Article 43

 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Preying On The Job Seeker 17

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You’re desperate for work.  A recruiter from a big staffing agency calls with an attractive job offer.

But first you have to SIGN A CONTRACT that lets the recruiter’s company share any info they have on you, with whomever they please, while giving up your right to sue them if whatever that is comes back and hurts you.

The recruiter emailed me this:

Authorization & Release: As a registered candidate of Big Staffing Company Inc., I may elect to participate in certain programs, including, but not limited to, training, assessment, and certification programs and courses ("Programs"). As a condition of my participation in the Programs, I authorize Big Staffing Company Inc. to release certain data, including, but not limited to, exam scores, testing data, and personal data related to my participation in the Programs ("Data"). I hereby release Big Staffing Company Inc., its divisions, and their respective employees, agents, and affiliates from any and all liability relating to my participation in the Programs and Big Staffing Company Inc.’s release of Data.

Big Staffing Company Inc. and I mutually agree to resolve by individual arbitration, and only by individual arbitration, all claims, whether or not arising out of my employment (or its termination), that the Company may have against me or that I may have against the Company

All required fields and tags must be completed before you can finish the process.

I figure this is more for things like LABOR LAWS, but still - it could bite you in the ass real bad - eg: testing positive for pot, or failing some techie test - and stay with you forever.

The part about their agents and affiliates could be anybody. 

Perhaps a crook standing on the corner down the street.

Or my x-wife.

Would you sign?

Posted by Elvis on 02/14/18 •
Section Job Hunt
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Monday, February 05, 2018

Can’t Find A Qualified US Worker Redux 8

image: geek guy

Is the problem incompetence or lack of training?

By James DaSilva
Smart Brief
january 28, 2018

One of the COMMMON COMPLAINTS you’ll see today is executives saying how there isn’t enough talent out there, not enough people with the right skills or even the willingness to learn. They say that people—almost always “young people”—are too eager to jump ship.

What are companies to do when there’s not enough talent and what talent there is will just leave?

I can sympathize with this, to an extent. It’s a tight labor market (though maybe not as tight as claimed), and certain jobs are harder to hire for than others. Less glamorous jobs that require computer or technical skills can be especially vexing to manufacturers and other employers. Trucking companies can struggle to find candidates who can pass federal drug-testing guidelines. Rural areas can face obstacles that cities don’t in attracting people.

But another side of this is that employers often expect fully trained, expert employees to show up at their doors. It’s one thing to have an uneducated workforce; IT’S ANOTHER to look at job candidates with potential who need on-the-job training and say, “They aren’t skilled in what we need.”

(Lets put it another way: If your company’s work requires only skills that people should already have, those skills aren’t unique and differentiated, and it’s unlikely your company is, either. If those people have the right skills, they probably have a job already, so why leave that for you?)

Similar to this is the twin problem many organizations have: They churn through employees in certain positions, as no one seems to be able to do the job. Yet, its an open secret that some people, possibly executives, are untouchable even though they seem to lack in talent, results and improvement.

At the risk of oversimplifying, these problems have the same root cause: The organization is not taking responsibility for training people, placing them in a position to succeed and following up by holding everyone to account.

Training is personal

How your organization goes about training is a personal (and personnel) decision. Every company, every industry has its own methods. Onboarding, ongoing development or career pathing can also differ depending on whether we’re talking full-time employees, part-timers, freelancers or contractors.

So, I can’t solve the specifics for you. What I do want to talk about is the mindset you’re starting with. Let’s assume we all want a few basic things out of the people we hire:

They are able to learn and retain.
They are productive and efficient.
They understand how to do their jobs (maybe even innovate).
They understand their expectations and incentives.

That’s just one way the worker’s obligations could be phrased. Now, lets look at some of the employer’s obligations:

Be clear about the job.
Be clear about how the job is done and what is required to do the job well.
Be clear about what the worker must do to meet expectations.
Provide the support, tools and resources necessary.

Im leaving out things about safety, culture and making sure incentives line up with desired behaviors. Those are not unimportant! But let’s pretend, for now, that those can be folded into the above bullet points.

There’s one bullet point missing:

Be clear the worker understands all of the above and is actually properly trained and informed.

If you have a worker who is not doing the job, that’s bad for that person. Its also bad for the boss, the leader, the employer. If you find yourself with an employee who’s not performing, ask yourself:

Have you trained this person?
Have you explained what needs to be done, and why?
Do you have confirmation that the worker understands?
Do they have the resources they need?
Maybe reskilling is what’s needed?

