The economy seems to exacerbate any misgivings you may have about your ability to do a job or how intelligent you are.
For most of my life, I’ve been told by my parents, teachers, employers and professors that I am an intelligent person. I’m especially good with reading and English, since I’ve been reading since I was 3, writing stories (however incoherent) since I was 4, and was at freshman in college reading level by the time I was in second grade at 7. For most of that time, I didn’t really know that I was smart. I guess I knew that I read better than most people did, sitting in class listening to classmates read slowly and wanting to urge them to read faster. How could they not know that word? Why didn’t they hear the word and how it was said in their head like I did? I still wouldn’t have gone so far as to think I was any smarter than anyone else though.
I don’t think it was until I got to college that I started to realize more that I am intelligent. Not everyone has an easy time with homework and studying. I’ve rarely had to really study in school, ever. I soak in information like a sponge, and once I read it, I remember it, and remember it well. I have friends that are really good students, but have to work super hard to get good grades and retain information. I also began to realize that some people just don’t “get” stuff, and you have to explain it. I also discovered and honed sarcasm and wit while in college, and would have conversations and jokes with friends who were just as sarcastic and witty (or more so).
All the while, however, of course you know there are people who are going to be better at your skills than you are, or smarter than you are. I didn’t really think this would hold me back too much from getting a job, though. As mentioned before, I know part of it is that I don’t sell my skills well enough, but even when someone meets me they may not see that I can do as good of a job as I say I can.
It upsets me to see that there are people who work jobs that don’t even appreciate the fact that they have one, and don’t even do the job competently. It makes me upset that they have a job and I don’t. It’s not like I’m even super picky about what jobs I’ll apply for: sure, I’ll do retail for awhile, I’ll work a front desk for subpar wages, I’ll work at a temp agency just to get some money saved up. I do tend to stay away from food service, but I know how to do it and could do it no problem.
My dad and I went to breakfast at Denny’s not too long ago. We were supposed to seat ourselves, and tried to find the cleanest table we could (which still wasn’t very clean) and it wasn’t like the place was busy or anything. When a waitress passed our table, my dad asked if she could wipe our table down for us. She got an attitude about it, and quickly wiped it, doing a poor job and splashing water all over my dad’s arm. After she left, I asked him, “Why does she have a job and I don’t?”
I know that employers don’t know the people they are interviewing to hire and can’t know what you’re made of unless you tell them. However, it gets more frustrating when you see people that you know you could do so much of a better job than they do, and yet you’re still the one unemployed.
I’m trying my hand at applying at a couple of places, such as a cashier at Staples, an administrative assistant at UOP, and have applied for more than a handful of receptionist jobs. They’re all jobs I would be able to do in my sleep, so to speak. Hopefully soon the economy will balance out, there will be less people fighting for those jobs, and maybe I can learn to make myself noticeable among that stack of resumes piling on an employer’s desk.