I just watched an interesting scene play out. I had just finished booting up my laptop here at a Starbucks inside a Dallas grocery store when I overheard the very last portion of job interview. The interviewee, a light-skinned Hispanic looking woman, had just finished gushing that she was so excited because she had always wanted to work in this grocery store. My first thought was that her words sounded so coached and scripted as if they were directly lifted from a job-interview manual, How To Get The Job You've Always Wanted or Interviewing 101.
The interviewer, a tall, middle-aged Caucasian with slender build, then said that she had the job, upon which she became exceedingly enthused as if she won the big prize on a game show. He then added, as if bring a little reality into the picture, a reminder that she was starting in an entry level position at minimum wage, which played out like a scene from Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed. (Sure enough, the drug test discussion was next.)
It's a buyer's market for employers. That is, a buyers market for those companies which are remaining solvent. In Texas this year it is now estimated that nearly 300,000 jobs will be lost, pushing the unemployment rate up to 8%. These stats remind me of the line from Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi, "Don't it always go to show, you don't know what you've got till its gone."
Personally, I am grateful for my own position, and doing everything in my power to help my company remain strong and to grow. You don't have to be in the sales or marketing to help your company grow. You can make a contribution wherever you sit, or stand. Accurate accounting, responsive customer service, attention to product quality... every part contributes to the whole.
I'm happy for the young woman who got the job here today. (She's still celebrating.) And if you're employed, getting a regular paycheck, I am happy for you, too. Give thanks.