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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Pauline L BS: Oh, no! I'm unemployed again. (287* d) RE: BS: Oh, no! I'm unemployed again. 17 Feb 06

It's been several months since I've written on Mudcat about being unemployed. Lest you think that I have a job, I'm writing yet another chapter in my horror story.

I have been unemployed for almost all of the last four years. I lived on my savings until they were exhausted, and now I'm living on my retirement money. When that runs out, I will come to the end of the road. I have no family or significant other to fall back on for help. I have a small income from teaching violin and doing very occasional freelance science writing. Naturally, I've been looking *very hard* for a job. I'm not waiting for the ideal job which makes full use of my abilities and experiences. I will do almost anything that pays and provides health insurance. Yes, I've considered temp work. Yes, I've considered switching fields. Yes, I've considered walking people's dogs and mowing their lawns and living cheaply. I've even considered applying for a position as a violin teacher in a commercial fishing town in the Aleutian Islands. Really.

I have been finding only about two or three jobs a month that I'm qualified enough to apply for. Today I had a job interview, my first one since last summer. This interview was bizarre. It is a fairly senior level position which I am well qualified for, and the work looks interesting. (I have a Ph.D. and over 30 years of postdoctoral work experience.) A major part of the job would be attending high level scientific/medical meetings biweekly and writing 47 page long reports within three days. That's not the outrageous part. The first person I spoke to at the company seemed quite reasonable. Then I spoke to the company president. Usually this is pro forma. However, this woman was a real bitch. She told me that she didn't want to hire me because of my age; she'd rather hire someone younger; if I know a younger person who's qualified for this job, please let her know; unfortunately, a younger person would not have the amount of experience necessary to do the job well. Age discrimination is illegal, but I didn't remind her about it. There are 46 employees of the company, and only one science writer and two science editors as senior as I. She has about 30 freelance science writers and she wants to have more writing done in-house. I asked her why, and she said that she wants to have more control over people. If someone has problems in their personal life that might interfere with doing their job, she wants to know about it. I wouldn't survive long under her thumb. I think I'd be happier flipping burgers at MacDonalds than working for her. If she has nothing better to do with her time than monitor the personal lives of her employees, then she should go to work for George Orwell. They gave me a take home test of science writing and editing, as most employers do. She wants me to give her names of references. I'm thinking of telling her that I would consider working for her as a freelancer but not as a company employee. There are worse things than being a violin teacher and freelance science writer, just as there are worse things than being single.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! I need Mudcatters' advice and support.

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