Sep 16, 2011

Lots of Changes, But Nothing New

Arrived back in California two weeks ago and have been hustling to try and get affairs in order.  Have gone on several job interviews for positions that are suboptimal.  Despite my qualifications and vast experience, I've received a lot of praise and encouragement, but no job offers.  Being only 9 months from retirement doesn't exactly help.  Prospective employers get around the age discrimination angle by asking me where I hope to be in 5 years.  My conscience has never allowed me to lie with any competence, and  vague responses about taking things one day at a time doesn't close corporate interviews very well.   Moreover, after having worked from home for the last 10 years, I lack  sufficient office attire for the 5-day/wk cubicle existance.  Salaries being offered hardly justify the required clothing investment, and although I'm not eliminating opportunities based on this realization,  it does help me feel better about the lack of offers. 
I'm heading out to Wisconsin this weekend.  Am scheduled for a job interview the end of next week.   I'm actually considering Wisconsin because my sister lives there and we could share expenses while working until retirement.  But the job has to be super special to get me to move there...  I often wonder if the small savings that corporations glean from displacing long term, loyal employees in lean times truly warrants the havoc wreaked on families and human lives.  Those remaining at work have to pick up the slack.   The stress and fatigue must manifest somewhere....

 Handling business transactions since my return to California has been  a rude awakening.  It's a struggle reaching live people when calling most large businesses.  If one goes through phone trees and remains patiently on hold for next to an eternity,  the eventual success of contact with a real person seems anything but.  Generally they are disinterested and admittedly unable to help.  Their "broken record" skills have been perfectly honed.  At some point the removal of humans from human resources has got to backfire and deplete interest in services and products, no?   

A little off the subject, but I was at Safeway two days ago and they no longer carry Fresca as part of their canned beverage stock. They have a few major brands; Coke, Pepsi, etc.  but now carry primarily the cheap, unknown brands.  Perhaps a reflection of the economy and struggle to survive as people get poorer and poorer.  But chasing the profit in voluminous cheap sales versus maintaining the satisfaction and loyalty of more discriminating customers can only lead to more of the same, with eventual loss of those customers who DO have the money to spend, would it not?  Safeway carries less and less of the items I routinely buy at a supermarket.  I now avoid shopping there as much as possible, despite living only a block away.  I seek out the small grocers, who have to charge a little more, but still have my old stand-bys.  Maybe we'll go full circle back to the way things used to be.  Wouldn't that be nice?  Unfeeling, callous corporate America might actually reap what it sows and orchestrate it's own demise. 

Or maybe everyone will leave...That certainly seems to be a lot of the sentiment these days.  Should be interesting to see what I observe as I drive across the midwest into Wisconsin.   Or not.  Que sera, sera.