Monday, May 22, 2006

Visit to Workforce Solutions

I went to Workforce Solutions, McAllen's replacement for the old Texas Workforce Commission office, today. I went just to see what has changed and to explore any possibilities for a last minute attempt at finding "the perfect job", which means one that pays more than minumum wage. The last time I was there was 6 years ago when they were located out by the Plaza Mall.
It started with me signing in as a first-time visitor. I waited in the common area by the doors. They have computers along the cubicles and an island with computers, all with a broadband connection to make web surfing the job sites faster. They have a printed jobs paper that basically relists all the job classifieds in The Monitor. I'd already checked the Sunday paper, so there was nothing new there.
After a while, I got called to talk to one of the case workers. He pulled up my information on his computer, asked me questions about my work history, and made additions and corrections to my profile. I expressed that it was a last ditch effort at finding something that pays more than minimum wage before heading out of the RGV, just in case. He thought it was amusing and agreed that pretty much that is what's available here in the RGV. If I had unrealistic expectations, I would have been deflated at his revelation that good paying jobs in the RGV are few and far between. Fortunately, I'm not that naive and took it as confirmation of my observations. After updating my profile, the case worker asked me to follow him to a testing room where they have computers that administer basic skills tests. The test consists of 35 questions that range from knowledge of work site rules, personality questions, math questions, and spelling questions. I passed, embarrasingly, with a 94%. I can't believe I missed 2 questions.
After the test, I went back to my case worker's cubicle where he looked up some listings for me. I'd already looked and found two jobs that pay over $8/hr, except that they don't list the name of the company. He found the two jobs for me. Given my experience as manager of Confetti, he printed out openings for managers at AutoZone and Circle K. I don't recall the pay info for AutoZone. Circle K is paying roughly $24-26K for store managers. I'll go apply at their Palmview location. I'm going to have to press them to make a quick decision. I have a deadline of Friday to find a decent job; otherwise, I'll miss my ride and I'm stuck here.
One thing I don't understand about business is that people are expected to make quick key decisions with the understanding that "time is money". Yet, when it comes to hiring, nobody seems to want to make a quick decision. I blame the government, of course. If it weren't such a pain to fire somebody, it wouldn't be so tough to hire somebody. In any case, finding work in the RGV without a degree is easy if you are willing to compromise on your standard of living.
I decided to go to Workforce Solutions initially because the Sunday paper has plenty of listings. The ones that pay better are for work in South Dakota, Corpus Christi, Florida, and elsewhere. I'm not talking accounting, medical, or other degreed jobs. There's plenty of those here. The well-paying jobs for non-degree workers are elsewhere.
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