Thursday, September 27, 2007

Higher Education?

As most of you know, I recently earned my Associates of Arts degree in Psychology and even though I knew that more then likely I wouldn’t find a job that paid as high as someone with, lets say a Bachelors degree, I did expect to find a job that would pay more then a person with nothing but a High School education.

I am more then sorely disappointed. Not only has it been more then a month since my job search began, but I have come to find that not only do most employers discredit people with an just an A.A., they also pay a person with an A.A. the same, and some cases less, then a person with a high school diploma.

I have become disgusted and enraged with the whole job search process. Yesterday, I had an interview for a job that involved working with violent and troubled teens, which have no home and live in a college-dorm like facility. Let me first make it clear that I am not condemning this place or bashing it. It is a very nice facility and they do great work for all the children and teens that they house.

Now back to the matter at hand. I had an interview for a job and was explained that I would be working with four teenage girls who each varied between somewhat troubled to extremely troubled. I would be working part time, 33 hours a week and my schedule would be as follows:

Thursday 10:30 PM – Friday 8:30 AM
Friday 10:30 PM – Saturday 9:30 AM
Saturday 10:30 PM – Sunday 10:30 AM

I would have to submit to random drug and alcohol testing. Training would be a week long and would include CPR & First Aid training, 3 days of therapeutic crisis intervention verbal training, 1 day of therapeutic crisis intervention physical training. I was told that the physical training was considered a last resort but it was necessary “just in case”. I would also have to pay out of pocket to have my background checked through fingerprints and would have to pay for my own drug testing, which in all would cost me about $99.

I have to admit, I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the schedule, but the job position itself really excited me. I felt that I could really connect with these girls and make a difference. The job position had required that the applicant held an A.A. in psychology and I finally felt like I had found the job that would get me started on the path to my career.

As an added bonus, I would still receive health care benefits even though the position was part time, as well as paid leave. I would also be eligible for tuition reimbursement. Then came the part where we discussed how much I would actually be earning. The position was a salaried position, which I don’t really care for but that wouldn’t be a big issue so long as the salary was decent.

Once I heard how much the position was offered, I have to say, I was more then disappointed as well as disgusted and enraged. I would be getting paid a salary of $16,050 a year!

I was sitting there thinking to myself, “Are you fucking kidding me? Come the fuck on! This can’t be fucking serious”.

The interviewer then broke it down for me just in case I didn’t get it the first time. $16,050 would be the equivalent of making a little over $9 an hour.

He was probably better off not telling me that since it would’ve taken me a while to figure out the math anyways. But either way, I was already well aware that $16,050 a year was pretty shitty, even for a part time.

The interviewer then handed me a sheet that stated the salaries for what an employee who worker the job I had applied for full-time would make, as well as another position that required a Bachelors degree. Those salaries were $19,500 and $26,000 respectively. He then ended the interview by stating that I had the job, and would like to know when I could start.

I told him that I would get back to him on Friday because I had another interview to attend. He was fine with that and told me that he would be waiting for my call on Friday. I was lying my ass off, but I had to get out of there and think.

I couldn’t believe how low these salaries were, but I didn’t want to stay in his office any longer then I had to. I had to get the hell out of there. I had so many thoughts running through my head and I felt a major case of verbal diarrhea about to come up. So I thanked him for his time, and I told him that I’d get in touch with him as soon as I had made my decision, to which he replied, “I’m sure that I’ll be hearing from you then. We offer one of the best facilities in the area. Most facilities through their youths out once they’ve reach 18 years of age. We house them until they turn 21 and give them college prep”.

Right, cause that’s really what I’m interested in. You act as if I plan to become a resident at the facility. I got news for you. I’m not a troubled teen and it’s pretty irrelevant to me whether you house teens after they turn 18. Hell, they could live there till they were 35 for all I care!

Of course I didn’t say any of that, but I couldn’t help to think it. I left the building and headed to my car. Once I got in, I hauled ass out of that parking lot, cursing and screaming almost the whole 30 minute drive home.

“Nine fucking dollars an hour? I’ve made more then that working as a lifeguard! Nine dollars an hour and I have to take a physical training class ‘just in case’?! What the fuck are these people thinking?”

But how could I not be mad? Here I had busted my balls for two years in order to earn a higher degree thinking that it would open more doors for me and a chance to make more money, only to find out that I was all wrong. Not only were the job offers offering me less money that what I was making before I had earned my degree, but now I had to take classes in self defense “just in case” on top of it all.

Just in case what, exactly? Just in case the 4 violently aggressive teenage girls that I'm suppose to be caring for decide to gang up on me and kill me?

Oh but, its $9 an hour. It’s soooo totally worth putting my life on the line. After all, I will be receiving health care benefits so if these girls kick my ass, at least 80% of my medical bill is covered.

I had never intended to earn an Associates and then call it quits to begin with, but it just the fact that I naively believed that a two year degree was better then no degree at all and would help me for the time being to find a better paying job then having just a high school diploma.

Then I go to this job interview that stated that having an Associates degree was mandatory to even qualify for the job only to learn that I would be earning less money then I had made working as lifeguard which only requires you to be at least 16 years of age and have CPR & First Aid certifications.

I was making like $10 an hour and then and was certain then some sort of higher education would surely help me make more money. I was very, very wrong. So here I am feeling disgusted, disappointed, and highly frustrated.

I’m almost out of toilet paper and too broke to go buy anymore. Might as well go wipe my ass with my worthless diploma. What a fucking joke…

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