Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Job Fairs are NOT fun nor are they fair.

So as an unemployed formerly full-time employed mom, I am chomping at the bit for a job that actually entails receiving a reasonably sizable pay check with some health insurance and time off benefits.  Since April I have been looking -- albeit in spurts -- for a job. I have had a few interviews but nothing has come to fruition.   Essentially my full-time job is surfing the web and different job search sites to find jobs that I feel qualified for and writing cover letters/tweaking my resume to fit what the position's needs are.  My BIL sent a link yesterday to a job fair at Citizen's Bank Park in Philadelphia -- short drive from my home, so I figured why not??  Their tagline for this fair is "Let's make finding a job fun again" -- and the following snippet is directly from their website:  

The Grand Slam Job Fair is a fun and productive day where you can come and meet 60 to 70 of the area's hottest companies who will be on hand to instantly interview for a wide range of employment opportunities.
For the record, this website lied. It was neither fun nor productive

In preparation for my inaugural "Career Fair" event,  I reviewed the employer list that were slated to be on site (they showed over 60 and several of whom I am interested in joining albeit not at entry-level).  Being the semi-anal person that I am, I pre-registered (so as not to wait in the line to register in the morning), I updated my resume to it's more generic form and went to print it....

and *bum bah baaaaaaaaaahm*  printer ran out of ink about halfway thru printing TEN resumes.  The ink was fairly new btw, i purchased it in May...we don't print a lot. WTH???  No wonder the fucking thing was free when we ordered our laptop.  No worries, it may have been 10:00 pm but I can order printed copies from Fedex Kinkos -- or better yet I can stop there in the morning and just copy myself so that they are fresh and I can control that little bit of the process....

So the alarm goes off, i get up, make coffee, take a shower,dress in a pale lilac cami under a black jacket (3/4 length sleeves, buttons locked and loaded) and gray/black pinstriped pants and professional shoes.  I put make-up on my face and cover up on the (now healing) cold sore above my lip.  Out the door with about an hour to spare!!  Off to Kinkos to make my copies.

Oooops Kinko's server is down. I cannot use the self-service machines since they cannot use credit cards at this moment.  Luckily the girl running the desk could make copies for me, recommended resume paper and ended up charging me almost 18 bux for copies of my resume.  But that's OK since this might lead me to my dream job, right?  I am so so optimistic.  Believe it or not I am a people person. I enjoy meeting new people and networking/finding a way to better myself in most situations.  I am now on my way officially, with 30 fresh copies of my resume printed (first time in YEARS i have printed a resume to hand out other than to have copies at job interviews), my leather portfolio is ready to go in case I get an on-site interview as advertised on the website, and I look at least presentable (though my god damned car is HOT since my AC doesn't work AND my driver's side window is inoperable....) so i get to the site, park, and walk toward the stadium looking for the entrance.

I find it, and I find the line snaking from the entrance around one corner, so I follow it -- there is no indication that pre-registered people enter here and non-registered people register there. SO like a lamb being lead to slaughter, I followed the masses around the corner...then another corner, and a third to finally come to rest at the end of the longest line full of people from all walks of life, every end of the earth and honestly, some with extremely questionable personal hygiene and wardrobe choices.  Some of the contenders could have been pulled straight from the pictures on -- but at least THOSE people aren't hoping to get a job when they step out their front door...

Anyway, after following the line back to the entrance there are now employees pointing out for those of us who pre-registered which line to go in, so I go.  A simple sign could have fixed this mess, but I am not going to give into my negative Nelly thoughts...not right now at least....i smile, pull my jacket down a bit in back since it's now sticking to the sweat running down my back and pat the sweat off of my face and forge ahead into the melee of the career fair.

There were perhaps 40 tables set up, at least 4 were for colleges who were hawking THEIR classes and such to the job seekers.  The career placement companies were doing interviews, and at 15 minutes past opening, they were booked for 2.5 hours.  I could become a bartender, hawks one woman....or i could pay for my insurance licensing and work for AFLAC, Farmers, and various other insurance agencies.  I actually spoke to three people at tables.  I gave out two resumes.  One woman gave me her .02 as to which job to apply for and let me know that she'd keep an eye out for the application.  She also gave me pointers on which portions of my resume to highlight in the application i appreciated that.

Every other table I went to (and including the one where the woman was so helpful) told me to go ahead and apply online if any of the jobs interested me.   APPLY ONLINE IF ANY OF THEIR JOBS INTEREST ME.  I looked at the jobs YESTERDAY....I was hoping to actually speak to someone about what they are looking for and find out what the chances are for me to fill their needs....not drive out in 90 + heat, walk around a super hot BALL PARK in my interview clothing to meet with recruiters who then tell me to apply online.  REALLY?  (can you tell my smile is now slipping, hairpins are shooting out of my head though I have super short hair and I am starting to mutter to myself) .... so i left the ballpark and have learned a nice lesson that I won't go back to a job fair again...or if I do I am going to wear whatever I want and do whatever I want..... of course THAT will be the day that my dream employer is actually giving interviews and they spot me coming in my peopleofwalmart shorts and backboobs. 


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