In the past few weeks, I've been lucky enough to have 2 interviews considering that the pickings for jobs are in a word, "slim". I won't name the companies; although, part of me wants to; but, something tells me I shouldn't. The first job that I recently had an interview for was for a Chemical Operator position. I did not have experience in being a chemical operator, although I did work at a chemical plant and their only requirement was 1 to 3 years experience in working in a chemical plant and they would offer training to the right individual. They had a job fair where at least 100 people showed up. About 70 for the chemical operator job and about 30 for a mechanic position. During the jobs fair interview, I let them know that I had no experience as a chemical operator and they said that was fine, they would train. They seemed to be interested in me considering that I had experience that others there did not have; such as confined space entry experience, which they found very desirable. Anyway, about 3 days after the job fair interview, I received a call from the company for a 2nd interview and to fill out an application. I filled out their application and had an interview with 3 of their supervisors; 1 was a hiring manager and the other 2 were production supervisors. They explained all of the details of the position and it exactly emulated a position that my former employer had; reactor operator. They said that I would make batches up for about 20 small scale reactors and set-up the reactors for a per batch/per formula basis. My last employer only had 8 reactors, but they were large scale reactors at least 25' high a piece. Anyway, during the interview they did not bring up what they were offering for pay. Instead, they asked how much compensation I was looking for. Now, at my last employer, a reactor operator started off at a little over $19/hr. I figured that I should bid low and hope for the best. I told them that I would accept $16/hr. start. They didn't really have anything to say about that, they just wrote it down on my resume and told me that I would hear from them within 2-3 weeks if I got the position or not. About 4 days later, I was at my local unemployment office and low and behold, I found the company's job posting for the chemical operator position that I went for and they had the starting rate posted as well. Guess what they were offering? $14.10/hr.!!! That's about $5/hr. less than what they should be offering!!! About 2 weeks after I found that info at unemployment, I got a letter in the mail from the company. I didn't get the job, I guess I was too rich for their blood! I still can't believe how cheap they are!
The other employer I had an interview with was looking for an industrial cleaner that had experience with confined space entry, use of PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment ie.: respirators, MSA full face air masks, Nomex clothing (fire resistant), hard hats, safety glasses, etc.), and handling hazardous materials/chemicals/waste. I went to the interview and the co-owner was very impressed. He said that I had experience that no one there had, not even himself! He was referring to the fact that I had worked with high pressure water jets that went up to 40,000 PSI. He told me during the interview that about half of his crew did not have confined space entry experience and he did not have the time to train them and that he would love to hire me to do so. So, more or less, he wanted me as a foreman. He asked me if I would be available for travel. He said that a few times a year, they go out of state for 1 to 2 weeks for large chemical plants that require a lot of work. I figured that if he needed someone to travel, it must pay good. I said that I would. He then told me how much the position offers. Any guesses? A whopping $12/hr.!!! I almost laughed in his face, but when I saw that he was being serious, I told him that I could not possibly be able to do the job for less than $16/hr. considering that I'm a homeowner with bills galore and a wife and step-daughter to support. He wrote down on my resume "$16.00" and said that he really wants me and that he would talk to the other co-owner and see what he could do. That was almost 3 weeks ago, I guess the other co-owner didn't go for it. Everything about that job screams, "Danger!": confined space entry, handling hazardous materials, chemicals, and waste. And he wanted me to train half of his crew as well. For $12/hr.!?!?!?! That position should offer an easy $17-$18/hr. Easily! I'm just sick of it and I sorry I ranted off like that, but how can any servicer out there expect homeowners to make a living when no one out there is offering employment at the cost of living? When jobs that should offer one amount, aren't offering anything near what they should be? It's crazy! Now, I'm almost exclusively looking into "union" only positions. Usually "union" jobs offer better pay vs. non-union. Other than that, I think the only other thing that can save my house is Publisher's Clearing House coming up to my door and asking for me. At least I can still dream.....ugh!
Reactorman - Jim