Changing Faces, Trading Places

Changing Faces, Trading Places
M.D. Wright

There are scenarios that just appear to be nothing on the surface, but there are often several variables in play that many are unawares. Additionally, it is easy to look at someone’s circumstances as a disinterested third party and write their plight off as immaterial and “not that serious.” However, this is a flawed mentality, and usually worn by people who either lack compassion and/or empathy that comes from sharing a similar experience.

Recently, I became acquainted with another in the long line of stories of the New Unemployed (i.e. people who would have never had trouble securing and maintaining employment, and are deathly driven to work, unlike those who were willfully unemployed without any effort to secure unemployment) in the Obama Years: a Black woman who had a decade’s worth professional experience in the insurance industry, while being unemployed for two years. Her name was only mildly “ethnic” (you rarely see anyone other than Blacks with the surname, “Spivey” anymore) but she still had extreme troubles securing a job. She thought it would be wise to create an ambiguous profile, using a more Anglo-sounding name and indicating that she was “White,” and immediately saw the responses from employers skyrocket.

That story can be found here:

Two years may not appear to be a long period of time for some, particularly those who have never really dealt with any periods of unemployment that weren’t partially voluntary (i.e. a “vacation” between jobs, with offers pending), but many things can occur during two years of unemployment:

— A series of flaming darts of sorts at one’s psyche.

— A serious blow to even the most confident of people.

— Complete exhaustion of unemployment benefits and most other public assistance benefits as a whole.

— Obsolescence of previously held skill sets.

And several others.

Companies nowadays love to poach other companies for existing personnel, but are loathe to hire people who are unemployed. It is akin to the practice of some women who show zero interest in a man, until another woman actually takes a flyer on him and enters into a relationship with him. Suddenly, the same women will go all out to “steal” the man away from the woman who actually did the “hard work” of actually getting to know the man and  entering into a relationship with him.

Consequently, to some, two years doesn’t appear to be that much of an anomaly in 2013, given that millions of the New Unemployed can tell that same tale.

However, when you talk to someone who has had nothing but very temporary placement jobs, one temporary (but full-time job) for eight months, and two commission-only jobs in eight years you know that there is no room for shrugging this off as some weird exception to the new “rule” of unemployment today. Companies love telling workers that they seek X degree and Y number of years of experience in a particular area before they contemplate hiring. Even worse, those who happen to be White and are only passed over because of the numbers game fail to see that White Privilege is still real, even if they aren’t of the 5,000 square foot home, 2.5 kids, one dog Cloth that many of their contemporaries possess. While you may not be prosperous, you haven’t been passed over for employment due to being White. You were passed over because someone else truly possessed superior subject matter expertise, and an overall better academic and professional portfolio; or sheer numbers of applicants with like talents.

When you possess three degrees, 15 years of professional experience in three integral fields (Insurance, Financial Services/Real Estate and Non-Profit Organization and Development), and can say that you have not had a single full-time, permanent job offer (much less actually securing and maintaining the employment), then you know something is wrong. Even worse when your name is ethnically ambiguous, your voice is ambiguous (in the professional and academic setting), and the only shift in conscious occurs upon the entrance into the bowels of the hiring manager’s office. When you are as clean as a whistle from a legal standpoint, along with the aforementioned accolades, you just have to hope that the discriminating employers slip up and reveal that they are indeed intentionally discriminating based upon the color of one’s skin, and bring forth litigation (and subsequently bringing that company to its knees, along with others who engage in the same practices).

People who do not want to work are a different species, but those who literally feel guilty when they aren’t working are up against several obstacles the longer their unemployment continues.

When those obstacles are intentionally placed before you, guilt turns into something else.

Colin Ferguson I

And to the Obama supporters, no, he is not doing anything for Blacks (after pandering to them for their votes), other than affording employers even more “excuses” — after Obamacare and sequestering created even more of a bear market for prospective employees dealing with employers who can now be even more rogue than ever in hiring and discriminatory practices. If anything, he’s only made things even worse.

Miss me with the minimum wage nonsense. You cannot live self-sufficiently on that anyplace anymore. These are the majority of the jobs that the Obama Administration likes to take credit for. No REAL jobs have been created on a large-scale or even noticeable basis.

And starting businesses is not as easy as throwing a plan together and sending in articles of incorporation to the secretary of your state. There is a need for capital, and guess what? People who have been unemployed for two years (much less eight) are 5,000 times more likely to have wrecked credit, which makes securing lines of credit virtually impossible. Without the relationships that develop at work and in academia, cultivating the relationship necessary to “schmooze” a venture capitalist is non-existent as well.

It’s just sad that people only began to care once they lost their jobs and couldn’t secure anything for even a few months, much less two or three years. Suddenly, they want all the legislation to make checking credit illegal, and looking into the racially discriminatory hiring practices. These are often the same people who loved telling people to do things that they were both unwilling to do and never did before.

AND AREN’T DOING NOW — NOW THAT THEY FIND THEMSELVES IN THE SAME BOAT. Doesn’t feel good to hear people telling you things that are not feasible, does it?


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