Article 43


Job Hunt

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Who Says Government Jobs Pay Well?

How’s this for a government IT job?


They’re looking for a lot of expertise for a big, fat $12 dollars an hour.

If I’m reading right, that’s about ftifteen thousand dollars less than the $40 THOUSAND a year the lowest paid entry level sysadmin starts at according to SALARY DOT COM.


Broadband/Class Code:  15-1071-02
Position Number:  60040305-51202537
Annual Salary Range:  $25,774.06 - $70,998.97
Announcement Type:  Open Competitive
Pay Grade/ Pay Band:  BB006
Closing Date:  7/18/2014






This is technical work in the installation and maintenance of computers and related software and hardware.


(Note: The omission of specific statements does not preclude management from assigning specific duties not listed herein if such duties are a logical assignment to the position.)

* Recognize, analyze, and effectively solve problems in a timely and organized manner using industry best practices and procedures.
* Assist users in identifying and resolving operating systems, diverse application and multi-layered client server environment issues or failures.
* Install, upgrade, and troubleshoot computer hardware and software or peripheral equipment within established standards and guidelines.
* Consistently and accurately track, update, and close assigned documented support requests.
* Work within an established inventory processes to ensure accurate and efficient inventory for desktops, laptops, printers, scanners and associated equipment.
* Multi-task in a fast-paced environment with diverse systems and people.
* Maintain excellent communication with all end users and other members of the technology department.
* Ability to clearly communicate technical concepts to non-technical people.
* Ensure desktop computers interconnect seamlessly with diverse systems including file servers, application servers, and administrative systems and networking software.
* Assist with LAN/WAN maintenance, connectivity and troubleshooting.
* Support client hardware/software upgrades and migrations as directed by the Desktop Support Manager.
* Perform other duties as assigned by the Supervisor.


* Knowledge of Overall IT industry.
* Knowledge of computer operations procedures and systems.
* Knowledge of the principles, practices and techniques of computer programming and systems analysis.
* Knowledge of Microsoft Active Directory architecture and administration
* Ability to handle multiple priorities and deal with ambiguity.
* Ability to quickly assimilate information and make time-boxed decisions.
* Ability to analyze data, identify problem areas, make improvement recommendations, and implement approved recommendations.
* Ability to communicate and thrive in a cross-functional environment and maintain effective working relationships with others.
* Ability to interpret technical information relating to computer programming and other areas of data processing. 
* Ability to communicate technical data processing information effectively.
* Skilled in the usage of Desktop security and protection including anti-virus, encryption, and associate products.
* Skill in problem solving techniques and practices.


Posted by Elvis on 07/13/14 •
Section Job Hunt
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Age vs. relevance: When interviewing, master the 4Rs

How I Landed a Great Job in 5 Months After 50

By By Rhona Bronson
AOL Jobs
February 14, 2014

I cringe whenever I hear pundits telling audiences that unemployment after age 50 is a career death sentence. It may be harder after 50, but there is hope and opportunity. After being out of work for five months, I LANDED A SENIOR-LEVEL JOB with decent pay and hope my success can bring hope to others surrounded by prevailing negativity.

The key in getting and succeeding at interviews was proving that, regardless of age, I had mastered the four R’s Relevance, Resiliency, Responsibility and business ‘Rithmetic. And if that weren’t enough, I had to show how I was different.

"Responsible” is the easiest “R” for older workers, but approached in a new manner by today’s interviewers. Behavioral interviewing is more the norm than years ago with hiring managers asking situational questions and looking for the potential employee’s response in handling difficult co-workers, supervisors and direct reports. In one interview I was asked how I’d handle a difficult client a question that I didn’t nail and I was not invited back for the second round of interviewing.

“Resilience” also comes up a lot in the BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEWING process with recruiters frequently asking how you handled a failure, or dealt with an underperforming employee. In one screening I was asked to describe a nightmare marketing situation. I was so taken back, I initially laughed and stated the key to great marketing is avoiding nightmares! Then, I answered by saying, “I can tell you how I dealt with projects that did not meet expectations at key milestones.”

