By: Ben Robinson
It has been a long time since I have faced this problem.
When I first graduated from Clemson, I basically went from door to door, hoping to find some place that would give me a chance. After four months of searching, I stopped by the offices of “a local newspaper.”
Thing worked out there. I worked there in various positions for 26 years.
Now I’m in the same position again — going door to door, seeking employment of any kind.
Sure, I’m writing for the Courier freelance, but that’s hardly enough to cover any bills. I appreciate the opportunity that Rocky and Zack are giving me, and hope it leads to more in the future. But right now I need to find a more permanent source of a weekly income.
The first step in this process was going to file for unemployment. It is discouraging to have held a job for more than a quarter of a century and then have to ask for help finding a new one. What is really discouraging is to be the only person at the unemployment office who is not bright enough to understand how to file.
Thankfully, the folks at the unemployment office were mighty helpful.
At one point I was supposed to write my cell phone number on my application. I changed cell phone providers about six months ago, and quite honestly I still don’t know the number. Really, I never call myself, so why should I learn the number? I had my cell phone in my pocket, and I toyed with the idea of calling one of my friends and asking him what my number was, but thankfully, a woman who was also filing for unemployment had once worked for a cell phone provider and she offered to examine my phone and find the number for me. Embarrassingly, I quickly accepted her offer to help.
I finished the paperwork, was given some additional papers to fill out, and a phone number to call each week to renew my claim.
Included in the paperwork was a form in which I was to record my attempts to find a job. I’m supposed to have at least four potential employers whom I had tried to find a job with. That’s kind of a depressing process.
Its like if I had to make a list of potential female dates and include the reasons why they would not go on a date with me. “1. Prefers not to date fat… I mean full-figured men; 2. Doesn’t find me attractive; 3. Said she is married now, check back in six months.”
For the potential employers, so far, it has been mostly a case of not having the proper skills. I cannot boil water, so I can’t be a cook. I have no mechanical skills whatsoever, so I can’t work in construction.
I can’t run fast, so I can’t be a Carolina Panther. And we won’t go into the reasons I can’t be a Panther cheerleader.
So that’s where we are today. The folks at the unemployment office are as friendly as you’ll find, but each one smiled as I told them “Thank you so much, but I hope I do not have to depend upon you for long.”