Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fierce competition

It's hard enough to find a job nowadays without competing against your friends. We're all looking for new jobs because none of us in the newspaper industry feel safe. Unless you're a civil engineer, brain surgeon or a Pennsylvania state legislator, your job probably is in jeopardy.

So I found out today that two of my buddies applied to the same job at an unnamed nuclear power plant builder in the area. Take a wild guess where it's based (I'll give you a hint and say it is headquartered in a township named after a berry). I thought I had scoped out a sweet deal, only for them to never call me back, nor did the company ever call back my friends. So how many other people are applying for these jobs? It's a vicious market out there right now. If you're lucky enough to find an opening somewhere, then you have to be equally as lucky to actually score an interview. And I don't even know which saint you have to be praying to in order to actually get the job.

What I'm trying to say here is that it's difficult enough to find a new profession. But why do friends have to compete against each other? Maybe it's just a sign we're all in the same boat... with or without a paycheck.


  1. It really comes down to who you know whether you get that job or keep your job.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Sorry, but no anonymous comments are allowed here. Put your name to your comment next time. Thanks.

    And FYI... no trolls are allowed here. Go back under your bridge.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. I bet he heard that in church :-)

  6. Mr. Anonymous,

    Where do you work? We're on here telling our stories. You know our names and our situations. Man up and tell us your name and what you do for a living. I bet you won't though.

    Greg Tarr

  7. Sorry, but no anonymous comments are allowed here. Put your name to your comment next time. Thanks.

    Sadly, our troll has caused a change to the operation of the blog. From now on, only Google registered users will be able to comment. Come out, come out wherever you are, troll.

  8. Over 50 days without a state budget, having to run for re-election every two years and being the generally percieved focal point of all evil in the known universe hardly makes being a state legislator the most secure job in the world.

    Trust me, I'm not complaining because I love my job and I know I am incredibly fortunate to be doing what I am, but sometimes it gets old being held out as the ultimate scapegoat/punching bag for everything and everyone.

  9. Glad you're following the breadliners, Jesse!

    The satirical point I was trying to make is that even after the illegal payraise of 2005, only about 20 percent of legislators were turned away - through either retirements or unkind ballots. Its seems that constituents hate the legislature, but love their legislator. Nothing wrong with that, but it obviously leads to higher re-election rates.

    By the way, any progress on the budget? I'm hearing the Senate mildly boosted its budget while Gov. Rendell dropped as well... is $28 billion a happy medium?

  10. Let me add that Jesse White rode the wave of discontent in 2005 to win the 46th state district in 2006.

  11. Jesse, since you brought it up, I have a few questions. Are you still taking the per diem through these budget negotiations? Also, you have a point about it not being a secure position. The fact is that many legislators also are able to run seperate businesses when they are not in session. Seems like that might be the beginnings of a case to reduce the governmental body. And I don't know many other careers that would allow that much down time. And while I paid out the proverbial butt for parking at meters and business lunches, unvouchered expenditures are still somehow allowed for legislators, right? And what about all those state cars? I never understood why so many legislators chose SUVs and other gas guzzlers (yeah, they are more cool than, say, an Aveo, they are also a lot more expensive). I know in your debates (which I covered as a reporter. They are tough things to write about) you promised not to take a state-offered vehicle. I'm sure that is still true. But I will ask the question anyway: Did the state pay for your Jeep?

    Sorry, Jesse. I guess you can take the girl out of the journalism, but you can't take the journalism out of the girl, you know?

    But the blog wasn't even about legislators. And it was one of your best, Jimmity. I also applied to that position you mentioned. One of my recently unemployed friends applied for local PR position and found out her resume hit the HR office manager's desk the right before they stopped accepting apps. That director told her that in two days more than 85 people applied.

    And it does suck out there. It's bad enough competing with the masses of recent college graduates, who work cheap because of their tenure, but we are also compared to currently employed veterans trying to escape their newsroom jobs before they are asked by a publisher to join them in a back office.

    Then you find out that of all the people who applied, four of them are your close friends, as well. Sucks.

    But hey, at least we job seekers can cry in our beers together (as long as Scotty buys).

    And who the hell comments anonymously? That is so 1994.

  12. Amanda,

    Yikes, Amanda. I thought we were boys.

    I pay for my own Jeep- payments, maintenance, the whole nine yards. I do have a state license plate, which I also paid for.

    I do not collect per diem payments for days I'm not in session in Harrisburg.

    As for the outside employment, I worked very hard to build a law practice. I have downsized dramatically and always put my elected office first. I figure if I want to spend my Sunday evenings doing legal work to pay off college debt instead of playing xBox, who does that hurt?

  13. Jesse,
    Come on, you know we're boys! I was telling the incoming mayor of Monessen that I always enjoyed working with you and your staff.

    Sometimes being a reporter may be like being a lawyer: You don't ask a question you don't already know the answer to, right? You are definitely one of the good guys. And I know you wouldn't make a promise in print and not keep it (the Jeep, for example). While I knew that you would have no problem answering the questions, there are many of your peers that might not have been able to.

    The issues raised are simply a representation of why so many people may be fed up with SOME of our state legislators, buddy.