Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Terri Sewell's Online Job Un-Fair

Today, I and thousands of others made the tragic mistake of going down to the BJCC to the highly publicized "job" fair promoted by Congresswoman Terri Sewell. Here is what I experienced:

Terri Sewell Job Fair draws thousands to the BJCC in Birmingham
The advertisement stated come in "Professional Attire" and bring your resume. Terri Sewell's smiling face was on fliers distributed all over the city, in conjunction with heavy ad rotation on the radio. It was no surprise that thousands would show up this morning, at least not to the thousands that arrived earlier than the 9:00am start time. People began lining up as early as 7am, but it seems as if the Congressional office hadn't quite planned on that number and it showed. They doled out numbers on a first come first serve basis, as more and more people arrived and a line of people started wrapping around the block. There were people dressed in their suits, blouses, pumps, holding resumes, wearing ties, jackets, looking polished and completely professional. Then they were the rejects who had a hard night at the club. Tight jeans, cliff hanger hooker heels, bra straps, mini skirts, tight dresses, ball caps, more tight dresses, flip flops, and wife beaters. We stood in 94 degree heat for hours while we waited to enter into 2 doors. There was no shade, unless we were lucky enough to be near the foyer or a tree, no chairs, the office didn't even think to provide any of us with water until well into the latter part of the afternoon.

TERRI SEWELL JOB FAIR
Complimentary Pens and Candy, But No Jobs
Once inside, I was sticky, sweaty, my hair was a mess, only 2, I repeat 2 potential employers took my resume. Everyone else told me to submit my resume or apply online. It was almost like talking to a series of Stepford wives. OK...these must be some new places that are never on Craigslist, Indeed, or Monster right? WRONG! Southern Co., Ebsco, USA JOBS, Mercedes Benz, Regions, Compass, Verizon, ATT, Best Buy, UPS, Dept. of Corrections, Walmart, The Sheraton, and various plants and construction companies there, but I have applied to them multiple times and I worked at Ebsco back in 2004. After about the 5th time I heard the robotic"apply online", I realized that no one was trying to hire anyone or provide any leads on hiring anyone today and I needed to go get Sushi before I lose my composure like some of my fellow job hunters. Yeah...a fight broke out...What do you expect? Long lines moving at a glacial pace in the summer time...not smooth sailing.

TERRI SEWELL JOB FAIR
The Dedicated 4,000
Today was a complete disaster, a raucous cacophony of hope, turned despair, turned anger and proved that Terri Sewell or her staff is incapable of thinking more than 5 minutes in front of their faces. If Terri Sewell's plan was to really help the thousands of unemployed or underemployed, then she executed her plan poorly. Piss Poorly, so poorly that a 5 year old, Special Olympic hurdler could perform leaps and bounds ahead of the curve on this. Common sense would dictate that advertising a job fair on urban radio stations, in a district that is economically depressed, which is a platform she ran on...then she should've had more than 2 doors set up to admit thousands of people. It's as if she or her staff didn't care or couldn't conceive that people were outside in the month of August for hours on end to better themselves and how are they rewarded? Nothing. Well, sweat, and a tan. I did forget the bountiful candy dishes, pens, and pads that were so generously provided. Oh, and harassment by Birmingham PD, nothing says "here to work", like Birmingham's finest. In addition to the false sense of hope to encourage people to waste time, money, gas, and energy in the hopes of a lead on a job.

Sewell claims that many she spoke with had positive feedback of the event. Believe me babe, they were just being polite. On that exit interview, this phuckery got straight 1's across the board. She stated, "I think it's really important to use our office as a platform to bring together employers and job seekers to really address this national crisis of unemployment," She goes on to say, "I think you can see by the overwhelming response we've received that there are so many Alabamians that want to work. The unemployment is not due to people not wanting to work, but just a lack of opportunity." And you didn't make the situation any better because none of these 100 employers are hiring for real. It felt like Sewell auditioned people to pretend to be employers, gave them a set script, spent $50 on candy, and called it a day. This job- less fair has just justified why people want to tax the so called job creators. You guys just spent an afternoon pissing in the face of people who are trying to live the American dream, that dream that is still supposed to be so easy for us to get.  

 People complain that there are freeloaders (black people), that leech off the system that have no aspirations to work or better themselves, and today, I saw people, black, white, young, and old willing to stand in almost 100 degree heat for a job. Only there were none to be had, unless it was in the land of make believe. Today was political gamesmanship, a grand practical joke for a re-election bid that may just blow up in the Congresswoman's face. What I believe is that this is an attempt to try to do "something" to get her name in the conversation for the upcoming election. If you can't execute the "something" properly, then leave it alone. Just go kiss babies or read to old people because I've been to better job fairs when I was applying to work for Christmas in retail back in College.

TERRI SEWELL JOB FAIR
Epic Fail
Sewell said the success of the day's job fair shows that it could turn into annual event. Success? If failing is what you call a success, then sure, go for it. That can be the mascot for Birmingham, a failed Birmingham tradition, like Legion Field, Maxx Public Transit or the Dome Stadium.

