5 Ways Jobs Are Hopelessly Stacked Against You

Is this the joke about the three blind men?

Today I went through an article on Cracked all about job interviews and how awful they are, I wondered what a similar article might look like if it focused on the next part: Actually having the job.

Here’s my version.

5. Your resume didn’t really matter in the end

It’s a nice initial feeling when you get a job, or maybe just a shrug of the shoulder into a, “At least I might not starve now?” But the fun never ends because many jobs these days rely on at-will employment. Many companies can fire you for just about any infraction (no matter how small) and suddenly make starvation all that more real for you, how fun!

And even if you never get fired, you’ll be nervous about the stability of jobs and how much you can deal with it in the first place. The rate of turnover in many industries and especially industries such as retail as so high you might think the recidivism rate for prisons looks pretty good comparably (but in fact they’re both terrible products of society).

Lastly, even though your resume probably helped you get the job, it’s likely more about whether the hiring manager in question liked you. It also depends heavily on how much they need you which adds to the instability. If all of the sudden the store you’re working at gets a few more new people then that originally promised 30 hours may go down to 20.

4. Your job interview guarantees nothing about co-workers or managers

Even though you’ve gotten through the interview process it could have been with anyone. It’s probably with the hiring manager of the store you’re applying for but it could also include a store manager or even worse still, a district manager. I’ve had an interview years back where one of the managers who was there didn’t even work at the store.

And this creates a climate in which you really are not sure who you will even be working with. It creates a bit of uncertainty regarding the sort of people that will be bossing you around all of the time. If you didn’t meet them during the interview process then you get a great (terrifying) chance to do so when you are actually on the job.

Adding to this, given how top-down jobs can be, it’s almost certain that the co-workers you’ll  be around will not be present for the interview. And while the hiring manager might say vague things like, “Everyone is super nice!” you don’t actually get to know people until you start to work closely with them. Getting through the interview doesn’t do that.

3. Being hired doesn’t mean you’re desired

Although one would think that being hired by the hiring manager means the hiring manager values you in some sense that’s not necessarily true. “Value” can highly differ based on who is doing the hiring. For some managers “value” just means a usable body in their time of need (e.g. someone calls out), while others just want a kind of automaton.

For others, valuing someone else means their a basically decent human, or at least from what little they get from your interview. But even then, managers change and so do opinions of what constitutes a valued employee. So too does the opinion of co-workers about what makes a good employee which sometimes doesn’t align with the managers.

Recently, the store I worked with hired and lost a transfer employee from another store (it’s a franchise) within a few weeks. The guy was inept, loud, subservient to the managers, creepily over-polite and a bunch of other things. In this case I’m going to guess that the conclusion, “We value you!” meant, “You have a warm body!”

2. Being desired isn’t a good thing either

And even if your bosses do really like you, I can think of many other things you’d probably want from your job. How about a raise? Or better co-workers? Less interaction with customers? More interactions with your sanity? Unfortunately many of these things (and more!) will be out of your reach if your boss does take to you in some way.

Getting the sort of attention can lead to all of the wrong things. More expectations, more hours, more time for you to ponder your miserable existence and why you have to be popular at work. It can also lead to resentment from other co-workers who are purposely trying to win the bosses’ favor but for whatever reason have always failed.

So here’s a case of screwed if you do and screwed if you don’t. You might want the bosses favor because it could get you more money, more leniency and better overall treatment. But that same treatment is likely to make it so your outside life becomes a faraway fantasy that you can once remember, almost like a dream.

1. They’re Jobs

Perhaps the most obvious point imaginable but jobs suck just because what jobs tend to constitute. The barriers to just about any job are going to be bosses who second guess their employees, overload them with meaningless work and give them insufficient time to do it. Not to mention office jobs and their ubiquitous meetings that you have little control over.

All of this isn’t even counting in the fact that customers can be wildly unpredictable in their behavior towards you. In many cases customers can be sensible but in a handful (if not more) they will come down on you for the various faults of the company that you have nothing to do with and have zero control over. Trying to explain this fact is pointless.

On top of all of that the lack of control that you have at your job is sure to be infuriating for anyone who values independence and control over their lives in any meaningful way. Many people feel restricted in their jobs and crave for ones that give them even the slightest bit more control over their workload and how they get to handle it.

Sadly, that probably won’t happen for them.

And that’s why jobs are stacked up against you.

Even if you, you know, ace those horrible interviews.

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