Tales from the unemployment trenches: The interview

I used to write for an alternative newspaper in Charleston, WV. This article began as an email to Michael Lipton asking for a job writing for Graffiti. I got the gig, I just wasn’t paid for it, but boy did I have fun. And then he sold the paper out from under me and the new folks weren’t interested in my free labor. It’s pretty rough when you can’t even give it away! Circa 2003.

by Cee Kay

Unemployment is very strange. It’s especially strange if one has been, more or less, continually. employed since one was 15. West Virginia is a microcosm of everything that is wrong or going wrong in the nation, economically. (We’re also a microcosm for lots of good things, but that’s different.) If things are bad elsewhere, they’re rotten here. If it’s rotten elsewhere, we’re throwing ourselves from skyscrapers. (Well … if we had any).

In order to both find gainful employment and keep the Bureau of Unemployment happy, I am now sending resumes in response to any job posting even remotely suited to my abilities and experience. I am baffled by the organizations that choose to interview me and astounded by those who don’t.

I’ve noticed certain trends in the interview process that did not exist the last time I was actively seeking work back in 1985. Some of these are disturbing.

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