Back on the chain gang

By my count, the stretch of long-term unemployment that I finally ended in June lasted 2,133 days.

My most recent bout of unemployment, which ended today, lasted only 54 days. I was wracked with fear that it, too, would last years. It certainly didn’t help that I washed out of the intervening job after nine days, only five of them on duty.

The multifaceted suckage of that job is too much for me to describe in any detail right now, since I only got about three hours’ sleep last night and have to be up in just over eight hours for work tomorrow, but imagine what you will about overly familiar lumpenprole gringos and devious Mexicans, and you’ll get the idea. The crowd at my current job doesn’t feature anyone of the sort so far, and the farm manager has her shit together, so I can deal with piecerate pay that comes to well below minimum wage at the speed that I’ve been able to maintain. If anything, I wish the job were scheduled to last longer, but the manager is trying to get all the blueberries in by the end of next week.

Productive work should pay better in a high-cost-basis economy like America’s, but all menial jobs should be as easy to get as my current one. I arrived just past 7:00 am, had my I9 filled out by 7:15, and was bent over a blueberry bush by 7:20. The only reason I wasn’t at work by 7:15 was that the farm manager was orienting another new hire in the field when I arrived, and so I had to wait a few minutes to fill out my paperwork.

Every once in a while, with luck, one comes across a Jeffersonian outfit that damns “human resources” in its entirety by its very existence.


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