I am one of those workers, but I do not consider myself a discouraged worker as much as an abandoned worker. I have four resumes, depending on what type of job I'm applying for. I check the want ads every day and apply for anything that I'm even remotely qualified to handle. What is discouraging is what is available out there to apply for. Do you speak Pashto? Neither do I, but there are translator jobs available.
I went on a website, which I won't name; well, let's call it, for instance, "Jobs Godzilla." Most of the job listings were dated from April and in this economy if they haven't filled those jobs in ninety days they never will. On top of that, the category where I was looking listed twenty pages of jobs but began repeating jobs after page five. The government, using huge computer banks and incredibly complicated mathematical equations, has determined that this economy will create 879,000 jobs this year, or roughly less than one job for each of the fourteen now unemployed, not including the half a million newcomers added each month.
A national website was looking for journalists to write about homelessness in America. I thought, "Hey! I'm a journalist and I'm homeless; this should be a slam-dunk." But I never heard back from them. Either I wasn't journalist enough or I wasn't homeless enough to qualify. It reminded me of the old Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan films where African American actors couldn't even get acting jobs portraying Africans.
Sell insurance to the elderly: just pay a $200 license fee and take the test, and then they will supply you with leads all within seventy-five miles of your house. You use your car, your phone, your gas, and if you make the sale in the worst market in seventy-five years, you'll earn a commission and residual income. But don't count on too much residual because you are selling to the elderly, you understand.
Be a grant writer, earn big money writing for others requesting federal grants! Want to learn how? Send $199 dollars and we'll teach you! How about, "Drive the long hauls and earn big bucks! Are you a trucker without a rig? Come on down, great prices and low, low financing plans available. Don't know how to drive a big rig but always wanted to learn? Come on down. Buy a rig and we'll send you to truck drivers school! Come on down, great prices and low, low financing plans available."
Then there are the mysterious jobs. "Earn up to $1,000 per week, send resume to..." You just have to believe; if it was a legitimate job, they would explain it or at least qualify it. Just out of curiosity I applied for one of these mysterious jobs.
"Are you looking for a part time job other than the job you are doing before? I am looking for someone who can handle my personal and business errands at his/her spare time. Someone who can offer me these services: Receive my mails and drop them off at FedEx (nothing illegal). Shop for Gifts Sit for delivery( at your home) or pick items up at nearby post office at your convenience. Let me know if you will be able to offer me any of these services."
"I would love to meet up with you to talk about this job but I am currently away on business. I am in Australia so there will be no interview. I will prepay you in advance to do my shopping. I will also have my mails and packages forwarded to your address. If you will be unable to stay at your house to get my mails, I can have it shipped to a post office near you and then you can pick it up at your convenience. When you get my mails/packages, you are required to mail them to where I want them mailed to."
If we've earned nothing in the past ten years it is how to spot the Nigerian scam, "Are you looking for a part time job other than the job you are doing before?" Sadly, these jobs are not the only comic relief offered in a dismal job market. There is the Wow package: Teeth whitening on wheels! Have parties, invite your friends over for teeth whitening, over $7,500 in product yours for only $3,725, wheels not included! You're the expert; you're the boss! In the back of my mind I hear this high pitched voice saying, "Hey, Moe, we don't know anything about teeth whitening."
"Shut up and get the dynamite, you puddin head."
Or, "This Independent Contractor in Atlanta needs your talents. We offer a very competitive salary within a challenging and professional work environment. You must have your own transportation, your own tools, meter(s) and a ladder (a minimum of 10ft). You must also have a high school diploma or GED equivalent to apply. If you meet these qualifications then we want to talk to you. We are an equal opportunity employer. Please contact us immediately at atlantal.com. Leave your name, phone number (day/evening), and your email address along with your level of experience and someone will be in touch with you. This is a 1099/contract position. Your future is waiting!"
"A challenging and professional work environment," means difficult; a 1099 means all the taxes come out of your end, and contract position means that they can fire you with or without good reason. They don't want to invest in you as an employee, just to use you until the need is gone.