“I know there are many like myself who cannot find work (because we are over-educated). It’s really ironic. Tell me what do we do? Join the guys on the block? Put on ski mask and rob the banks? Turn to the world of prostitution? Sell Cornwell? Tell me for I have run out of answers!”
Unemployment gets me down
by a BFP reader
For almost a year now I have been for lack of a better word ‘forced’ to listen to Down to Brass Tacks, although I must confess that at most times I do enjoy the lively exchanges between the public and moderators. I use the word forced because after almost a year I cannot find a decent job in my county Barbados and had to content myself with staying at home listening to Down To Brass Tacks.
I heard it was mentioned more that once on Down to Brass Tacks about persons complaining that they can’t find work. The moderator even suggests work is out there and persons really do not want to work. I totally disagree with what is being said because there are some of us who would like to be given the opportunity to prove our worth.
Take my situation for instance; young ambitious, versatile and a self starter who studied up to tertiary level. I have vast work experience from banking to clerical officer and manager. I even owned my own business but due to the recession and problems I encountered was forced to close the doors on that.
After this I searched high and low for employment and even accepted one job that was not to my standards. A job is supposed to be a job or so they say, but I beg to differ. After some frustrations on the job I decided that Barbados seemed to have nothing to offer me. I left this island and spent some time in two other countries (Grand Caymans and Anguilla) seeking work. I did not receive work in these countries because of work permit issues. They said that due to the recession times they were offering the work to the locals first, which is understandable. I must add that these countries saw me as highly qualified – unlike my own country. (I believe the saying, that you cannot be a king in your own country.)
I returned home and have been seeking work for months. I have been to about 50 interviews; I am not joking. I have written over 100 job applications, called around every day to places and still have had no success. At the interviews I attended I was told that I was over-qualified or I just had no response. This caused me to wonder what I had done incorrectly. I even wrote back to some of these companies asking for opinions as to why I did not get these jobs and some responded that I had no experience in those areas I applied for.
Allow me to read this letter to you. It is the latest response I received for a position I saw advertised in our newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to apply for the position of Reservation Agent at Company X. I very much appreciate your professional experience and skills and I enjoyed interviewing you for the position. As you know, a number of candidates were interviewed, and unfortunately, you were not selected for this job position at this time. However, Company X will save your contact details and resume for any future job opportunities suitable to your experience. Please do not hesitate to apply for other open positions advertised by Company X, and should you wish to discuss your interview skills, strengths and weaknesses, please call me to arrange a time to do so. I wish you success with your job search and in your professional career, and thank you for your interest in Company X.
Let me show my reply to this lady…
Dear Miss P,
In response to your letter. I very much feel that I am placed at a disadvantage. What is my reason for saying this?
You have stated below that you very much appreciate my professional experience and skills and enjoyed interviewing me for the position. Since I was never called to an interview I am convinced you have confused me with another person.
May I suggest that you take another look at my resume. I have attached it again so this time I would be evaluated on my own merit. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss my interview or lack of one.
I am looking forward to hearing a response from you. Do have a wonderful day.
Of course I had no response to this. I can go on and on about my experiences but time does not permit it.
Now tell me: if you do not give persons a chance to prove their worth how would they know they are worthwhile? I know there are many like myself who encounter similar problems just because we have decided to opt for an education. It’s really ironic. Tell me what do we do? Join the guys on the block? Put on ski mask and rob the banks? Turn to the world of prostitution? Sell Cornwell? Tell me for I have run out of answers!
I’m not voting in the coming election
Most of the time all I hear on these call-in programs is politics, politics. What good is that to me? We are all affected by our own problems and there are no systems or support for persons like myself who have tried and still trying to earn money legally and respectfully. Election is coming up in just a few months; Bajans are expected to go to the polls.
Well, you won’t see me there at the polls, for I would rather ‘pick a fair!’
Editor’s note: BFP changed some of the formatting, provided titles and shortened some sections. We have not published the author’s name as they didn’t indicate if this was their intent. Of course, if they let us know we’ll be happy to give them credit.