Saturday, April 25, 2015


*written early 2011

As a job-seeker, and one for the first time in over a decade, I can tell you it’s ROUGH out there. For every one advertisement, there are HUNDREDS of applicants. I don’t write that to scare or alarm readers. I don’t really believe in aggregates and trends in such matters. Frankly, all I care about is how such a scenario impacts ME.

But, there it is. Finding a job in the county I reside is very, very difficult.

I have a college degree. I have a legendary work ethic. I live to work, to be of value. My references are solid. Um, yes, there is this one drawback … having … to … do … with …. Never mind. That aside, I am GOLD when it comes to working. Should not have a problem.

I do, and I haven’t been able to solve this problem.

Without going into too much detail, I’ve applied to nearly 100 positions in a little over three months. Of that amount, TWO have asked I come down for a tryout. One was for a dog grooming company, and I loved the work. A lot of fun. The owner said I was a natural, and when she called me to let me know she’d decided upon someone else, someone with experience, she was quick to assure and comfort me about my performance. The other tryout came via an Asian food restaurant as a runner/cashier. Awesome place. Fast-paced. Time flew by. The operations manager called me, informing me they were going with more experienced help, and she said she’d keep my application on file. Again, that’s TWO out of one hundred. Two. And I did NOT get either job.


I could be very bitter. And it does, from time to time, get to me in small ways. But I press on.

I was honestly beat out a job, or jobs. Totally fair.

A morning found me in the parking lot among about FIFTY applicants. Yeah, that many. The potential job was of a janitorial nature, and paid a whopping NINE clams an hour … to work downtown, scrubbing bathrooms, etc. Folks from all walks of life gathered. Younger. Older. Middle aged. Male. Female. Asian. Black. White (2, including me). Latino. LOTS of Latinos.

Doors open, we file in. Not enough applications. Plenty in Spanish, only a few in English. Those who speak only English are visibly upset. Not me. I roll with it.

White guy, OF COURSE, walks up to me.

Shit, he whispers, all these Messicans taking our jobs! There wasn’t a question there, so I just stared ahead as if I didn’t hear him. Don’t these people check if they’re LEGAL? he asked.

I’d thought ahead,  and so I carried a clipboard with me. Snagged a Spanish application, and began filling it out. I need a fucking job, Spanish or English. 

You speak Spanish, dude? he asked indignantly. I continued writing. You’re not gonna get the job; the Messican bitch only wants Messicans.

Me and my clipboard walked to a hoard of obvious Spanish speakers, and I asked what this or that phrase on the application was asking. A Latina woman, older, looked up and sheepishly said, BACKGROUND, they’re going to check your background.

Oh well.

I finished the application anyway, thanked the woman who brought it to me, and headed for the parking lot. White guy’d parked near me. Everywhere I go, they’re here, man. EVERYWHERE. They will work for nothing, and bosses love them because they never complain, he continued the confrontation begun inside.

I tossed my clipboard on the passenger seat, Look, dude, NO ONE owes you a fucking job. You’re going to have to COMPETE, I snorted back. If I am the best person for the job, they’ll hire me. If not, they won’t. ANYONE can be a janitor. But will you hustle? Will you sweat? Work late? Not take breaks? An employer has a lot to consider. 

Those guys are all illegal, he pointed to a swarm of people near the entrance.

Don’t use that as an excuse as to why you’re not working, I said. You’ll get a job, eventually, if you work hard to differentiate yourself, to make yourself valuable. I’ve been looking for a solid three months, and NO ONE will hire me. That’s on me. No one else. I have to change something, try something different, keep working at getting a job. But it’s not THEIR fault.

He abruptly jumped in his car and drove off.

Fuck your unions, fuck your Tea Parties, fuck your Arizona laws, and FUCK YOU if you can’t hang with someone who’ll work longer, cheaper, and better. Yeah, I’ll be out of job, probably for life, homeless and all the rest due to my record. But I’ll be damned if I’ll ever blame someone else for my situation.

That’s all I have to say about that. Thank you, and good night.

And I mean it.

Craig Edward Kelso is the author of Anarcho-Capitalism (2014), a primer on the philosophy of peaceful, stateless cooperation. His curriculum vitae include a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from San Diego State University, and a Post-Baccalaureate secondary education credential in both Social Science and English Language Arts. Kelso taught for nearly a decade in the American public school system, and was voted by colleagues Teacher of the Year, twice in his short tenure, earning numerous accolades from chambers of commerce, mayors, state assembly persons, governors, congresspersons, senators, and even Wal-Mart. Currently he struggles to earn an opportunity to be employed, working as a laborer, dishwasher. He is deliriously happily married to Myra Kelso, living in Southern California with their adorable children.

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