councilor.  

  3. I’m so, so sorry.

    I think I hate people. I didn’t used to hate people, but now I kind of do.

  4. I still have your resume, just been very busy.  I’ll make some time this week to look it over and search for govt jobs around NYC for ya.  See what I can do.  

  5. I know they are gearing up for that. It isn’t great money, but its better than standing out on the street all day.

  6. When you were that close to quota on your first week, and in this economy too, they surely would have kept you had they had any intention of it in the first place.  There are other canvass jobs out there–maybe there are others that are OK, I dunno.  I bet some really are.

    Before you jump into school, as several have recommended,  think long and hard about all those people graduating, with no future and now big, big loans too–even newly minted Harvard lawyers can’t get a job right now, and think about the fact the school loans are now never forgiven, even during bankruptcy (thanks Mr Biden).  In NY, one guy that had student loans of 500K has been turned down twice by the bar because of the debt.  So, he’s screwed for life, as the only way to pay those kind of loans for him is likely years and years stuck as a lawyer, and he’ll have to default which means no bar will take him.      

    Everyone and their mother is returning to school.  

  7. MoT. I posted over at Dkos but it’s so crowded I came here. I think you should go with writing. Think of every job that uses writers and figure out how to slot yourself in. When I was trying to find a way to eat through art, I went back to school and took classes in graphic art. Got some skills which used my talent. Marketing and advertising is a field which relies on ‘creatives’ they are the wrists and minds that crank out the garbage that hawks whatever they are selling. You can find niches withing this field that you can handle ethically sort of…. I went into retail advertising. I got my first real job off the job board at Otis Parson College of design in LA, another city that is a hard nut to crack. I felt no qualms about using the resources of other schools in LA. I met many dead ends but each one counted as ‘experience’ and could be used in my resume.  

    I never got a degree, I went to learn the skills that would feed me using my talent and creativity, I became an art whore. I also learned how to get a job and break into the field in school. “Creative self marketing’ or as my typography instructor said LIE. Marketing itself is a con, it’s a field where what you have to offer is more important then your pedigrees. In every large retail marketing or art department I worked in their was a roomful of writers busy cranking out copy. Something to think about it not only feeds you but honed my skills for work I actually found meaningful. If you can hack working for the Madmen, you can eventually start picking who and what you whore yourself out to.

    Even city colleges offer classes where you can learn skills to ‘fake it’ as a ‘professional’ enough to get your foot in the door. They need the raw talent of real writers and artists to produce what they think up.                  

  8.  interest and all those canvassing INC jobs.  They aren’t progressive companies, they are essentially slave drivers who capitalize on people who are passionate about politics.  You were raising money on behalf of the Fund for third party contractor.  In short, yup, they are a scam.

  9. If you make your quota you get paid $375 for the week plus bonuses. If not, you get min. wage. I raised $525 in 5 days, but it broke down to 28 the first day, 10 the second, 425 the 3rd, 5 on the fourth and 20 on the last, so I was dismissed. I raised $525 and will get paid min. wage at 40 hours for the week. It seems a neat little scam, don’t it? You can pay people min. wage then sack them the first week whether they are performing or not. Sucks.

    In November of 2001 I went to work for a political group called Ohio Citizen Action, which focuses on environmental issues.  They used the same pattern with me, although I was never able to raise more than – I think – thirty dollars on my best night.  It might have been less.  At any rate, like you, I was let go at the end of my first and only week.  It is a scam.  They put out ads for employment that promise you a steady wage (here in Ohio, it’s $350 or so a week), but don’t tell you that such is wholly dependent on your ability to raise twice that, because you keep half of what you collect.

    I know you’re losing hope.  I lost mine a while ago.  That’s when I decided it was better to rely on righteous indignation, a good, healthy dose of outrage, to get me though the day.  Hope implies that things are so beyond our control that only some outside influence can improve our lives.  Have you thought about starting a nonprofit for helping people find work in this economy?  Do you know anyone versed in nonprofit law?  Grantwriters?  People in situations similar to yours who are looking for something?

    • Inky99 on December 14, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Always remember that

    You’re a good guy, you’re smart, you’re doing everything you can.

    Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

    A lot of people are having similar problems, myself included!

  10. http://www.usajobs.gov/  

    links to the federal jobs database.

    I’d also check the Bergen Record and whatever papers serve Hudson County and Union county in NJ.   Jobs arent plentiful but ya never know and the commute to North East NJ isn’t bad from the city.

  11. But of course, living becomes a priority.

    In recent days, especially since I started commenting more here, not necessarily because of it, but because of numerous things I have decided that I only want to focus my energies, in my life in working to leverage my involvement to empower the poor who go unheard or worse muzzled when they have things to say that are seen as inconvenient to winning elections. I have worked as a fundraiser, an organizer and manager of organizations like that and I am unsatisfied with them. I have put a lot of energy into electing Democrats. But I see that doesn’t do anything unless we are united together at the bottom for a better future. This can’t happen without imagining a better future.