Being thorough from the hiring process through this reflection and remediation is a lot of work. But there are benefits: You gain a skilled employee, who might be more loyal because of the investment of attention, time and resources. And, if there is no progress, you know that for sure rather than through a hunch or from bias.

Moving on

Lets say you’ve gone through this process, maybe more than once, and there remains a disconnect, an unwillingness or inability of the worker to do the job, and no further accomodations can be made. Well, then you know (barring legal hurdles, of course) that you can and should move on.

Indeed, you must move on, or you’ll create a two-tiered culture: people who do their jobs yet are side by side with people who don’t but aren’t held to account.

Don’t blame people for doing bad work when you haven’t done your part to prepare them. But, also, don’t keep people who just wont do what is needed. Either way, assume that it’s on you, the employer or the manager, to make sure the worker has the best possible chance to succeed.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 02/05/18 •
Section Job Hunt
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Thursday, February 01, 2018

America In Collapse 2

theendisnear.jpg

“It’s pretty ugly out there, and for a lot of people who’d thought they’d figured it out for retirement and put something away, or for their counterparts who never were able to put anything away because wages were so low, there’s this perfect storm that happened after the recession,” Bruder says.
- Amazombies Chris Hedges

Why We’re Underestimating American Collapse
The Strange New Pathologies of the World’s First Rich Failed State

By Umair
Eudaimonia
January 2018

You might say, having read some of my recent essays, :Umair! Don’t worry! Everything will be fine! Its not that bad! I would look at you politely, and then say gently, “To tell you the truth, I don’t think were taking collapse nearly seriously enough.

Why? When we take a hard look at US collapse, we see a number of social pathologies on the rise. Not just any kind. Not even troubling, worrying, and dangerous ones. But strange and bizarre ones. Unique ones. Singular and gruesomely weird ones I’ve never really seen before, and outside of a dystopia written by Dickens and Orwell, nor have you, and neither has history. They suggest that whatever numbers we use to represent decline - shrinking real incomes, inequality, and so on we are in fact grossly underestimating what pundits call the “human toll,” but which sensible human beings like you and I should simply think of as the overwhelming despair, rage, and anxiety of living in a collapsing society.

Let me give you just five examples of what ‘ll call the “social pathologies of collapse” - strange, weird, and gruesome new diseases, not just ones we don’t usually see in healthy societies, but ones that we have never really seen before in any modern society.

America has had 11 school shootings in the last 23 days. That’s one every other day, more or less. That statistic is alarming enough - but it is just a number. Perspective asks us for comparison. So let me put that another way. America has had 11 school shootings in the last 23 days, which is more than anywhere else in the world, even Afghanistan or Iraq. In fact, the phenomenon of regular school shootings appears to be a unique feature of American collapse - it just doesn’t happen in any other country - and that is what I mean by social pathologies of collapse: a new, bizarre, terrible disease striking society.

Why are American kids killing each other? Why doesn’t their society care enough to intervene? Well, probably because those kids have given up on life - and their elders have given up on them. Or maybe youגre right - and it’s not that simple. Still, what do the kids who arent killing each other do? Well, a lot of them are busy killing themselves.

So there is of course also an opioid epidemic. We use that phrase too casually, but it much more troubling than it appears on first glance. Here is what is really curious about it. In many countries in the world - most of Asia and Africa - one can buy all the opioids one wants from any local pharmacy, without a prescription. You might suppose then that opioid abuse as a mass epidemic would be a global phenomenon. Yet we don’t see opioid epidemics anywhere but America - especially not ones so vicious and widespread they shrink life expectancy. So the opioid epidemic - mass self-medication with the hardest of hard drugs - is again a social pathology of collapse: unique to American life. It is not quite captured in the numbers, but only through comparison - and when we see it in global perspective, we get a sense of just how singularly troubled American life really is.

Why would people abuse opioids en masse unlike anywhere else in the world? They must be living genuinely traumatic and desperate lives, in which there is little healthcare, so they have to self-medicate the terror away. But what is so desperate about them? Well, consider another example:  the “nomadic retirees.” They live in their cars. They go from place to place, season after season, chasing whatever low-wage work they can find - spring, an AMAZON WAREHOUSE, Christmas, Walmart

Now, you might say - well, POOR PEOPLE have always chased seasonal work! But that is not really the point: absolute powerlessness and complete indignity is. In no other country I can see do retirees who should have been able to save up enough to live on now living in their cars in order to find work just to go on eating before they die - not even in DESPERATELY POOR ones, where at least families live together, share resources, and CARE FOR ON ANOTHER. This is another pathology of collapse that is unique to America - utter powerlessness to live with dignity. Numbers don’t capture it - but comparisons paint a bleak picture.

