The Overqualified Middle Class

I can’t find a job here in Georgia in engineering. I’ve talked to headhunters, both in and out of Georgia. There are so many civil engineers in Georgia and Florida looking for jobs in other states that the market is saturated with civil engineers. The market is so saturated that companies aren’t offering to pay for relocation. As one head hunter put it, “Civil engineering is dead in Georgia and Florida. NC is great right now. Can you relocate?” I can’t afford to relocate.

I’m not proud. I’ll work where ever I can. So I’ve applied at places like Wal-Mart and Home Depot and JC Penny’s. They won’t have me. They won’t have me at any price. And believe me, I’ve dropped my price.

I talked to a woman at a local government employment agency about it. Apparently, I have two problems that prevent me from finding work: 1) I was disabled for two years and 2) I’m overqualified.

Well, hell.

Her advice was to keep pestering friends and family for information on jobs where they work. I’ve done that. The companies they work for are barely holding on as it is. They’re finding people to lay off in the near future, not looking for people to hire.

The kind lady at the government also said that eventually I’d find a job. I just have to find someone who doesn’t care or doestn’ notice that I haven’t worked since September 2006.

So between emailing resumes, I’ve been getting the house in order. I’ve been cleaning for the holidays, checking my SHTF (Shit Hits the Fan) stuff,  doing genealogy, etc. While researching SHTF preparedness, I came across a forum where such issues were being discussed, from the position of someone who has actually been through a SHTF scenario in Argentina in December 2001. The quote that most struck a chord in me:

You see, we have a middle class that suddenly turns to poor, creating a society of basically poor people, there is no more middle class to cushion tensions any more. Middle class suddenly discovers that they are overqualified for the jobs they can find and have to settle for anything they can obtain, there for unemployment sky rockets, too much to offer, too little demand.

Well, hell.

It’s a good read. If you’re preparing for when the SHTF, you should go read the whole thing. Especially enlightening for me was the list of things he’d buy if he could go back in time and get them before the SHTF.

[Via Twisted Spinster.]

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8 comments on “The Overqualified Middle Class

  1. pam says:

    I’m sorry about your job hunt. That sucks.

    As for the list of things we’ll need when the SHTF? I’ve been thinking about that for awhile…. living in the city is making me nuts… I feel like I need to be out in the country again, raising some chickens and meat on the hoof. Of course, that’s not possible at this point… so all I can do is hope and pray.

    I’ll add your job search to that.

  2. Prudie says:

    Thanks! Divine intervention would be much appreciated!

    I’m not sure that moving to the country would be any better. At that link (which is a loooooong read, I know), the author mentions that there are ups and down with the city/country issue. In the city, there’s more crime. But what little crime there is in the country is more viscious because of the sense of security the bad guys have. He talked a lot about kidnappings and torture being more common in the country.

    I’m in the suburbs, which is a good compromise, I think. We have enough land for a small victory garden (which tanked this last year thanks to a stinkin’ hornworm, but I plan on doing better next year). And there’s enough space that we feel like we have OUR SPACE and the neighbors have THEIR SPACE. Yet, we can still see each other for security.

    We even have enough space for a chicken coop if it comes to that.

    And we’re seriously stretching to buy more emergency food and ammo. It’ll be worth it if the SHTF.

  3. Me, too- I’m real sorry to hear about your struggles with job hunting, Prudie. Looking for work is itself a full time job, isn’t it?

    I thought that you were a TSA screener at the Atlanta airport; were you, once?
    In any event, I can sympathize with your struggle, girl- and I can also offer you my prayers and best wishes from here.
    By any chance are you part Cherokee, or other tribal member?
    That’s one avenue you could pursue, if so. When I was fired from my casino last year, I went right back to the Choctaw, and got all kinds of help until I was hired by the state… to audit casinos.
    Think about whom you know in governmental positions, who may owe a favor to you or a family member.

  4. Micheal says:

    He is right, the best time to prepare is before, not during a crisis,and don’t limit it to just canned food and ammo, but cash – even gold if possble.

    If you feel the time to leave is now, the do it. That little voice in your head is called instict, nature put it there for us to listen too, sadely though we rationalize it away. Don’t, listen to it, some times it can be right.

  5. Vmaximus says:

    We went through a round of layoffs here, my office had 25 people, we are down to 10.
    I have all the survival stuff down, but I do not know about anything else. I am starting to be concerned about if I could get by on unemployment. My house payment is only $400 a month, but the insurance and taxes are $600. WTF? (thanks to the year of endless hurricanes hitting Florida, my insurance jumped from 700 a year to $3000.)
    What do you suggest I start doing other than gold and food?

  6. To Vmaximus: hoard seeds, for a start.

  7. Prudie says:

    LM, Thanks! I never worked as an airport screener. Hee. I hate that part of Atlanta. I’m a civil engineer, specializing in storm water management. Yeah, I’m part Cherokee, but not a member of a tribe.

    Michael, yeah, gold is good. Gemstones, too, though they’re harder to sell in a crisis.

    Vmax, We have an emergency plan detailing where we go in the event we have to evacuate, who takes what, etc. And yeah, we hoard seeds like crazy for our victory garden. In an emergency, you’ll need tons of protein and water. You’ll also need some fresh fruits occasionally to prevent scurvy, which is why we have our garden. Also, I’d look at weapons/ammo. If you have storage in an emergency, and if others find out, you would need to protect your stuff.

    I’m preparing a post with tons of links to survival/emergency preparedness sites. So hopefully that will help. (Assuming I can find everything I’m looking for. Oy.)

  8. Vmaximus says:

    Thank you,
    I took the time to read the link you provided (after I asked the question) it was very helpful. I had not even considered seeds. I will look into that too.
    Once again thank you.

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