Sunday, March 02, 2014

Inertia ... creeps

Essential rain/snow blowing down over the eastern Sierras into Nevada.

I've been staying in a friend's spare room for four months. I spent two of those months working a funky, seasonal warehouse job for 10 bucks an hour. It was a nice diversion from the reality that I'm almost 50 and -- for all intensive purposes -- homeless.

I've been working since I was 17. I'm flabbergasted by the whole Pirates of Wall Street /Predatory Lending/One-Percenter economic ass rape that precipitated this current Recession (read: Depression). I have never in my life seen anything like it.

Even at the nadir of Reagan's regime, in 1986, I was able to find a myriad of temp jobs while living in Sacramento. Jobs where I put shit in boxes for a month and then that ended. And I moved on to cleaning luxury homes in the Sacramento Valley for seven bucks an hour. Homes with ridiculous floor space, sunken living rooms, multiple hot tubs and three-car garages overlooking the baked, flat haze of central California.

I lugged turf on landscaping crews and pulled thousands of weeds alongside Interstate 5 in 100-degree heat. Thinking back, the outdoor jobs were usually the best ones. Something about the Pink Collar Ghetto always made me wince. My mother was a slave in that ghetto almost until she died. Her servile role in office bureaucracies was the reason why I balked at learning to type until I was 23 years old. I just took a typing test the other day and I'm now clocking at 62wpm, which is 7wpm faster than I was a couple years ago. It's like the older I get, the less needed I am in the workplace, the ironically more efficient I become.

I've been misled, deceived and had smoke blown up my ass by so many contract temp agencies, I've lost count. I've been promised jobs that were a "shoe in", that were "virtually guaranteed" and that I'd be "an ideal fit for" only to have the recruiter lose my phone number three days after submitting my resume to Intel, to Microsoft, to Amazon, to (insert dotcom name here). The IT industry does not like women, especially women over 40 who come from a non-technical background (English and journalism) and they openly despise older job applicants.

Usually when my resume gets flown by some tech firm, I slack off a bit, some weird naive part of my brain thinks this is it, the tide's turning. And almost always, I don't get picked.

Maybe Michael Ruppert is right. Maybe this is the last gasp of our petroleum and consumer-based society. I had no idea collapse would be this anti-climatic, this monotonous.

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