Very depressed over problems finding a job

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 148
   Posted 12/3/2005 10:58 AM (GMT -6)   
I am finding myself more and more depressed these days.  I have been out of work since August. I have applied at a lot of different places and with about 6-7 temp. agencies.  I have gotten 2 assignments.  One for a day and one for 4 hours.  I realize part of it is because alot of jobs want computer skills such as Word, Excel, ect which I have no experience.  I have never had to use any of those programs except very basic Word.  I am enrolled in a computer class in the spring semester at the comm. college.  I also know there are jobs I can do thru these agencies and the jobs I have applied at.  My problem?  I believe my former employer is giving negative references.  I get good reviews from my other references.  I lost my job because my supervisor micromanged.  She watched every teeny tiny thing I did.   I never made any error that was "life threatening".  They were just little ones that go on every day in every office. Just one example, I was filing back and the next morning someone was looking for a file and both my supervisor and I looked in all drawers for misfiling.  I found it.  I had left it on top of the file cabinet.  She got very upset because that was wasting everyones time as she asked people to check on their desks for the file.  My best friend said that they have to look on their desks all the time for files but noone loses their job over it.   Now, this one gets me.  We, in my department were told we had to be team players.  Well, one day mid morning I was given a very fat file to make 2 copies of.  It was decided that I would make one copy and then do the second.  I had to do something at certain times and I asked someone else to do it for me so I did not have to stop.  Well, it took me the rest of the day, most of the next and then on Friday I just had to double check them.  My supervisor told me I took too long to get the file done which caused a delay in one of the files being shipped.  I was never told of any deadline and my supervisor did agree to that.  She said in the future if I have to copy something I was NOT to expect any of my co-workers to do any of my other duties.  You know, there are a few things that are done better with no interruptions.  I did another copy job for this other supervisor (the one I had to copy the file for) which was very simple and very quick but I had to make like 20 copes of like booklet and staple it right where she showed me to.  I did that.  On a couple of them the staple did not go thru so I pulled it out and restapled (after that I realized the copier had a stapler to do the work).  Well she got very upset at the few I had to restaple and said it was very unprofessional.  My super agreed (they are best friends) and said we did not want to lose any large accounts because of the tiny staple holes.  I wanted to say to her, "do you think I am that stupid to believe we would lose any accts?"  Even my dad said the same thing.   These are the type of things.  Anyway, back to the main topic.  I have found out that a former employer can say anything they want as long as it is true and not medical related.  I did some research on reference checking and found that 85% of employers ignor their legal depts and spill their guts, and that you can have all good reviews but one bad one can ruin you.  I do not know what to say when potential employers ask why I was let go.  The thing is, I have no idea what information they will say.  I just feel my self sinking and that there is no hope.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Post Edited (hw_chelsi) : 12/3/2005 10:32:00 AM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 12/3/2005 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Here is some general information

1. Offices have different standards. The offices I ran had extremely high standards, and strove constantly for higher standards. Everyone was expected to improve their methods and means--and did, because they got bonuses for good ideas. The fact that you were told, other files got lost indicates poor office management, which means those bosses were scapegoating. You were probably one in a long line of people, who wasn't trained properly and who they used wrongly.

2. 85% cannot be right--the laws are just too stingent--and no office of size will risk lawsuits. Instead there are "code" words and phrases--meant to clue in other employers without saying anything negative. If someone wants to bury an ex-employee, that's how it's actually done.

3. It works the same on applications. There are code words you can use too. Reason for Leaving:
"Mutual agreement" says there was a conflict, and you wanted out. Another could be "Job description discrepancy" and simply "when they hired me, they thought I knew more than I did." Never say a word against fellow employees, your boss, working conditions, or the company--if you do prospective employers will be sitting there thinking, "She will be saying bad things about me next, if I hire her."

4. Turn your lack of knowledge of computer skills into a plus. Show eagerness to learn and/or to be trained. You can tell employers that you are taking classes, but never show classes on a resume until you finish them.

5. Keep in mind that most offices, use computers like typewriters--and most employees don't really know how to ring the max out of computers. To learn practical applications of computer features, make your own project, e.g. list all your music or clothes or whatever in one program. Learn what all the stuff at the top of the page does. Some is easy, like including pictures, others is a bit more difficult, like export and import, and some is downright confusing like linking between programs, but you can teach yourself every bit of it, if you have the programs on a computer available to you.

Don't get hung up on one bad experience, but also don't walk away thinking the staple didn't matter. It did in my office, because consistancy tells everyone to expect quality work and that makes office life easier. The problem in that office wasn't the staple, but non-training by bosses. Now it's up to you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep on trucking.


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 12/21/2005 7:50 AM (GMT -6)   
how is the job hunting going...wishing you all the luck

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 12/21/2005 11:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Ok,I can touch this one with lots of knowledge over the frustrating job hunting!
First thing you need to do is have someone call your references,
Here is a web site that I've found that can help with that...

If you find that your job is giving you a bad reference you will need to contact a lawyer.
Another place that I have found the best leads is my local unemployment office.
If you do a search for your state I will bet that they have a web site that you can do daily searches on.

Good Luck that is for sure.
Don't worry about the world ending,it's already tomorrow in Australia!

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 366
   Posted 12/23/2005 6:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi ShynSassy,

Thanks for the input on the unemployment for job leads, I may go that route. This is a tough time of year to find work. I thought that the unemployment office would have low paying jobs which is why I haven't gone through them. I will give it a try on Monday.
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