Jan. 8th, 2016


Jan. 8th, 2016 05:33 am
sathor: (Default)
No response on the Gas Plant Operator position. I set up an account with PA-Career-link today just to see what's out there and not being advertised, and I was surprised to see some postings from the end of last year for maintenance at a couple different places locally. I threw my resume at them, but not before I realized that the resume I had sent for the operator job said Mar 2011 - Mar 2016 for my work dates at URC. Whoops.

All three jobs wanted me to also apply in person (then why am I sending you my resume?) or go to the career-link facility to fill out an application (once again, why?) If you read my resume and want an interview with me, isn't that enough? The hoop jumping is kinda off-putting, to be honest - it's not like they'd have an over-abundance of applicants for those jobs living IN warren, but they are obviously trying to add difficulty to the process with the intent of filtering people out...when I'd imagine one year of maintenance experience would do that quite nicely by itself. Maintenance jobs aren't easy to come by - I think United was the only place locally that lets you start out doing it, and that's because production isn't limited to machine operators or line assemblers standing in one place for a full shift.

So, somewhat discouraged at the moment, but that's just how it goes I guess. I shouldn't have expected things to get any easier, at any rate. The Forge is often hiring, and it is one of the places I sent my resume, so I might think about heading down to Career-link to fill out their application...making special note that I do not want a machine-operator job. I've done enough mindless crap already...no more, please. I'd only make an exception if I had a fast-track into maintenance...goes for anywhere.

As a whole, I'm feeling less confident that I will be able to find something half-decent locally. Not exactly a good feeling.

I can't get my own place on less than $12ish/hour, at least, not without selling my vehicle (insurance, upkeep...very expensive.) I'll give it a couple more weeks I guess.

A trade union apprenticeship is possible but it would involve an insane amount of travel, relocation nearby or in a major city (for at least five years) and a lot of crap. Just not sure that I would be very happy for those five years...or even after. Can't even have pets if you have a union job and no one at home - you'll spend half of your life far, far away from wherever you reside.

I did some thinking today, and maybe it's not GOOD necessarily, but I think it's true, and I think it's true for a lot of people from my generation around here (and actually, even the ones that move away seem crippled by it - so maybe it's not just here?) It's the lack of opportunity. I don't know what it is about this time period, but employers seem very neglectful when it comes to building skills in their employees. Most entry-level jobs could be performed by someone with severe mental handicaps, and those entry level jobs often don't lead very far, and typically don't lead to any real skill building. Even the ones that, on the surface, appear to, don't - for instance, a lathe operator who has quotas and produces the same parts consistently, doesn't learn any of the problem solving techniques or mechanical know how necessary for him to apply those lathe skills into a maintenance job. Actually, he might not even learn how to set up /different/ kinds of parts, for different reasons. His job would be about as complicated, once it's broken down, as say, the kind of work people do in third world sewing shops.

Every job I've ever had was like this - every single one. And the ones I'm aware of, through other people, didn't seem much different. If I had waited at United, I would've spent my first few years in the machine shop (after 7-10 years in labor, the stockroom, or as an operator sub) primarily changing oil in pumps - something I could've done from day one of my employment there, with basically zero oversight. At the lumber mill, I was piling lumber - the dry-chain sawyer job was basic mathematics that took some practice, but no more than that - the same goes for the shippers, or the forklift operators, or the bay tenders, or the stick-layers. The grader is the only "skilled job" and there was no crossover skills involved. The head sawyer took some knowledge, but I imagine that just about anyone could've mastered it with some short instruction and practice.

So at any rate, a lot of these maintenance jobs I'm looking at are asking a lot of a person - one wanted you to demonstrate both electrical troubleshooting (industrial electric is no laughing matter) AND welding (structural and pipe welding isn't either) besides having all sorts of mechanical knowledge and background related to industrial maintenance. The kind of skill list they're asking for would be the equivalent of someone having two masters degrees in two different fields, except through experience - but also that they would've had to pay out the arse to get it through technical schooling, or spend ten years in trade unions (five in electrical, and five in millwrights/welders.) I don't know ANYONE who has done that, and I don't know ANYONE who has those requisite skills unless they are already close to retirement.

Sorry for the bitching, but it's starting to get on my nerves a little. It seems to me there's a lot of skills you get only by getting your foot into a job that is well above your skill level, and I think that takes more than a good resume. I think it tends to take knowing someone within the organization, or a really great interview.


sathor: (Default)

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