Recession snapshot

I know how desperate things are out there right now. As a teaching student, I constantly get to hear about and witness job shortages. Talented professors are getting laid off and it sucks. Badly. But the magnitude of this recession didn’t really hit me until yesterday.

I received an email conformation from In-n-Out in August, informing me that my interview would be on September 14. I could arrive anywhere between 9 am and 4 pm, and that people would be seen on a first-come, first serve basis. I planned to get there about quarter to 9. I mean, it’s a fast food place; how many people could possibly show up especially that early?

J tried to tell me how massive this thing was. He says he did, anyway. I drove to that interview knowing that interviews are going on all week, and therefore expecting the lobby (we were told to come to the Ambassador Hotel) to be filled with thirty to fifty people, tops.

When I saw my interviewer, after almost three hours of standing in the line that wrapped around the entire hotel and then some, he informed me that four thousand applications had been submitted for forty available positions, and that every applicant would be interviewed, in the interest of fairness. We’ll skip the part where I feel that’s incredibly unfair, because I’m sure there are people out of those four thousand that are either under or over-qualified…such as the man behind me in line who graduated from the International Culinary School at the Art Institutes. Actually, no, let’s stay on that for a second. There were probably a thousand people waiting in line with me yesterday morning, and people like that showed up. Forty-year-old women. Men with briefcases. I don’t begrudge them anything; we all need to make a living. But that is just so sad. That people like that have to try for a one-in-a-hundred shot at a burger joint job because there is nothing else.

So, essentially, I waited until almost noon and got a sunburn for a three minute conversation where some guy asked me about myself. That was the whole interview. Nothing about the job. Just ‘oh, you’re from SCV? Cool, I’m from Granada Hills’. That kind of crap. I know I won’t get the job, and maybe that’s okay. I need something soon, but there are obviously people way more desperate than I am. I wasn’t laid off, I don’t have a mortgage or kids to feed. Hollywood Video is hiring next month, Bath and Body Works is hiring now, I have an application for Starbucks and an Asian restaurant down the street.

I just can’t believe how insane this whole thing is.

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