Monday, June 2, 2014

The depression of the seeker

It doesn't matter how much the economy is reportedly "improving" - it doesn't help those without work. It does not help those whose unemployment insurance has expired and who are now having to sell everything they own just to put food on their plates and pay their rent while seeking mythical work. It does not help that there is no social support for people in their hunt for alleged work. The words "mythical" and "alleged" are used because until a job offer arrives, the position doesn't exist.

As days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into years, perfectly capable people who were working and who were happy working are left bewildered, wondering what's wrong with them. There are people who are sick, who are ineligible for Medicaid, Medicare, Food Stamps and whose unemployment has run out. There are people who are unable to take prescribed medicine due to lack of income. Many people are forced to beg off friends and family in order just to eke out a miserable existence and try to get work at the same time. Unemployment in America is the number one reason for depression and hence suicide.

Having seen both the European system and the American system, the problem is the same. The problem is not that the unemployed are intrinsically lazy or do not want to work. The problem is that once one loses a job it is almost impossible to gain another. It's easy to get work when one is working but when one has unemployment, self employment or worked for a company that closed down, it's almost impossible to get work. People are thus trapped into the grinding poverty and misery of unemployment. The European system at least gives the unemployed somewhere to live. The American system just shrugs its shoulders and leaves people to starve, die or beg from charities.

After the loss of a job, it's natural for the unemployed to be bewildered and wonder what has happened. This normally takes up to about a month. Then the panic sets it - what about getting work? How to get work? Applications are filled in frantically. Any and every position from scrubbing floors to working in fast food chains are completed in addition to positions similar to the position last held. Nothing is ever heard from those positions. For some, automatic rejections come back within minutes as though the position was clearly fake. Occasionally an interview turns up. Most if not all of the interviews however turn out to be for scam positions.

Depression - the cruel and relentless beast envelops the unemployed individual. Tasks that take 2 minutes normally are put off endlessly. Taking out the garbage is only done when the stench becomes unbearable. Clothes are washed only when the washing machine won't take any more because washing clothes costs money which is in short supply. Social activity winds down and ceases. Each journey has to be considered on the cost of the fuel. Routes have to be worked out in order to eke out precious fuel. The fuel tank is more often on empty than it is on full.

The day's schedule and organisation is gone. There is nothing but the lonely emptiness of the day. A day in which a man or woman could and should be doing constructive things is spent sitting around hoping vainly that the phone will ring or that an invitation to an interview will arrive. Applications for jobs are done in batches with the realisation that nobody will ever read them. Not knowing whether the advertised jobs actually exist or whether the applications ever reach the human resources agent responsible, applications are simply flipped out without any care or attention for what point is there since nobody ever responds?

Is the only way to get a job now, to sleep with the Human Resources managers?

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