Archive for the 'community' Category

11
May
08

Have you ever been to a staffing agency?

What is it, you ask?

Some refer to it as an endless avenue in which one goes about finding a job.

Others may tell you that it provides a way out for the unwanted and dejected hopefuls of the currently unemployed who seem to be exponentially growing as we speak.

Well, whoever you are. I’m sure you can relate to a point in your job seeking days when you were anxiously waiting for some positive feedback only to receive that dreaded e-mail letting you know “you’re just not good enough.”

Or even worse, you make an excited phone call to your significant other telling them that “it’s not as bad as you thought it was going to be.”

Perhaps, you already have a job and are happy just window shopping.

I, unfortunately, had an appointment. I made an obligation to go and meet with a recruiter, a proud disciple of the staffing agency.

After filling out some paperwork which required my name, address, social security number, contact number, e-mail address, past employment, past employers, friends, relatives, first born, first pet, basically, your whole professional life.

As I was finishing up the necessary signatures, the robotic style of the receptionist who worked the many incoming telephone calls could be heard in the background.

Minutes went by and finally, I met with my personal recruiter; we shook hands and exchanged small talk. I have to warn you that I am slightly older than the average job seeker. For me, the whole experience convinced me that I had uncovered a part of humanity that was desperate, eager, and condescending.

Upon spilling my guts for some health benefits and a steady paycheck, the job opportunity that I was called in to speak about was unavailable. Let’s just say, I equate these turn of events with my experiences dealing with a real estate agent for the first time.

After being shown an apartment, loving the place, and immediately handing over the deposit; you receive a call. It’s the real estate agent, apologizing to say that the apartment had already been taken but they have others that might be of interest.

I guess it could have been worse; some poor sap didn’t even bring a resume.

Not until I turned down an opportunity to take a fifteen minute tutorial on the spot to test my expertise in Microsoft Excel and Word software programs, was I free to leave. The recruiter and his mentor encouraged me to dress accordingly at the interview and that timing was everything when finding the right job.

As for the staffing agency, they gave me a promise that they will refuse to recede and that they will reach out for the betterment of my interests.

Some experts feel the experience of looking for future employment is not for the squeamish. That even for the tender of heart who end up being shuffled from one disappointing interview to the next; need not apply.

But for the rest of us brave souls, I, included, will keep our heads up.

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28
Feb
08

Catch Me If You Can

At one a.m. in the morning, it can be safe to say that most people are fast asleep.

But inside the 103rd Precinct, located in Jamaica of south Queens, its residents recently were awoken by the squeal of bagpipes and the thumping of helicopters flying by.

The purpose of all this clamoring was to pay homage to a police department hero who died in the line of duty.

Twenty years ago, February twenty-six nineteen eighty-eight, the New York Police Department lost a young rookie cop by the name of Edward Byrne. The policeman, who was in his first month on the job, was shot and killed. His orders were to stand guard and protect a witness who was sought after by a local drug lord.

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Since November of two thousand and six, the citizens of this precinct have grieved for the loss of one of their own, with the much-publicized trial in the murder of a young black man, Sean Bell, well on its way.

Early that November morning, Bell was ambushed by a special division of the NYPD who fired fifty separate shots, killing him and wounding two of his friends.

The suspects on trial are currently employed by New York City’s finest and prior to the events of that night, they were operating inside Club Kalua, a strip club. The premise was a department-approved sting that required its officers to arrest would-be criminals who were involved in illegal drugs and prostitution that took place in and around the club.

The defendants are presently carrying charges of first-and second-degree manslaughter and one of the detectives is facing two misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment.

As this predominantly black community awaits the outcome of this very sensitive trial, a perception that Mr. Bell’s killing could be justified by the problems of the past is being portrayed by a wounded police department.

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