My answer demonstrated good project management, planning and communication skills as well as the need to manage expectations both with employees and senior management. In that situation, I passed the screening and became the top candidate for the open post, until I was asked the next question in the final round with the CEO.

The CEO wanted to know why he should hire me over every other candidate. The question was repeated in almost every subsequent interview. Sometimes the question was phrased, “Why are you right for this position over others?” When first asked this question, I was uncomfortable answering. Then, I realized the question was simply: “What makes you special?”

In the job I finally landed, I had the answer cold, and it wasn’t a generic answer. It was specific to that job. I had conducted a study that no one else in the area could have done, and I was the only one who could bring that experience to the job.

“Relevant” is the hardest arena for older workers. The assumption by many hiring managers is that the older employee is stuck in old ways of working and thinking. I countered this with a strong digital profile on LinkedIn, a broad digital presence on Twitter and other social networks, and a deep digital footprint with a dynamic web site, digital portfolio, and involvement with new digital endeavors.

I invested time, energy and dollars in hiring help to build a digital portfolio and update my web site. The delegation was a key time-saver allowing me to concentrate on job postings and timely cover letters. In addition, I volunteered for the digital committee of a well-known marketing organization, got recertified in digital marketing, took online classes, and led various digital marketing groups.

All of that got me to the final round between me and one other top candidate. The difference in getting the offer became ‘Rithmetic, or my ability to apply metrics to prove progress in project management.

Of all the interviews I had, age was only an issue in one ֖ a digital company predominated by Millennials. In all other interviews, age wasn’t an issue. The ability to be relevant was.


Posted by Elvis on 07/13/14 •
Section Dealing with Layoff • Section Job Hunt
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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Long-Term Unemployed - No Different Than You Or Me


“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
- Albert Einstein

Long-Term Unemployed Make for Just as Strong Hires: Study

By Aki Ito
April 4, 2014

People who have been out of work for an extended period, once hired, tend to be just as productive on the job as those with more typical work histories, according to an analysis of almost 20,000 employees.

The research, provided to Bloomberg News by San Francisco-based Evolv Inc., shows no statistically significant difference in measures of job performance between two pools of entry-level call center agents: those who hadnt held a single full-time job in at least five years before they applied for the position, and the rest. Evolv, which helps large companies assess and manage hourly workers, analyzed data collected from six employers in about 90 locations in the U.S.

The findings buttress President Barack Obama’s call to American businesses to give the long-term unemployed a “fair shot” amid growing evidence that employers have preferred to hire candidates without prolonged jobless spells. Some 3.7 million workers have been out of work for 27 weeks or more as of March, according to Labor Department data released today.

“We have statistical proof that hiring somebody among the long-term unemployed is equal to somebody who is not long-term unemployed,” said Max Simkoff, chief executive officer and co-founder of Evolv.

Evolv tracked four measures of job performance, each collected every day of the workers tenure. The variables included the average time it took for the agent to complete a transaction, customer satisfaction ratings, supervisor evaluations, and the percentage of the workday spent at his or her desk.

No Worse

About 14 percent of the employees in the sample reported having had no full-time job for the five years leading up to the time they applied for the position. After excluding people who had been in school for the year up to the time they applied for the job, EvolvҒs analysts found that the long-term unemployed still performed no worse than those without an extended jobless spell.

The findings are encouraging news for Federal Reserve policy makers, provided that recruiters heed Evolvs findings. The U.S. central bank has deployed record stimulus to bring down unemployment, even as some critics have warned that further accommodation wonҒt help because a prolonged period of high joblessness has made some workers permanently unemployable.

The concern is that the long-term unemployed may remain on the sidelines, ultimately dropping out of the workforce,Ӕ Fed Chair Janet Yellen said March 31 in her first speech as the head of the central bank as she highlighted the plight of struggling Americans. But the data suggest that the long-term unemployed look basically the same as other unemployed people in terms of their occupations, educational attainment, and other characteristics.Ӕ

Qualified Candidates

For employers, Evolvs results suggest that theyҒre missing out on qualified candidates, Simkoff said. In one experiment, researchers at the University of Toronto, the University of Chicago and McGill University submitted about 12,000 fake resumes to apply for about 3,000 jobs. At eight months of unemployment, callbacks were about 45 percent lower than at one month of unemployment, the study showed.

