Archives for posts with tag: jobs

pregnant woman otto dix

Pregnant Pause
by Linda McKenney

I sat waiting, in a large theater, with hundreds of other high school students who’d passed an exam for state employment.  We were interviewed according to our grade on the test.  I was fourth in line.  The position was beginning office worker, which meant you had to do whatever a superior desired.  Responsibilities included typing, transcription, filing, making copies and other duties as assigned.  I accepted.

My boss had a monotone voice, so I often dozed off while typing up his letters.  The interesting aspect of that was I continued to type.  Of course, the marks on the paper made no sense, so I had to begin all over again.  If there was a need for more than one copy of the document, we used sheets of carbon paper.  The ink would get all over your fingers and sometimes clothes.  More than two copies required a mimeograph.

This printing process used an ink-filled cylinder and ink pad. Documents were prepared on a special wax-covered stencil on a typewriter that had its ribbon disengaged. The typewriter thus made impressions in the stencil, which was filled with ink and squeezed onto paper by the mimeograph’s roller.

I married six months after I graduated from high school.  Shortly after that, I was interviewed for a promotion.  The man who would be my new boss told me that while I was qualified for the position, he wasn’t going to hire me.

“I noticed that you are wearing a wedding ring,” he said.  “In my experience, young married women get pregnant and then quit their jobs.  I don’t want to invest time training you and have you leave.”

What he said made sense to me, so I never questioned his decision.

Six months later I was pregnant and quit my job.

IMAGE: “Pregnant Woman” by Otto Dix (1930).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Linda McKenney is a Personal Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, and Writer, specializing in Mindful Living and Eating. She continually reinvents herself, and her new adventure is writing creative nonfiction. Her most recent work is published in Silver Birch Press, 101 Word Short Stories, The Survivor’s Review, The Rush, and Helen: A Literary Magazine. You can join Linda on her Mindful journey by visiting her blog –- She also has an alter ego at


Job Candidate
by Steve Bogdaniec

Subject: San Francisco Area – Base + Uncapped Commission with Fortune 500 Company

Job Candidate I Found on’s First Name,

My name is Guy I’m Writing This For—who can sell wonderfully but can’t write for shit, seriously, you should have seen this before I reworked it—and I am actually two people pretending to be one executive recruiter working with an Actual Company You Will Hopefully Be Impressed By. We would like to prescreen you for an interview with this company, and the “we” here is Headhunting Company That No Longer Exists, not Guy I’m Writing This For PLUS me—Steve—the one who actually found you among the jobless on Monster late at night.

  • Actual Company You Will Hopefully Be Impressed By, global leader in Document Management, has an Outside Sales position in your area, mostly because the turnover is ungodly and they’re always looking for people
  • Base salary 30-60K, compensation structure of 70k to 150k with car allowance, and uncapped commission, which, judging by how many people we actually got to take these positions back in 2007 and 2008, will not be enough to sway you
  • Successful performance at Territory Sales Representative level earns the opportunity for either a Major Account or Sales Team Manager promotion, though, remember, “successful” is apparently a very subjective term with Actual Company You Will Hopefully Be Impressed By

Please forward me an up-to-date copy of your resume because Steve probably emailed 25 people in three different cities tonight and we can’t keep track of you all. Upon receiving your resume, you will be contacted within 48 hours to schedule an interview. Or 72, depending, we’ll see.

Best Regards,

Guy I’m Writing This For

Executive Recruiter

Headhunting Company That No Longer Exists
Office: Somebody else’s phone number by now

IMAGE: “Fishing” by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1981).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: For this piece, I have altered an actual email template that I edited and sent out to job candidates. In 2007 and 2008, I worked for a struggling “executive recruiting” firm that had contracts with companies looking for business-to-business salespeople. We found candidates to interview for the positions, and if they were hired and lasted 90 days, we got paid. ¶ A friend of mine brought me in, knowing that I needed work. He would work during the day and do all of the talking—and selling, which I was not good at. I worked at night, finding us qualified candidates on Monster or Career Builder. Because of my writing background, I also either wrote or edited all of our copy. It seemed simplest to represent ourselves as one person, so we did. ¶ It was not technically my first job, but looking back, I can definitely say that it was my first “real” job—my first brush with the humanity and inhumanity of commerce. The work was frustrating because both sides—the companies and the candidates—were too picky, and perfect matches were hard to come by. Still, it was very generous of my friend to hire me in the first place. I will always look back on the job fondly because of him.

Bogdaniec - bio

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Steve Bogdaniec is a writer and teacher, currently teaching at Wright College in Chicago. HE has had poetry and short fiction published in numerous journals, most recently Eclectica Magazine, Silver Birch Press, One Sentence Poems, and Blood Lotus. His work can also be found in the Nancy Drew Anthology: Writing & Art Inspired by Everyone’s Favorite Female Sleuth.



Poem by Fred Voss

I still have moments when I look around and wonder what I’m doing
in this machine shop
with these men
wearing steel-toed shoes
acting like I never read Shakespeare
Dostoyevsky Plato
I will never tape a poem to the side of my toolbox like
a drill chart
or a picture of a 1932 Ford
or a woman in a skimpy bathing suit
these poems forming inside my head secret behind my sparkling eyes
as my machine plunges smoking drills through slabs of steel
am I insane
between tin walls where never once in 100 years has a poem
been mentioned
where men would rather go to County Jail
than read a  book of Keats
for poems in tool steel worm gears
bloody knuckles
of old men who can still break out dancing
like 5-year-old boys
because they’ve made a tool bit shave through aluminum until it shines
like silver
there are enough poems about sunsets
about leaves
falling onto grass
how many times can we follow Dante down into Hell
the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
each drop of sweat that ever rolled down the skin of these men gripping
machine handles isn’t
a poem
each nut and bolt
tick of time clock
ache of bone
each hand
dripping with machine grease and cutting oil the one
that made
the world?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fred Voss, a machinist for 32 years, has had three collections of poetry published by the U.K.’s Bloodaxe Books. He is regularly published in magazines such as Poetry Review (London), Ambit (London), Rising (London), The Shop (Ireland), Atlanta Review and Pearl, and has twice been the subject of feature programs about his poetry on National BBC Radio 4. In 2008 he was featured at The Ledbury Poetry Festival, and in 2011 he and his wife, poet Joan Jobe Smith, were featured readers at the University of Pittsburgh and in 2012 were featured at The Humber Mouth Literature Festival (Hull, England). His latest book, HAMMERS AND HEARTS OF THE GODS from Bloodaxe Books was selected by the UK newspaper, The Morning Star, as one of the Top Seven Books for 2009. In 2011, he was featured poet in a hardbound limited edition of DWANG (London, England), and in winter 2012 World Parade Books will publish his first novel, MAKING AMERICA STRONG.

NOTE: “How Many Times Can We Follow Dante Down to Hell?” and two other poems by Fred Voss will appear in the upcoming Silver Birch Press release Silver: An Eclectic Anthology of Poetry & Prose (available November 15, 2012).