Posts Tagged ‘unemployment’

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About job interviews

March 21, 2013

Here is some feedback for Intermedio 2 students who wrote the note to a friend on a job interview they’d had, which was one of the Sample Exam tasks.

When a job interview begins with “personal questions” is not about your life. It’s about personal details — contact info, education. So say “First, they asked me about my personal details” instead of “about my personal life.” Job interviewers — when offering good jobs, proper jobs — do not go around making personal questions. They don’t even have the right to ask you about your likes and dislikes (e.g., your hobbies). They need to check you’re qualified for the post. They check your Education and Work Experience.

Well, of course, I’m telling you this not so much for your writing test. Stick to what you can actually say in the foreign language, to avoid making mistakes.

Incidentally, when we send our CV’s/resumés, we should refuse to include a photo. There is no good reason behind that “request”. I didn’t even include my age when I was younger, in solidarity with older people! And also because I found my education and work experience were enough information, and my age irrelevant!

OK, I can hear you. “That’s not reality.” Well, but it should. One thing I know about jobs is that if they start exploiting you and treating you with no respect, that’s not going to changeand here women have by far the worst (most humiliating / hopeless) part — I decided to take State exams when I realized I was not going to take any more shit in interviews! I had had enough!! They can’t ask you if you’re single, nothing about your lover/partner!, or if you want to have a baby, they can’t make comments on your body or how nice you are, they can’t treat you like an idiot, and of course, they can’t include in the pack forced blue jokes, simpático comments or going for a drink and — if they get lucky — a fuck. Be wary.)

Read Illegal Questions on TP. Oh, and if you see how we can improve the section, send in your stuff! Thanks!

If you desperately need a job, and what you find is that bad, you might have to accept it, OK, I grant that. I’ve done that, too (though putting some limits, like the sex limit, once I even fought my way out of the office because my boss, a respectable man, tried to rape me. And it was horrible hearing him say: “Your word against mine!” He was a diplomat! Still, he never succeeded, and eventually I quit. And people said: “You’re crazy!” People just don’t care much about women, we’ve been nothing as human beings, all as slaves, servants & dolls for too long!). But let’s not turn our backs to what should be. 🙂 It’s important. You should never feel bad for “allowing” people to mistreat you or exploit you, but you should never ever refuse to see reality. Because if you do, you’ll never see any chance to change the situation, and you’ll end up feeling trapped for a lifetime! Dignity is not about what we do. We do what we can. (I’m hearing June Jordan here.) Need can make us do things we would not chose to do. (Though I’d rather join Robinhood than accept the kind of exploitation I’m not willing to accept, I should say!) Dignity is about not losing the self-respect of knowing what’s going on, plus dignity is about not victimizing oneself — which is always hard when you belong to the group which is socially & traditionally meant to be The Victim, targeted for exploitation and abuse.

In any case, my advice is you never accept being mistreated, treated with a lack of respect. They can overexploit you as a worker, say, but that should be the limit! And for women the limit should include demanding the basic human right to be named. The minimum respect is shown by naming the person. And we all know about how violent ordinary (patriarchal) men can get calling themselves the wrong name! WHAT HAS NO NAME, DOES NOT EXIST (Lo que no se nombra, no existe — this is shown now  in numerous sciences) – that’s been women’s case, sure! But here’s what we have to say now: IF YOU DON’T NAME ME, YOU DON’T EXIST! (Si no me nombras, no existes)

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What to do. Issues worrying more and more people

February 26, 2013

Employment and housing have always worried people in Spain.

Housing has worried them to obsession, this is true — this explains why people in Spain do not follow the Western European trend of not buying a house. Grandparents own houses, their children had that priority and now their children in turn are beginning to wonder — should we or should we not get into a mortgage to buy a house? That’s the question.

Unemployment has led numerous families to depend on their hard-working finally-retired elderly — and please understand the term in the most progressist way, for families in Spain have widened to include more kinds of people who are willing to share their living together — without using the traditional notions of patriarchal systems, e.g. wife battering — psychological, sexual and/or physical assault by a man to “his” property and slave, the Wife — and the neglect of children, in the kindest scenario.

