I stumbled across this article last week and let’s just say it really hit home for me. The story highlights a town in Pennsylvania where over 1,000 applicants are applying for 300 open positions at a new area Walmart. I don’t know whether to feel incredibly depressed or relieved that I haven’t had to hit up Walmart yet for employment opportunities. I definitely felt depressed when I realized the quotes from some of the applicants could have come directly from my own mouth.
“It’s hard to keep up the smile,” says Parella. “I worry that they can read in my face how I really feel.”
She said exactly what I feel. How am I supposed to keep up a positive, energetic, creative front when I don’t know how I will be able to afford my own apartment next month?
Young and old, well educated and uneducated, they’re all coming here for the same thing: a job at the new area Walmart, which has set up a hiring center inside the hall; and most of them don’t care how many hours the store can give them, what they’ll have to do, or even how much they’ll be paid. They just want a job.
First requirement: Humility.
“I’ll take anything,” many say.
Of course I really need a job and the options I have to consider are almost humiliating knowing how much time, effort and hard work I’ve put into my career. Now, I sit here so humbled as to consider a position at Walmart which frankly I would not have taken in high school (Although, I’m no snob. I did make blizzards at Dairy Queen).
“It’s hard,” says Tara Durnell, a 37-year-old mother looking for work at Walmart. She gets just one day a week at a Yankee Candle store in the mall, and a few more hours cleaning up a doctor’s office.
“I love to work. I don’t like sitting at home. This isn’t me,” she says.
I know exactly how she feels. If I haven’t mentioned this before (which I’m sure I have) I’ve been working at least part-time since I was 16 years-old. I really love to work. Having steady work and a steady paycheck makes me more productive in all areas of my life and gives me a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Without some type of employment it’s actually hard to find the energy to keep hunting for jobs and filling out applications.
It is a tough world for the unemployed and my heart goes out to all of you people applying at Walmart. Trust me, I know how you feel.