I guarantee I won't be out there next year or any other year. If I am going to stand for hours on end on a street corner in heels, then I might as well get paid for it and get to ride in an air conditioned car for a few minutes in between tricks. Next time, make this crap either virtual or just don't do it at all.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. I got there at about 8:30 with my shirt, tie, slacks, resume, and references.... And was disappointed. I left at 12:30....

Anonymous said...

OMG!! You hit it right on the nose. After preparing a sitter, making sure my professional suit was clean. Finding a ride there. Bumming a ride home. Sweating my make up off and paying for copies to make sure I had atleast 30 good resumes. I, a single parent, was pissed, sweaty, disappointed, angry, tired, hungry, and still... unemployed...

Anonymous said...

I was amoung the many and I had the same experience as the previous comment

Anonymous said...

Well said!! Today showed that the people in Birmingham are doing all they can to find a job. These was just a scam for votes.

Anonymous said...

I too agree but I am hopeful that
Someone will see this and generate the desire to helo those who are mot in a position to help themselves.We still are in need of true direction!

Anonymous said...

I've been searching got work for almost a year and a half..when I heard about the job fair I was very hopeful. Standing in line for hours and praying that I get blessed with a potential employment opportunity only to have my dreams shattered as I walked around and was told by almost every employer to apply online..I could've stayed at home to do that. I became very discouraged with no leads to employment besides a examination date for a liquor store job that everybody got who signed up at that table. Every employer seemed to just stand there and robotically repeat "apply online" and then trust to cushion the blow to my ego by offering me a pen, note pad, and a piece of candy. Very disappointing to someone who just wants a chance to have decent employment and live a good life....I won't be attending next time

Rebel Flower said...

Oh, yeah, the bowls of candy...that certainly made up for it didn't it...I didn't even get a pen.

Anonymous said...

Damn shame ppl were passing out from heat exhaustion.....tsk tsk tsk not a good look congresswoman

Anonymous said...

Everyone should write to her office and tell her what a disgrace this was! I'm so saddened by this! Smh

Anonymous said...

That is really messed up. I'm employed but heard about the job fair on the radio and smiled because I thought it was a good thing this Congress woman was doing. I am not in her voting district but if I were I'd definitely show her how I felt during reelection. What a joke! Sorry to you all that tried and spent that time out there. Good luck finding something soon.

Anonymous said...

And the church said, AMON!

Anonymous said...

This blog post sounds EXACTLY like what I was telling my mom yesterday after the event and I was a volunteer! First of all, I was appalled, coming from the inside, at the way they were running the ship. FIrst of all, I guess the lead person in charge or whoever she was, was a DUNCE, and that's with a capital D. She was running around like a chicken with her head cut off, called us to gather for a group discussion like five times in which she spouted incomplete sentences, then would run away after saying NOTHING. huh? It was around 9am I started to lose my patience. Here I am, a willing volunteer with a great head on my shoulders, trying to give these ppl some simple suggestions in making it a little easier for them and pleasing the mob outside, but I guess if the idea doesn't come from the inside, it doesn't exist. THEN I just started to pass out pieces of literature to ppl (because there was no entertainment, water, volunteers updating them on the progress of the line, NOTHING, but heat, exhaustion, potential hurt feelings and dashed dreams.) That turned out to be a good idea, ppl might not have read the pamphlets but they at least got a fan to use. Then some hot "prospeective employee" with sweat dripping from her so carefully coiffed doo, asked if they could get some water. In my head, I'm thinking "OH!! That's important, these ppl need water, it's HOT, I'm sure the staff has prepared for this type of easily predictable bump." UMMMMMMMMM NO!! I was appalled. Then when the water got there late in the afternoon,it was HOT! But the poor people were so damn hot and tired, they took it no questions asked. THEN on the inside was even worse, a pinch to the dignity and an insult to the effort. Just as Rebel Flower state, it was a show. A pure "Script & Scrap" situation. Sewell must have thrown them a Script and they threw us a Scrap(candy, pens, and a clean application.) Where were the on the spot hires, where was the intervention on the attire? I actually personally went up to two young men who were dressed so very much out of character for this "show" and politely toldn them to put their best foot forward because what they were wearing,the employers were going to look at them, and look AWAY. This my friends was simply a paycheck increaser for Sewell and her team. She has proven to be yet again another politician of the old school, (UNLESS THE NEXT STEP IS DRASTIC), and her team was hired on what merit? They are a bit pompous, a little arrogant, and their qualifications do not meet up with the actions I saw yesterday. THe community needs to rally together so we can help ourselves, because even the most promising of politicians will slip and fall when the time is nigh.

Rose said...

I was not there, but I did encourage family members to go. I am ashamed of the whole thing. The only real legacy Birmingham has is bombings of 4 beautiful lil girls, all the celebrities are from here, failed political fat cats, the Classic, and a sinkhole for any kind of prosperity. It should not be like that. Before I had nothing to say about Terri Sewell, now not only did she lose my vote, but she probably has guaranteed herself a ticket out the door at Congress. That's why everybody leaves.