    You are fine. You may even be lucky not to have been a part of that organization, as it and many of those third party contractors are more concerned with cash than they are with giving a voice to the people they use. I know, this comes off like a brush off of your expectations. I don’t want to bother you with that as you are going through enough. Oddly, I was partially glad when certain fundraisers didn’t make it after hiring them, because I knew that what I was doing was wasting my time in making my own decision to leave this or that organization. You don’t have to make that choice at least!

    Sorry, I know that doesn’t help.  

    I would love if you were to get an education, if I had any way to pay for it I would, with your attitude you could do really amazing things (no I don’t mean hopelessness, I mean your ability to fight for what is right in face of crushing odds.) IF you can find a way to get living expenses covered, I would think that it would be an great way out of your present predicament. In my state, they do cover them for residents. I imagine in your state they do as well. In fact in my state you can live better on state support for school than you can fund raising.  Keep your eye out for other political jobs though, as I said you could make a pretty good union organizer. Anyways best of luck.

  12. a link to your paypal account? I sure would like to make a small contribution.

  13. in your diary at DK (under my DK pen-name) re:  Employment in the Health Care field.  Don’t know if you’ve considered re-training, or if it’s feasible for you, but if so, one area where there is still a need for employees, and there will continue to be a need, with an aging population is the health care field.  These include Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists–both of which usually require a Master’s Degree.  PT & OT Assistants, however, require less training, and still have a good job outlook.  Here are a few links:   Physical therapist Assistants and Aides:

    Employment is projected to increase much faster than average.

    Assistants should have very good job prospects; on the other hand, aides may face keen competition from the large pool of qualified applicants. Aides usually learn skills on the job, while assistants generally have an associate degree; some States require licensing for assistants…

    Most physical therapist aides are trained on the job, but most physical therapist assistants earn an associate degree from an accredited physical therapist assistant program…

    Occupational Therapist Assistants and Aides:

      * Occupational therapist assistants generally must complete an associate degree or a certificate program; in contrast, occupational therapist aides usually receive most of their training on the job.

       * Employment is projected to grow much faster than the average as demand for occupational therapy services rises and as occupational therapists increasingly use assistants and aides.

       * Job prospects should be very good for occupational therapist assistants; job seekers holding only a high school diploma might face keen competition for occupational therapist aide jobs.

    An associate degree or a certificate from an accredited community college or technical school is generally required to qualify for occupational therapist assistant jobs. In contrast, occupational therapist aides usually receive most of their training on the job.  

    There are also links to other health care related fields in the linked sites above.  BTW, if you were able to get a job as a PT or OT aide, it’s possible that the facility you work in might provide tuition assistance–wouldn’t hurt to check into this.  

    Wishing you the best of luck.


  14. http://kossacksnetworking.ning

    Didn’t want to rain on your parade last time you posted about the new job, I was really hoping it would work out for you.

    I’m still looking for a job myself and hanging on this shitty part time job for dear life. They want me gone and treat me accordingly, but they (most likely) won’t fire me before christmas, cause they’re such good christians.

    So in the meantime I suck it up and try to get my own biz started. Thing is my sewing machine just gave up its little life and this ,my friend, was essential to my attempt of independence.

    You see you’re not the only one getting rocks thrown in your path.

    Good luck to you. 🙂

    • sharon on December 15, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    the other day.  there was an email addy to send a resume to or you can walk in and apply – they had hours posted.  i know you want to move beyond this kind of work, but if they haven’t filled the position, it might be worth looking into.  i just remembered the name of the place and found it on the google:  http://maps.google.com/maps/pl

    maybe if you call they can give you more info about the job.  good luck.  also try theladders: http://workattheladders.typepa…  

    it is not a bad place to work at all, you would be working alongside a bunch of intelligent people your age, you can go work in jeans and a tshirt, and they keep the kitchen well stocked with breakfast items, snacks and beverages and host bagels every friday.  i just noticed they have an opening posted in customer service.  get in touch with them today.  i promise you, you will not mind doing this while you get yourself organized for the next step.

  15. I went to a progressive job fair in Portland Or. a while back. the AFL-CIO was about to fly me to a orientation meeting in LA after a phone interview that night.  The job would involve alot of travel and as I live with my elderly mother I didn’t take the offer. I have some resturant management experience and some college. It would be a snap for you MoT.  

  16. I have on more than one occasion. There is no shameful work. All work is honorable. Clearly, you’re having a bit of trouble negotiating your way to the upper income echelons.

    Having a job is a 100% improvement over not having a job. Any job. I don’t see any merit in offering platitudes.

    I retrained in my mid-thirties and worked as a laborer shifting scrap for minimum wage, telemarketing, and sweeping floors. Focused me powerfully on getting a solid education.

    You’re bright enough to know that the cavalry only rides over the hill to rape, rob, pillage, and take ears. The Lone Ranger isn’t coming.

    Take any job you can find and stick with it for at least a few months. Any job. The next better one will come easier.

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