Among those struggling to find work is Vincent Ramsey, 56, who lost his security job at Villanova University in Pennsylvania in May 2012 and has been looking since. He said hes applied for about 30 positions a week mostly in areas in which he’s had experience, such as customer service and childcare.

Positive Traits

“With all the positive traits that I have, somebody’s still finding fault with me,” said Ramsey, referring to his punctuality and work ethic as well as the breadth of his work record. “I don’t understand it. Wherever you put me at any job, I connect with people. I’ve done this successfully everywhere.”

More than 300 companies including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and automaker Ford Motor Co. signed a White House pledge to develop initiatives for hiring and recruiting job-seekers who have been out of work for an extended period.

“It’s a cruel Catch-22—the longer you’re unemployed, the more unemployable you may seem, Obama said Jan. 31. “They just need a chance.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Aki Ito in San Francisco at aito16 at bloomberg dot net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz at bloomberg dot net


Posted by Elvis on 04/08/14 •
Section Job Hunt
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rise Of The Temp Workers Part 5 - Freelancers

Freelancers Piece Together a Living in the Temp Economy

By Adriene Hill
NY Times
March 24, 2014

The photos spread out on a coffee table tell the story of a career. In one, a woman wears a fairy costume and rides a flying horse. In another, the woman lounges on a desert rock at sunrise, in a gold bikini draped with red silk. In a third, she wears an Uncle Sam outfit and poses on three-foot stilts.

Not on the table are audition reels from Ms. Burdettes other career, one in which corporations pay her $500 to $1,000 a day to present their products, including tires and cybersecurity products, at trade shows. It is work for which she wears business attire instead of hot pants. These jobs are lucrative but infrequent.

The overlapping careers have this in common: The work is temporary, one freelance job after another. Ms. Burdette is among the millions of Americans who piece together a living. Freelancers, the self-employed, temporaries - all know the current job will end and they need to keep looking for the next one. Increasingly, even many people with full-time jobs feel insecurity about their work.

Ms. Burdette knows the trajectory of insecurity. She has worked in Las Vegas as an entertainer since 1996, sometimes in jobs that quickly disappeared.

Right now, she is busy. A freelancer since 2008, she works with 30 agents. Some help her book conventions. Others set her up with entertainment jobs. In addition to her presenting, this year she has worked as an astrologer and stilt-walker, and she helped dress fashion models at a mall. She is fortunate to live in a city with huge entertainment and convention industries that rely on temporary workers. ItӒs the land of opportunity, she said.

But as Ms. Burdette gets older, she has no choice but to consider new ways to earn a paycheck. In both of her careers, looks matter. At 43, she knows she cannot do these jobs indefinitely.

“I’m really proud of the moments and the things these represent,” she said, touching the photos on her coffee table. One is a profile of her, not in costume, with the words “Remember who you are ... and always keep growing.” This is to inspire her, to encourage her to work on the skills she will need for whatever work will come next.

“Whether that means getting a 9-to-5 job and putting on the big-girl pants,” she said, “or whether it just means going into something where people are not looking at me, and I’m not covered in rhinestones every day.”

How many people have temporary work is hard to say. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 14 million people were self-employed last month, including freelancers like Ms. Burdette.

There has been no official count of insecure workers in years. In 2006, the Government Accountability Office estimated that about 30 percent of the work force was ԓcontingent, including those with temporary and part-time jobs.

The number of people paid by temp agencies like Manpower has grown 46 percent since 2009, according to Labor Bureau data. ԓThe staffing industry has added more jobs than any other sector since the end of the recession, said Erin Hatton, a sociology professor at the University at Buffalo and the author of ԓThe Temp Economy.

There are contingent office workers and factory workers. There are contingent computer programmers and corporate executives.

ԓWe know that temps are everywhere, Professor Hatton said.

Starting with the recession, employers have slashed costs, and a major way to do that has been to lower labor costs. Temporary workers often are paid less than regular employees. Under the Affordable Care Act, companies can avoid health insurance costs by hiring part-time workers (who may qualify for subsidized insurance).