Victoria said...

My colleagues and I went down to the job fair and distributed literature about our nonprofit, AWARE (Aging Workers Are Reliable Employees) to job seekers standing in line outside. We offer free job counseling as well as workshops to help older adults (50+) update their skills and become more competitive in the job market. We commend everyone willing to wait so long to have a chance at a position, but just wanted to leave a comment here and let people know there are other resources in town to assist in job searches besides job fairs (and we have air conditioning)! :D

If you are interested in attending one of our workshops, please give us a call at 205-803-1665 to reserve your spot, or check out our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Aging-Workers-Are-Reliable-Employees/222793021145002 or follow us on Twitter (AWARE_program)!

BrandyC said...

You nailed it! My husband spent his day there -- hours in the heat with a stack of resumes. Only one place took his. Once he got home and went online as they instructed him, they had no open positions. It was a complete waste of his day. He said he even saw employer tables that were empty. Then when we saw the news and read the articles about it's 'success', we just got angry all over again. This is the story that needs to get out there. This is the true story!

Anonymous said...

Woow ........I was called by a friend and warned not to come

Anonymous said...

This article hits the nail on the head. I was so disappointed. I truly believe that this was just a stunt to get her name out. This "jobless" job fair will go down in history for me as one of the worse. I will never waste my time, gas, money or interview clothes for another one.

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Jennifer said...

It's for reasons like the mentioned above that ‎Don Chamberlain for Congress 2012 MUST WIN!!!
Rep. Sewell’s Seventh Congressional District which consists of most of the City of Birmingham, part of Tuscaloosa, the City of Selma, and a large swath of Alabama’s once agriculturally productive Black Belt is the poorest Congressional District in the state. The median income is $26,672 and it has been hit hard by the 2008-2009 Recession and the weak economic recovery. According to the 2010 census, the district lost over 80,000 residents between 2000 and 2010 (the District has since been enlarged in the reapportionment process). There are over 50,000 unemployed people in the district and over 125,000 residents receive food stamps (recently renamed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)) and 25,000 receive WIC (Women, Infants and Children) subsidies to survive. Helping the people of Alabama and the Seventh District find jobs is a top priority. VOTE DON CHAMBERLAIN

Redeye said...

"People complain that there are freeloaders (black people), that leech off the system that have no aspirations to work or better themselves, and today, I saw people, black, white, young, and old willing to stand in almost 100 degree heat for a job. Only there were none to be had, unless it was in the land of make believe."

Well said. And NO, Don Chamberlain is not the answer.

GL21 said...

Dress up, stand outside for hours, and get candy? Is it just me or does this sounds like Halloween? SMH... this was just terrible. I feel sorry for all the people who wasted their time and got their hopes crushed.

queen tate said...

YES DON MUST WIN THIS TIME AROUND PLEASE VOTE PEOPLE FOR JOBS VOTE DON CHAMBERLAIN FOR US CONGRESS VOTE FOR A NEW DAY A NEW DAY WITH DON CHAMBERLAIN IS THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB HE WANT LET YOU DOWN.

Jennifer said...

If not Don Chamberlain then Who? What has our current US Congresswoman done to help bring prosperity to the 7th Congressional District and the Black Belt Region of Alabama?

Rebel Flower said...

They did give us bags to use, that the 4 volunteers that were deployed in the hallway from the sign-in table until the whopping 100 yards to the actual door of the fair, reminding us to use our bags and the booklet in the bag. I guess it was meant to hold the candy and the pens and maybe the application to sell liquor from the ABC State Store...

Anonymous said...

The entire job fair was a mess...! I would of felt better if even 1 out of the 4000 ppl got a job but no one did. If those employers were just lookin for professionals they shld of specifued that on air too that u need x amt of experience and must have x amt of degrees. I feel like she cld of let new reporters advertise these employers over the news instead of wasting ppl precious time comin to stand in sun, getting aggrevated and ready to pop off at anybdy. Police was enforced they was ready fo sum to pop off to put cuffs on ya and advertise yo face on news. With or without the job fair terri swell wld not get my vote so she can come again if thats y,she chose to have job fair. Most of those employers were rude and look at ya like thex dont have a clue what we talkin bout. Go online, here is my card, take a pen, a piece of candy thats all we heard a dang shame.

Anonymous said...

You are so right. I dont see the use fo it.

Redeye said...

What will Don Chamberlain do to help bring prosperity to the 7th Congressional District and Black Belt Region of Alabama? Be specific.

Rebel Flower said...

They weren't looking for Professionals or menial laborers for that matter. They were just there to take up space and Ms. Sewell was there to kick off her re-election. She has only sponsored 3 bills since she has been in Congress and only has benefited small business owners. The other 2 were resolutions honoring Fred Shuttlesworth and something else about Selma and the Civil RIghts march. That's it. That's the reason we have this botched job fair.

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