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shooting craps

My dad knew he would never be without a job. He figured he’d find a place he wanted to work and just start working. The boss would quickly figure out what a valuable, good worker he was and hire him. In the years since he made those claims our state and federal legislatures have employed themselves trying to make sure you can’t do that. With regulations on several fronts, few employers can let you work just cuz you wanna.

However it is still possible in some places. Goodwill stores, for example, are exempt charitable organizations where volunteers can and do just walk in, fill out a form, get oriented and work as much or little as they want.

The Idaho and Montana Goodwill stores that I’m familiar with are well managed and appreciate productive, honorable people with a good work ethic. I’d say, “Who wouldn’t?” but am amazed to find so many places and cases where that isn’t what it takes to succeed in an organization.

We occasionally lose workers who are can’t keep honor straight in their heads, work only with constant direct supervision, blatantly ignore supervisory requests or seriously degrade the environment in various ways. We retain a number who aren’t tremendously productive because we can’t bring ourselves to cast decent folks out into the cold just cuz they are slow. We could, however, cut their hours back a bit and move those payroll dollars over to someone who has good attitude and aptitude… if only that person would show up on our floor. Thus I think it is safe to say that there are job possibilities in places like my store even if we are “fully staffed” at the moment.

shooting craps

We are in the middle of the hiring process and I am again recognizing what a crap shoot it is on both sides of the interview table. Government schools, job programs and consultants focus on building perfect resume’s. Most folks turn in a hastily scrawled, partially filled-in application form, making it easy to stand out with a decent resume. Many experiences have taught me that the only thing a polished resume tells me is they can produce a polished resume. Nice for sure, but not all I need to know.

On the other hand, someone who comes in every morning at exactly 9:00 am and, as a volunteer, works energetically until noon every day for a week has told me just about everything I could want to know. I’m going to find a way to get them on my payroll. Particularly nice about this method of job seeking is that BOTH employer and employee learn about each other. Before either makes a commitment, both know it is a mutually beneficial relationship.

While the pay is definitely modest, the work is honorable, the environment good and when over half the jobs in the USA disappear, Goodwill will still be sorting and selling second hand merchandise for pennies on the dollar while providing valuable services for employees, charitable programs and customers needing clothing and household goods at affordable prices.

Not that we are the only place you can go for a trial run. There are individuals out there who might be able to trade stuff for your labor. They just have to be way off the radar and somehow able to ignore liabilities and labor laws. This is likely to become more common in the near future as U.S. employment withers and hunger grows. If you are hungry AND eager, there are opportunities out there. You just have to add “alert and clever” to your resume’.