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Notes from a Crusty Seeker

Chaos Help

“Advancements always come from chaos,” said the carpenter as the little house-like structure he’d made of carefully stacked three-inch pencils toppled to the table. This was yesterday in the Orientation room at the NYC Department of Labor … where I and 60 other battered, depressed, resentful, tired, or slightly drunk, recently unemployed people shared each other’s company.

“I constantly want to build,” explained the carpenter, picking up the pencils and putting them neatly into their box as Scott, our Orientation director, took the floor.

“I promise I’m not going to keep you here too long,” said Scott grimly. “You’re the people who got here early, and we have such record numbers that we had to do the overflow in a second session.”

I breathe a silent prayer of gratitude for my perpetual earliness and look around the room. We are young, old, in-between, every race and ethnicity, and we are sad under the brutal fluorescent lights in this box of a room. But Scott is a good and gentle man.

Several times he refers to when he was on unemployment. He knows what we feel and he lets us know that. He gives us handouts of information and, wonder of wonders, it’s helpful.

I hope you are not in need of this information, but chances are that a lot of people could use the help. I have not checked these out, but Scott recommended www.indeed.com as the “Google of job searches.” I had never heard of it. For part-time and hourly jobs, try www.snagajob.com. And to quote gentleman Scott as he left the room, “Stay strong. Don’t beat yourselves up. And let’s hope for something good in the New Year.”

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