Now that the economy is bouncing back again, there is good and bad news. The good news is that companies are hiring. The bad news is: the same ones you didn't want to work for before are you still don't want to work for.
Watch out for these 10 warning signs of a dead-end employer.
1) Employers with morale campaigns like "We're The Best" and baseball caps that say "Reach for the Stars." Employees paid enough money don't need morale campaigns.
2) Offices that are a sea of particle board cubicles with a few ostentatious glass offices, also known as Floor Plan Feudalism. The only time you will see the inside of one of the offices is on your last day.
3) Companies with employee parking lots that are full at 6:30 AM and 6:30 PM. With the same cars! Employees aren't working 10-hour shifts because they like the cafeteria food.
After the interview by Martha Rosenberg
4) Employers that push pizza parties and company games like volleyball because they want to think you're happy like Dylan's Maggie's Farm. ("Sing While You Slave!") Forced fun is an insult -- you can choose your own friends -- and psychological harassment.
5) Companies with signs in the employee kitchen that say "Your Mother Doesn't Live Here; Clean Up After Yourself" and "Dear Person Who Stole My Cheese: I Know Who You Are." These are the people you will be working with. Think about it.
6) Employers with elaborate security systems and employee surveillance. They might be afraid of sneaky employees because they've created them.
7) Companies whose help-wanted ads say you must have a pleasant sounding voice, dependable car or "work well in fast paced environment." Fast-paced environment means unmanageable working conditions and the other two qualifiers are obvious.
8) Companies whose help-wanted ads seek someone who wants to "be your own boss." You will be driving around subdivisions for a percentage of a product no one wants. P.S. the gas will be on you.
9) Companies whose help-wanted ads ask "need extra cash?" like you want an extra pedicure or pair of low-heeled sandals instead of to pay your rent.
10) Companies whose interviewer tells you about the benefits and disability plan (that kicks in after five years) before salary. They are saving the worst for last.
Martha Rosenberg's first book, tentatively titled Born with a Fritos Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp the Public Health, will be published by Amherst, New York-based Prometheus Books next year