Job Hunt, SoCal Style

Ian's job at the Salk Institute is fantastic. He is learning a ton, is rubbing elbows with famous science dudes, getting to work with gazillion dollar microscopes, and gets free bagels from vendors.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have my employment situation. Despite the fact that I am well educated, skilled, have great judgment, commitment, focus, and proven good work habits, I am still unemployed.

Turns out that the SD area is particularly hard-hit in these current economic times. Check out this really great NY Times article has a fantastic interactive map (FYI - The map shows our area at 8.6% unemployment, but as of May, we are looking at 9.5%. It is the highest it has been since 1970. It is the highest it has ever been IN MY LIFE, and my life is such a meaningful and pertinent measure of things.)

The current state economics translates into many businesses being wary of hiring out of fear of what the next quarter will bring, and a huge amount of government, tech, and education jobs have been laid-off in this region. I have not had huge luck in finding a permanent job gig.

Here is one of job emails I have received (it is long, feel free to scroll down past it) (please do keep reading, the last one is a real kicker):

Dear Applicant
This is to inform you that you have been formally appointed by our organization. This is based on the achievement of all requirements needed to work for our Company. I want to seize this opportunity to congratulate you and welcome you to the organization. This is a part time job work from home. I have verified all the information's you provided and they are valid. Please we will like to know how honest you are and how can we trust you with our funds.
Once again, I say congratulations and welcome to the company.
I also want to seize this opportunity to inform you that your information's have been forward to our customer / Client, I have instructed one of our clients in the USA who is ready to make payment to issue out a check to you on our behalf. I will later update you with the full details about the payment you will receive from our client.
You must follow the instructions below:

1. Receive payment from our Customers or Clients.
2. Cash Payment at your Bank or any cashing facilities near you.
3. Deduct 10 % which will be your percentage/pay on Payment processed
4. Forward balance after deduction of percentage/pay to any of the offices you will be contacted to send payment.

Excellent job opportunity, no?

The job hunt has gotten just absolutely ridiculous. After being told I am perfect for a job, but they found an intern to manage their clients for free (call me when you need your databases fixed!), or that I am a great candidate but they found somebody who will do all their State Ed Board compliance for $9.00/hour, or that they are waiting to fill that particular position until next quarter, I have started casting a larger net for smaller fry.

Today, we have hit the nadir of my job searches.

Today's job fair really takes the cake. I responded to a posting (which has since been removed, oddly enough) looking for a capable office manager/admin. Here is what I still had saved in my files:

Immediate opening for office manager / administrative assistant / receptionist. Applicants should be enthusiastic, personable, dependable, professional, well dressed, and a team player. Must have good communication skills, be organized, detail-oriented and be able to multi-task. Computer skills not required. Experience a plus but will train.
Please email the following information:

1) Best phone number to contact you.
2) Your current resume.
3) Your ideal start pay. (based on your experience )

Job fair to fill position Tues May 19, 11:00 address omitted so I don’t get sued on the impossible chance that somebody at the job fair actually reads this

What would you think that job was for? My guess would be for an office manager/ admin.

Thinking I can ALWAYS get an office monkey job, I show up early, decked out in my business lady threads - full on cream colored Talbot’s skirt suit get-up, with the nice looking heels that match the nice leather handbag, with the conservative jewelry, with the extra copies of my well constructed resume showing what a bad-ass I am, to the maze of tall office buildings and parking garages, to the specific suite where said Job Fair was to happen.

The front office was fairly empty, save for about 25 folding metal rental chairs, and a garage-sale looking front desk that had no computer, no office plants, no paperwork, and no in-box.

There was no company literature on the end table, because there was no end table. There is probably no company literature.

The room was populated with about a dozen other folks with their job hunting garb on, carrying their little resume folios, and a few younger just-out-of college types who are busy texting while we waited, and about 4 few really buff and fake-tanned dudes who all sat together clustered at the far end of the front office/reception area whispering and flexing their muscles for each other.

We were greeted by a very doughy, sweaty guy in a pair of ill-fitting Dockers and a golf shirt who thanked us for coming and told us there was a coke machine down the hall if we wanted a coke. Gee, thanks, guy. This is really feeling like an awesome job opportunity.

Turns out they don't need an office manager at all. They need someone to PLAY an office manager in their porn.

Feel free to read that sentence again.

They wanted someone to LOOK like an office manager/admin person in the porn they were shooting. I guess their business is all about getting the amateur/non-porn star corner of the market. The crappy office and clump of tan muscley dudes finally clicked.

Upon re-reading the job posting, I still found nothing in it to tip me off that I was walking into a porn casting call. Knowing now that it WAS a porn casting call, it did make me wonder what they mean by team player and multi tasking.

I asked the woman sitting next to me if she new it was an amateur porn business opportunity. She was as surprised as I was, and had the best response to the situation ever:

"I really don't think this job is a good fit."


  1. Laughing. Loudly. Who else would have this happen to them? And who else could tell the story this well? No one.

    Kelly just said, "J-mo rocks.What did it pay?"

    Now, if they had actually wanted you to be the porn star....

  2. In order to win the best jobs and ultimately your dream job in today's world, you have to work like a ninja. Your job search must be different than everyone else's. You have to search where others don't search. You must have a strategic plan of attack.

  3. First, who the F is "jobsearchNinja"???

    Second, Wow J-mo. Wow. Wow. Wow. My jaw is just on the floor. Wow. That story is awesome, hilarious, unfortunate, weird, creepy and hilarious one more time. Seriously, if you had to put a pricetag on that story, I'd say the number should be at least 5 figures.

  4. Did they just want an extra? If you didn't have to do any of the porning, I can't believe you passed it up. I've heard your stories and that is tame in comparison...