Friday, November 21, 2008

What Smaller Government Means to Me

It means I don't have a damned job, is what it means. Yesterday, after working for Hamilton County Job and Family Services for eight years, I was laid off. I was a layoff virgin. No more. In all of my relationships and jobs, I've been the one who chose to leave, so this is new territory for me. It's scary, with the crappy job market out there. I've gotten no new clients for my business, Web Presence diva.

Yet I am optimistic and here's why. During the Great Depression, the unemployment rate hit 25%!! That means that 75% WERE employed (yeah, I know it doesn't really mean that but I am going with it because it keeps me from slashing my wrists)! Seventy five percent is pretty good and it means the odds are in my favor.

I've posted my resume at Ohio Means Jobs. I'm LinkedIn. My job was in Workforce Development, so I know what I'm eligible for at Super Jobs. Of course, I don't know who to complain to in the event I am dissatisfied with the service I receive; I happen to know that the Complaint Officer was laid off yesterday...

Anyway, there were articles in the paper about the layoffs at JFS. People are ill informed about how their local, state, and federal governments work or they wouldn't make the stupid comments they do. JFS is funded primarily by the state and the feds. The county commissioners have no power to cut off or reduce the benefit amounts poor people get. I also know that there are some government workers who suck. But, there is a myth about government work and civil servants not working very hard and getting lots of great benefits. I've always had to work pretty damned hard and I've nearly always worked for either local or federal government. The government has been doing more with less for a long freakin' time so I don't know what all these ass hats are complaining about. Government workers are scrutinized from all angles. All those comments in the paper are usually written during the day, when the ass hats are at their demanding jobs, earning every damned dime they get, right? Do you think government workers can get away with being online and commenting at work? Well, they can, a little bit, but their internet usage is closely monitored and they'll get written up and disciplined for excessive usage. I know because I got written up for it once.

And while I'm ranting about how ill informed people are, based on the stupid things they say in their comments in the online Cincinnati Enquirer, people on public assistance have to work pretty hard to stay on it. There are work requirements and people either show up to the places where they're assigned or they get sanctioned. When they get sanctioned, they have to comply with their plan to participate in a work activity. Getting and keeping a regular job is much easier; if there are people who think they can kick back and enjoy living off the government teet, they learn pretty quick that this is a hard way to live large.

I know some people do it and I still think it's harder than actually working.

And who are all these lazy, baby factories anyways? First, some are people, usually women, who have children and have either (a) gotten a rough start to begin with, meaning they have no other support system (like parents, a spouse, committed significant other) or (b) someone who's circumstances changed rapidly from the good life they were leading, meaning their world fell apart due to some grave illness, loss of spouse, etc. Those people will do what they have to do to get on their feet and they'll move on to live very productive lives, giving back far more than they ever got from the taxpayers. I've found, for the most part, they're not very bright people. I mean that they have low IQ's, they're slow, so slow that they have a hard time functioning in the world like those of us with an IQ of 100 or better do. I've also found that there's a lot of mental illness that no one bothers to consider. It goes undiagnosed for a lot of reasons. One being that it's harder than hell to get into a public mental health clinic for diagnosis. Another being that people don't realize there's something wrong with them. And smart, healthy people seem to be really okay with people not getting diagnosed because, I believe, that if they accepted how common mental illness is, they might have to admit that they're not as fucking okay as they pretend to be either.

Our society demands a lot from people these days and it doesn't offer a lot to those who just cannot learn to read or do math or hold their temper. There aren't a lot of mindless jobs any more. And before a bunch of slow, mentally ill people come here and jump my ass, I'm advocating for you...err...I am taking up for you! So hush! I'm saying that we can't all be Quality Review Analysts or Financial Wizards or Administrative Assistants or Insurance Salesmen. Some people are best suited for "push this button when the thingie lands on the X. Count to five and then push this button to move the thingie down the line". And we just don't have button pushing, counting to five jobs in abundance any longer.

So anyway, I got laid off. I'm looking for a position that will allow me to create order out of chaos, be compassionate, analyze some data, put it in a comprehensive report, and make my boss look really smart. I want to bring a social worker's perspective to the business table. I thrive in newly created positions that allow me to figure out what my boss actually needs. I like searching the internet for the newest cool trend that works. I like to hear the ideas of others and then tell them why that won't work so they can plug those holes before they take it to the CEO; I like to make great ideas better. That's what I'm good at, that's what I enjoy doing, and eventually, I will get to do those things again for someone who will gladly pay me what I'm worth.


Cincinnati Therapy Guy said...

I agree with your comments about how hard most government employees work - and they got the short end of the stick - my concern is for their consumers - if there is a population that can be taken advantage of, this one is it - few resources, little support system, and not much insight - these are usually countered with anger - I'm pulling for your search and sending positive energy to you

Jessica G said...

Oh my Rainie! :(

I have seen it from both ends..being the welfare mom and the crap that government employees put up with. The majority of those on actual welfare always have someone else to blame when they don't get their shit done. I've sat here at my desk and have heard clients actually yell at my boss blaming her for their fuck ups.

I'm so sorry you got laid off. I'm also very sorry I didn't get to meet up with you Saturday. :(

Jessica G said...

I miss you! Where are you woman!?!