If this were a movie, the opening scene would be an interior shot of a stark bedroom. It has very little wall art and very few items that denote a human presence. On the bed is an unshaven, young man with a laptop on…well, his lap. The shot starts to slowly tighten in on his face. He is clearly distressed; mumbling obscenities. He yells one final “fuck this” and throws the computer against the wall. The credits start to roll and B.B King breaks into Why I Sing The Blues.

Unfortunately, the above is not a screenplay. This is a reality for a lot of Americans. According to information just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California led the country in the number of jobs lost in the month of July. With a statewide jobless rate of 11.9%, we are ranked fifth in overall unemployment. Only Michigan, Rhode Island, Nevada, and Oregon have higher rates. With national unemployment at 9.4%, the stimulus package seems to be working well.

With such a large number of Americans looking for work, on-line services such as Craigslist are receiving a record amount of hits. For the uninitiated, the search for jobs on-line is tedious and full of an incredible amount of bullshit. Many jobseekers go through the bother of preparing a job history in PDF and Word format. They get out of their beds in the morning and start perusing the cyber ads. After filtering through the obvious crap, they finally find a job they wish to apply for. Hope springs eternal. They flip through three pages of a website, upload their resume, and then come across another page that is an application; asking for the same information that they just uploaded. Unfortunately, the application is a PDF document that can’t be fill out anyway. Clever person that they are, they convert it to a Word document, fill it out, and then reconvert it to a PDF. Three pages later, they finally find an email address to send it to. Five minutes later, an automatic email responder program has sent a message to their inbox congratulating them for being one of a select group of people qualified to sell silicon coated butt plugs — providing that they remit a one-time membership fee of $99.95.

Has the national homicide rate spiked recently?.

John Bielecki

Author John Bielecki

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