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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Present (and past) Imperfect. . .

For reasons which I choose not to discuss at this time, words fail me; my energy is sapped. My needs have to be mollified by the infantile use of food in place of love and a hot shower for warmth. I feel my life-force ebbing away.

There is no energy to write, let alone to get out of bed in the morning. I could get away with the latter before I started work, but now, I can't. I need every penny.

The project ends in December, if I actually make it through, as we are constantly reviewed and if "red flagged" multiple times could be eliminated.

This is a very interesting, telling scene. Because of NDA agreements I can't go into detail, but suffice it to say that with the requirements of at least a Bachelor's degree and passing an 'entrance exam' in English (failure in the latter disqualifying us for consideration), we are all of us underpaid in an assembly-line-type situation.

I am in good company, though:


Together with double-Master's degreed professionals, authors, former teachers, rocket scientists (yes, I said rocket scientists), computer programmers, technical writers, lawyers, and whoever else was unable to find gainful employment in his or her field or equivalent--we work on the project for 7 hours and forty-five minutes a day with two 15-minute breaks and half-an-hour for lunch, which is barely enough time to masticate, swallow, take a breath and go to the bathroom.

In speaking with some of my colleagues I learned that, in part due to outsourcing the work which in effect eliminated their positions, and selling companies outright to foreign interests, many job openings were subsequently closed to Americans.

Another, very scary reason for our unemployment is that companies would rather hire young inexperienced kids fresh out of college(who would accept a lower salary) than experienced, 'older' workers.

Then, there are politics and political correctness.I have a personal friend who, with a Ph.D. in literature specializing in Milton (remember "Paradise Lost?"), even after teaching at several universities, was denied tenure at one such institution, and because her views were 'politically incorrect' could not even get on a tenure track in another.

But I'm starting to rant--that's tangential to my currect job; the rocket scientist with whom I spoke on this project busied himself this summer doing a little computer work, odd construction jobs and painting his friend's garage (on my last project, there was a military analyst fluent in several languages, who after a twenty-plus year military career was also unable to find work.).

I must say, though, that I have met the most fascinating people:

My neighbor at the adjacent work station (no cubicles here)is a budding author, and I am sitting across from an elementary school teacher who created an innovative, specialized age-appropriate computer program for her first graders; she just received her Master's degree. Her story is a bit different because she-and there are several others-is using this as interim work while searching for jobs in her field.

One Group Leader has a degree in psychology. Another is a technical writer with a family to support, and so the list goes on. . .

So I must get myself out of bed each morning, until the project ends or I am eliminated, whichever comes first.



I think I need to be "reeducated" (now what exactly does that mean?). Where is Mao when you need him?



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4 comments:

therapydoc said...

All I can say is, Have you read (or better, heard the CDs) Born to Kvetch by Michael Wex?

Norma said...

Sounds like the new temp job isn't much of a pick me up for you. Hope the depression lifts soon. Have I invited you to stop by and read my new poem (scroll down, I write a lot). It should make you smile.

Batya said...

never boring
The education "reform" in Israel is based on the premis that salvation will be from the young teachers, who don't exist.

Lady-Light said...

therapydoc: I have heard of the book, and plan to read it. It just sounds so Jewish (read: neurotic).
norma: The job doesn't pay what it's worth, for the stress & the credentials they require. Other than that, I like it. Which poem? Looked for it (yes, you are prolific!)but couldn't find it...so many blogs (and posts), so little time!!
batya: A "young teacher" does not necessarily have better teaching skills than an older teacher (read: seasoned, experienced). Maybe 'salvation' will be from reforming the educational system and curriculum in Israel, not younger teachers!

 
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