Annals of Unemployment, Part 4

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had gotten a job. What I didn’t mention was that it was a temporary job. After the Christmas rush petered out in January, I was laid off. My boss told me that the company laid off 167 people, so at least I knew I was not alone. (Misery loves company, as they say.) Since then, except for a one-week temp job, I have been unemployed. I check Craigslist every day. I send out maybe a dozen resumes every week. One day I came across an ad for a “Graphic Designer/Web Marketing Copywriter”. It said:

    Local manufacturing company seeking graphic designer / web marketing copywriter for part-time position. Primary duties are to create product flyers and to create and upload web-marketing copy to our new site using a CMS interface. Please send resume and work samples for consideration.

Since I am a graphic designer who has done some writing, this sounded like something I could do, so I sent them my resume. The next day I got a phone call from a woman at the company, asking to set up an interview with me. I naively assumed that because I had gotten such a quick response, they must have been impressed by my resume and by my online portfolio. I soon learned otherwise.

It was a small company that made specialty audio equipment for recording studios and whatnot. I met with the company’s business manager. She told me that the company was dissatisfied with their website, so they had decided to build a whole new one. Someone had already made templates for the new site. Basically they needed someone to write text for it, as well as for some flyers. I told her about the writing I’ve done. She was unimpressed. She explained with a slight tone of impatience in her voice that whoever wrote their copy must have a background in marketing. The most logical thing for me to say at this point would have been: “Does it say on my resume that I have a background in marketing? Why are you wasting my time like this?” Of course, I didn’t say that. Instead, I smiled at her. A small part of my brain was clinging to the hope that I might still be able to get some sort of job out of this. After all, they had invited me in for an interview, hadn’t they? Surely, that must mean something?

The woman kept talking. Suddenly, she started saying that in addition to a background in marketing, the copywriter also had to have a knowledge of audio science. So, what they were really looking for was someone who had a double major in marketing and audio engineering. It was becoming embarrassingly obvious that this woman had no idea what she was doing. My smile must have looked awfully strained at this point. The corners of my mouth were starting to hurt. When I sensed that this “interview” was coming to an end, I asked her when she expected to make a decision. She said when she found the right person. “I’m interviewing a number of people,” she said. To which I should have said: “And I’m sure you will wast their time just as you have wasted mine.” Instead, I smiled.

This was the first job interview I’d had in months, and it was a complete joke. I’m starting to get desperate. I’m actually thinking about going to graduate school. Heaven help me.

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