“What we call contingent workers is really hard to define, because to some extent were all contingent now,” said Arne Kalleberg, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of “Good Jobs, Bad Jobs.”

Work has become much more insecure, much more precarious,Ӕ he said. So everybody is a temporary in one sense, because their levels of job security have really decreased in recent years.Ӕ

The trick with insecure work, for the worker, is that the next paycheck is unpredictable. For low-income factory temps, being chosen for work can mean the difference between making rent or not making rent, eating well or not eating well. For freelancers like Ms. Burdette, the lack of security can make it hard to buy a house or plan for the future. What if a job comes up? What if it doesnt?

Ms. Burdette is familiar with financial insecurity. She declared bankruptcy in 2005. When she married in 2008, she brought to the marriage a few thousand dollars in credit card debt.

She and her husband, Jozef Bobula, met in January and married in May. They were in love, she said, but he also needed a green card for immigration reasons. HeҒs from Slovakia.

Mr. Bobula, 37, is a bass guitarist. He, too, pieces together work in Las Vegas, and is playing a regular gig at the Stratosphere casino. He also has a jazz trio and a duo, plays solo and teaches music.

Part of what attracted Ms. Burdette to Mr. Bobula was his ability to manage money. “He is accustomed to saving first and spending second,” she said.

Today, her credit card debt is paid off. Her 2000 Nissan Xterra is paid for. She says the last four years have been her first without debt since she was 18.

Ms. Burdette calls her financial situation stable right now. She and her husband, combined, make $55,000 to $75,000 a year. Their apartment is cozy, but comfortable. Ms. Burdette calls the style “Craigslist chic,” because she bought most of her furniture on the resale website. The most valuable things in their apartment are her husbands guitars.

The couple do not have retirement savings, but they do have an emergency fund and are considering investing a portion of it in the stock market. Her husband had the savings account when they married, and they only recently added her name to it. They waited, she said, because they wanted to see if the marriage would last.

“To have my name on it,” she said, “it brought still another level of peace and comfort that I didnt think could even have existed.”

“I can say no to gigs I don’t want to do,” she said. “I can be more discerning. I don’t have to stand around in a showgirl costume if I’m not feeling physically up to it in terms of my appearance.”

Ms. Burdette wants to find a new set of gigs in which people are not looking at her quite as closely. She has explored voice-over work, recording audiobooks. She has considered doing more with her astrology experience.

She would consider a full-time job, but as a last choice. She said her parents spent years planning and worrying and stressed about the future. ԓIt didnt get them any more secure than me,Ҕ she said. IӒm actually more secure right now, because I understand that the bottom can fall out at any time.

One of her old business cards said, ԓWhaddya need? Her current card says, ԓsingularly multitalented.

Under the new health law, which includes a mandate to buy insurance or face a penalty, Ms. Burdette has coverage for the first time in years. ԓIt does provide people with a cushion, Professor Kalleberg said, ԓso that they can search, so that they can look for opportunities.

Now, Ms. Burdette has to figure out what those opportunities will be. Reinvention is a word heard a lot in today’s labor market. Jobs keep changing. People have to change to keep up, especially people without employers that provide training.

“But many temporary and self-employed workers do not have the money or time to reinvent themselves and their skills. Even if they do, it is not clear which jobs will be available. The path ahead is not going to be laid out for you,” Professor Kalleberg said.

“The advice to reinvent is easy to say, sitting in a job that has a fairly clear career path like I do,” he said. “But it’s a difficult situation and its stressful.”

Figuring out whats next may be a little easier for Ms. Burdette. She has been doing just that for years.

“I don’t know what it’s like not to reinvent”, she said, “I’m just used to that.”

Hill is a senior reporter for the public radio program “Marketplace.”


Posted by Elvis on 03/25/14 •
Section Job Hunt • Section Dying America
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Low Wage Recovery


Low-wage jobs are becoming standard in the economy, say experts. A National Employment Law Project report in 2012 found that three out of five jobs added after the recession have been low-wage jobs, even though just one in five jobs lost during the recession was low-wage.