How did Americas elderly end up CHEATED of dignity? After all, even desperately poor countries have informal social support systems - otherwise known as families and communities. But in America, there is the catastrophic collapse of SOCIAL BONDS. Extreme CAPITALISM has blown apart AMERICAN SOCIETY so totally that people cannot even care for one another as much as they do in places like Pakistan and Nigeria. Social bonds, relationships themselves, have become unaffordable luxuries, more so than even in poor countries: this is yet another social pathology unique to American collapse.

Yet those once poor countries are making great strides. Costa Ricans now have higher life expectancy than Americans - because they have public healthcare. American life expectancy is falling, unlike nearly anywhere else in the world, save the UK - because it doesn’t.

And that is my last pathology: it is one of the soul, not one of the limbs, like the others above. American appear to be quite happy simply watching one another die, in all the ways above. They just don’t appear to be too disturbed, moved, or even affected by the four pathologies above: their kids killing each other, their social bonds collapsing, being powerless to live with dignity,or having to numb the pain of it all away.

If these pathologies happened in any other rich country - even in most poor ones - people would be aghast, shocked, and stunned, and certainly MOVED to make them not happen. But in America, they are, well, not even resigned. They are indifferent, mostly.

So my last pathology is a predatory society. A predatory society doesnt just mean oligarchs ripping people off financially. In a truer way, it means people nodding and smiling and going about their everyday business as their neighbours, friends, and colleagues die early deaths in shallow graves. The predator in American society isn’t just its super-rich - but an invisible and insatiable force: the normalization of what in the rest of the world would be seen as shameful, historic, generational moral failures, if not crimes, becoming mere mundane everyday affairs not to be too worried by or troubled about.

Perhaps that sounds strong to you. Is it?

Now that I’ve given you a few examples - there are many more - of the social pathologies of collapse, let me share with you the three points that they raise for me.

These social pathologies are something like strange and gruesome new strains of disease infecting the body social. America has always been a pioneer - only today, it is host not just to problems not just rarely seen in healthy societies - it is pioneering novel social pathologies have never been seen in the modern world outside present-day America, period. What does that tell us?

American collapse is much more severe than we suppose it is. We are underestimating its magnitude, not overestimating it. American intellectuals, media, and thought doesnt put any of its problems in global or historical perspective - but when they are seen that way, America’s problems are revealed to be not just the everyday nuisances of a declining nation, but something more like a body suddenly attacked by unimagined diseases.

Seen accurately. American collapse is a CATASTROPHE OF HUMAN POSSIBILITY without modern parallel . And because the mess that America has made of itself, then, is so especially unique, so singular, so perversely special - the treatment will have to be novel, too. The uniqueness of these social pathologies tell us that American collapse is not like a reversion to any mean, or the downswing of a trend. It is something outside the norm. Something beyond the data. Past the statistics. It is like the meteor that hit the dinosaurs: an outlier beyond outliers, an event at the extreme of the extremes. That is why our narratives, frames, and theories cannot really capture it - much less explain it. We need a whole new language - and a new way of seeing - to even begin to make sense of it.

But that is America’s task, not the world’s. The world’s task is this. Should the world follow the American model  extreme capitalism, no public investment, cruelty as a way of life, the perversion of everyday virtue ח then these new social pathologies will follow, too. They are new diseases of the body social that have emerged from the diet of junk food, junk media, junk science, junk culture, junk punditry, junk economics, people treating one another and their society like junk - that America has fed upon for too long.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 02/01/18 •
Section Revelations • Section Dying America
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In memory of the layed off workers of AT&T

Today's Diversion

Constitutional governments and aristocracies are commonly overthrown owing to some deviation from justice …...the rich, if the constitution gives them power, are apt to be insolent and avaricious.… In all well-attempered governments there is nothing which should be more jealously maintained than the spirit of obedience to law, more especially in small matters; for transgression creeps in unperceived and at last ruins the state, just as the constant recurrence of small expenses in time eats up a fortune. - Aristotle

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