Society in Spain is much better than it was, more diverse than ever, more eager to take part in the construction of democracy, but we have to keep the spirits high — resilience is something we should keep in scope, but most importantly, I think, it is to keep strong our “alegría“, the ability to feel cheerful, vitally happy, in spite of hardship.

And in case it helps, in my view, we can survive all kinds of situations. I’d like to pose the idea that we have imagination and we are capable of solidarity and that life is about struggle, but this doesn’t mean it’s a Valley of Tears — it can be fucking cheerful, too! At least we should try our hardest to live as if life was joyful — we’ve got enough imagination for that, and well, imagining things is a way of creating things. Our spirits, what we call our “ánimo” are crucial for moments of hardship. We all know that. So we should take good care of our “ánimo” and support people around who help in doing that, keeping a vital spirit high, cheerful. This is the main battle! Because when your spirits sink, you lose your strength and energy…

Then, in case it can broaden the picture — I’ve never known the situation where you “always have the same job” or “the same house,” though it is true that in the 1980s, when I left my mum’s house, whenever I needed money I was able to find a job. Actually, I still remember that the flat I shared with two other students cost 24.000 pesetas a month and that I earned 90.000 pesetas a month — and I thought it was outrageous I should have to “waste” 8.000 pesetas a month in housing, when housing was a Constitutional right! 😀 In the 1990s, before I became a civil servant / public teacher, I was sharing a 65.000 and later 70.000 pesetas flat and still earning 100.000 pesetas! Back to my attempt of broadening the picture, I know I’ve always not followed the general plan that seems to have prevailed in the Spanish society for decades: after surviving the education system you get a job, marry and buy a house. !!! 0_0 !!! I’ve never found any sense for me, for my particular Self, in that! And although I’m about to be 50, I still wonder why that program is so popular! 😀 Anyway, life has more models, more potential, whichever options you actually pick. And choosing doesn’t mean, should never mean a life sentence. I mean, just look at Nature — it’s full of all kinds of variations, of combinations. Life plays all the games, like the CIA! 😀

About jobs, I’ve changed jobs all my life, always looking for something better (something I did not feel I was being strangled by — I’m rather sensitive to the joys of freedom), always eager to learn from any kind of work experience. About housing, I’ve always shared a flat/apartment, because I’ve never had enough money to rent a house on my own, far less to buy it! Actually, when everybody around me seemed to be possessed by the Buying a House Fever, I was always wondering how on earth could they manage it. But then — I’m not good with banks. I was more of the kind that would put away the little money saved in a sock under the mattress. I’m not proud of this, of course. I understand the need of banks. But there MUST be a better world of banks, too. Anyway, back to my story, for many years, I did not know if I was going to gather enough money to pay my rent. I lived on a daily basis. And I did survive. We survive all kinds of things. And something the worst thing is being eaten up by one’s own fears, not real life. I’ve even been a homeless at some point in my life, when things went very wrong. And I survived. I’m not saying this is an ideal situation, of course. I’m just saying life is not easy, it’s about working really hard, but also that it’s not all about money. We need much more than money, starting with our own ability to be able to relate with cheerfulness and kindness to others, because this is connected to how kind and cheerful a home we’ll give our struggle. Also, I just mean to say that not knowing if you’re going to be able to pay your rent is not different from what happens to people who get into mortgages. In both cases you can end up homeless. However, it is cheaper to rent, and safer, and you’re freer, too. And you do not have to involve others in your payments (your collaterals), because if you don’t pay they can actually lose their own house! (Thank goodness people are protesting this, the evictions.) And what’s wrong with sharing a house? If we are poor, we are poor. Being poor doesn’t mean not having options.

Well, gotta go to bed now. If you’re feeling down, because of unemployment or housing, try to be strong, psychologically strong, appreciate the good things around you, other people, make the most of what you can actually enjoy, and do tons of good constructive thinking. Our intelligence is much more intelligent than we think! Think, get informed, talk it over with people you love, think so more, sleep on it, but like a fucking merry peaceling!!! 😀

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