About a third of all workers in the U.S. make $12 an hour or less. A $12 an hour job is equivalent to a full-time worker with an annual income of $24,000 a year. For 2013, the Federal poverty guideline is an annual income of $23,550 for a family of four.
- CNBC, May 13, 2013

Record percent of Americans now employed in food services as a share of total employment coupled with peak food stamp usage.

By MyBudget360
April 17, 2013

One of biggest contributors to jobs over the last few years has come from the low-wage food service sector. A record 7.6 percent of Americans now work in food services and drinking places.  Given that we have 47+ million Americans on food stamps and this figure has boomed in the last decade, it should come as no surprise that as Abraham Maslow would have it, people are reverting to the basic necessities of life.  Yet there is a LARGER STORY of our ECONOMIC RECOVERY.  There was a McDONALDS hiring a cashier BUT LOOKING for SOMEONE WITH a college degree.  Welcome to the low wage recovery. A LARGE PART OF AMERICA is simply trying to get by and this population is growing.  Those that frequent financial sites on the net are probably a very small part of the overall population.  So I know it comes as a surprise to some readers when they realize the per capita wage in the US is $26,000. I’m sure this record percent of Americans in the food services industry must come as a shock as well.



AT&T is hiring.

One set of jobs is temp cable splicer - $17/hr - CWA represented - to build the infrastrure for uVerse (cable TV.) The other is tech that installs cable TV service in your home.

Here’s a blurb emailed from a former colleague:

On April 9, 2013 we were joined by Floridas Gov. Rick Scott to announce that AT&T is currently looking to fill more than 650 openings in Florida, including nearly 350 new jobs. Gov. Scott and Florida’s legislative leaders have created a climate for investment.

The investment were making in our wireless and wired networks is essential to spurring Florida’s economy and creating jobs. The majority of new jobs are in the Network and Call Center organizations. The positions will be posted as they become available at

Dozens of the new positions are the result of AT&Ts recently announced Project Velocity IP (Project VIP), a three-year $14 billion investment plan to expand and enhance its national wireless and wired IP broadband networks.

In other local jobs news are call center positions starting around $10/hr. CONVERGYS and Connextions are the two big companies here.

Here’s a blurb that regularly crosses my inbox:

You’re smart. You can tell when someone really knows their stuff. And you know that when you’re the best at what you do, people listen and pay attention. We’re with you.

As a global leader in relationship management, Convergys has a lot to say when it comes to making our clients’ interactions with customers smarter and more profitable.

But just like you, we believe in putting our money where our mouth is. We definitely walk the walk when it comes to creating great career opportunities for our employees.


Join us at Convergys, and find yourself among the best of the best ֖ 70,000+ employees who can all relate to the appeal of working for a leading company that offers:

> Full Time Positions Available
> Pay rate of $10 hour plus incentives
> Rewarding Career Opportunities
> Now hiring for Afternoon, nights and weekends
> No telemarketing, inbound calls only
> Excellent Benefits

Sound like an opportunity too good to pass up? We can relate

And this article in the paper:

Convergys Anywhere - Employment Drive to Hire Nearly a Thousand Employees

Business Wire
April 15, 2013

Convergys Corporation (CVG), a global leader in customer management, announces the availability of nearly 1,000 full-time jobs in the United States, to be filled in the next 60 days. The companys employment drive offers interested applicants the ability to work-at-home.

Convergys is aggressively hiring nearly 1,000 people to work as home agents to handle customer service phone calls, Web chats, and e-mail inquiries. The Convergys Home Agent team is one of the fastest growing parts of the company, and it offers a flexible work alternative to the traditional office setting.

Qualified applicants should immediately go HERE or the careers page of CONVERGYS. Employment opportunities vary by location, so please check the Convergys websites for specific locations.

Working at Convergys as a customer service representative may serve as a great stepping stone to a career in operations, recruitment, or training. In fact, more than 70 percent of Convergys’ customer service managers began their careers as agents, and we are known for the internal promotion of our employees. We are a worldwide company with nearly 75,000 employees; opportunities exist around the globe, in locations such as India and the Philippines.

Convergys is interested in people who are computer-literate, have exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, and desire a job that can easily turn into a long-term career. Experience in customer service, sales, or technical support is a bonus for applicants applying to certain positions. A strong work ethic and commitment to excellence are also desired. A college degree is not a requirement.

