Feeding off the Unemployed Guy

“If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.” – Martin Blank

To say that the state of business and economy in Metro Detroit is in peril is an understatement to say the least. Never have I seen such a mass of people without work in this town, notice traffic lately on I-75 and 696? That’s right, there hardly is any anymore.

So in times of strife, people get desperate and grasp at straws and become more resilient than they ever were before. I know, I’ve been there many times. So birthed out of desperate people come the ‘I can sell them this widget/service because these people are desperate’ guy.

sharksealSee, you have people that reach out and genuinely try to help people. Then you get people that try to get people not making money to spend the little they may have left with them. I got in a bar argument once with a women who was a bankruptcy attorney and I hinted to her that she was “feeding on the weak” (not insinuating bankrupt people are weak per se, just work with me). And she went crazy saying she is helping people. I told her she is taking money from people who have none, thus the word ‘bankrupt’. I then told her if she really wanted to “help people”, she wouldn’t charge per the hour.

Well, this past week, I saw this first hand and to say my blood pressure was through the roof would also be an understatement.

I am on the fence on what I think of job fairs, I really am. On one side, you get 20+ companies in a room and candidates can be the face, not the file. On the other hand, it is an insane cattle call and I would like to find one hiring manager who remembered more than 20 people from any particular job fair. We try very hard to have our Pink Slip Parties “light” and not have lines to speak with recruiters for that very reason.

Well, if you do put on a “job fair”, for one, don’t put it in a facility that holds 150 people. In this state, in this economy, it’s just not fair. [We know our first Pink Slip Party was abnormally packed and we have since adjusted].

And if you are a hiring company attending a job fair, for the love of God, don’t let people stand in line for 30-40 minutes to talk to you and then all you do is hand them a card with a URL and not speak with them or take their resume. Yeah, I’m looking at YOU, alleged member of “The Big 3”. You could save everyone the time, effort and energy by paying for a billboard with that URL on it. Don’t get people’s hopes up that they’re actually going to get to talk with someone productively, or that you might, you know, actually TAKE their resume and follow up with them if they’re a possible fit.

And on top of that, for the love of God, Dear Primerica, please go away. Seriously. To stand at a “job fair” and hollar at people, in megaphones no less, that they can make “$300,000” working for Primerica, again I say, really? We get it, you bring people in, you make them list 100 friends and family and then they run out trying to get people to flip their 401ks, we get it. But to give false hope to the unemployed, seriously, shame on you.

With all that being said, people that charge money to consult on fine tuning your resume or your job search in general, I am OK with. Obviously if these people can help you cut the time down on finding work, it was worth the investment.

And a quick note to those who choose to feed on the unemployed. I am pretty sure they don’t want to buy anything from you (unless you are a bartender), I am pretty sure they don’t want to throw away their college education to be a “financial advisor”, I am pretty sure they don’t want to wait 2 hours in 18 degree weather, and I am pretty sure they don’t want to be inspired. They simply need a job. Nothing more, nothing less.

Well, I am done ranting (for now) but seriously, we are begging you “Don’t be That Guy”. Until next time…