About Convergys

As a leader in customer management for over 30 years, Convergys is uniquely focused on helping companies find new ways to enhance the value of their customer relationships and deliver consistent customer experiences across all channels and geographies. Every day, our nearly 75,000 employees help our clients balance the demands of increasing revenue, improving customer satisfaction, and reducing overall cost using an optimal mix of agent, technology, and analytics solutions. Our actionable insight stems from handling billions of customer interactions annually for our clients. Visit Convergys ON THE WEB to learn more.



A land of low-wage jobs: For every job that pays above the low-wage threshold of $15 an hour you have 7 job-seekers. 51.4 million low-wage jobs in U.S.

By MyBudget360
March 17, 2014

The GREAT RECESSION has only accelerated deeper structural changes to our economy when it comes to LOW-WAGE EMPLOYMENT.  While many good paying jobs were lost during the Great Recession many of the new jobs have come in the form of low-wage employment.  Large organizations have used this slack in the market to reduce wages, cut benefits, and ultimately increase profits at the expense of the American worker.  A Job Gap Study found that close to 40 percent of all U.S. employment pays $15 or less.  The threshold changes in terms of INFLATIONARY pressures on housing, food, and other items but this is the largest share of our workforce that is now struggling to meet the daily costs of living.  This trend is only increasing as more wealth is filtered into the hands of a very small part of our population.  Banking profits hit another record at the same time we have a record number of families on food stamps.  The U.S. is largely becoming a bifurcated economy where wealth and income inequality is only getting more dramatic.  For every employment opportunity that opens where pay is $15 or more you have 7 job-seekers to this one position.

The growth of low-wage work

Some would argue that any work is better than no work.  Yet the cost of living is getting more expensive thanks to our banking system and financial policies that largely favor a select group.  The financial system should exist to prime the pump of real jobs (i.e., loans for small businesses, etc) versus existing merely to make a profit even on horrible speculative ventures.  Chalk this up to bad politics and policy that essentially causes a system where austerity rains down on the public but corporate welfare is given out to those with deep purses.  51.4 million jobs across this country are considered to be low-wage jobs.

The number of jobs in the U.S. that do not meet a minimum level of cost of living has now surged into record territory.  Nearly 40 percent of all jobs barely pay enough to get by, let alone allow families to join the middle class. Take a look at this chart showing the percent of low-wage jobs in the U.S.:

Low Wage Jobs

Keep in mind that the recession officially ended in 2009.  The reason the stock market has fully decoupled from the health of the American worker is varied:

-Many corporations are adding jobs overseas

-Many companies have cut wages, benefits, and are squeezing more out of current workers

-Financial and government policies favors the heavily connected, not the middle class

What you get is record salaries for CEOs while the middle class continues its slow decline.  The above chart shows that 4 million jobs that pay more than $15 an hour have fully disappeared since the recession hit and have yet to comeback.  On the other hand, we have increased low-wage jobs by 3.6 million.

I went ahead and pulled up the top employment sectors in the U.S.  A generation ago some of the top fields included blue collar work that actually allowed families access to a middle class lifestyle.  The top employment fields in the U.S. barely allow people to scrape by:

top employment fields

“Every single one of the top employment sectors above pays less than $35,000 per year aside from that of registered nurses.”

Then you wonder why consumers are massively in debt and are going into deeper debt to go to college to hopefully have a chance of getting out of the low-wage grind.  The only solid paying field on the list above requires a college education.  Just look at the ratio of CEO pay to the average worker:

CEO to worker pay

Back in 1965 when the middle class was thriving, the ratio of CEO pay to the average worker was something like 24-to-1.  This hit a recent peak during the tech bubble and also the current debt bubble of 2007.  The recovery has been very beneficial at the top while for most workers, good paying jobs are hard to come by and inflation is slowly eroding the purchasing power of the dollar.  In a consumer based economy, where roughly 70 percent of our economy is based on spending it is not beneficial when you squeeze your largest customer:

Consumers as a share of GNP

A low-wage economy is not one in which most people will be thriving and certainly not one that will be driven by spending.


Posted by Elvis on 03/18/14 •
Section Job Hunt
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