About my job hunt

Note: As life appeared to start to return to normal following the COVID-19 pandemic,[1] employers began complaining of a “labor shortage.”[2] Of course, this made zero difference in my job prospects, but I now have a much improved understanding of what the fuck is going on[3] and can, with complete confidence, forgo further attempts at job hunting, which should hardly be shocking, given that as of that time, May 10, 2021, it had been over twenty years since my last real job: About that alleged ‘labor shortage’

Fig. 1. Cartoon created with the New Yorker’s “Create your own cartoon” tool on July 27, 2020. #DIYNewYorker

To develop this page has been exceedingly difficult. The task is to channel an incandescent rage into coherence. It is undated as I continue to develop it.


I have been looking for a real job (which I define below) since 2001. My search has failed and, at some point, one must accept that I simply can’t be so awful at job hunting as to account for this failure. Something else is going on and this page coalesces my thinking on what it is. From this page, in subpages, I consider each of the following:

  1. Grievance as fury

  2. Poverty, as a constraint on networking opportunities, as a constraint on social mobility, and as rationalizing dehumanization, but also as a perspective on what I am expected to do to find work and its absolute futility.

  3. The transparent absurdity of my job search since 2001 and, after twenty long and infuriating years, the inescapable conclusion that yes, the job market really is a scam.[4] and that I face discrimination, it which it is apparent that there is nothing I can do to overcome biases arrayed against me.

  4. The denial of my human rights and therefore, my reduction to subhuman status.

  5. That which I am not, whether or not neoliberalism or any other expression of power relations requires it.

  6. That which I should be, largely as a consequence of my education.

  7. That which I am, including my résumé

  1. [1]Erin Banco, “CDC: Vaccinated Americans can now travel,” Politico, April 2, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/02/cdc-vaccinated-americans-can-now-travel-478928; German Lopez, “Got the vaccine? Experts say you can relax about your Covid-19 risk now. Really,” Vox, May 11, 2021, https://www.vox.com/22423098/covid-19-vaccine-coronavirus-protection-herd-immunity; Julie Steenhuysen, “T cells induced by COVID-19 infection respond to new virus variants: U.S. study,” Reuters, March 30, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-variants-idUSKBN2BM3BZ; Lena H. Sun, “CDC says fully vaccinated Americans can go without masks outdoors, except in crowded settings,” Washington Post, April 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/04/27/cdc-guidance-masks-outdoors/; Lena H. Sun and Lenny Bernstein, “Fully vaccinated people can visit with nearby grandchildren, dine indoors with one another, CDC says,” Washington Post, March 8, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/03/08/vaccinated-people-cdc-guidance/; John Torres, “‘Vaccine passports’: Will they be available in the U.S. in time for summer?” NBC News, March 14, 2021, https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/vaccine-passports-will-they-be-available-u-s-time-summer-n1261022
  2. [2]Eric Levitz, “5 Explanations for April’s Bad Jobs Report,” New York, May 7, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/05/jobs-report-explained-ui-childcare-seasonal-adjustment.html; Heather Long, “It’s not a ‘labor shortage.’ It’s a great reassessment of work in America,” Washington Post, May 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/05/07/jobs-report-labor-shortage-analysis/; Jon Schwarz, “The Business Class Has Been Fearmongering About Worker Shortages for Centuries,” Intercept, May 7, 2021, https://theintercept.com/2021/05/07/worker-shortage-slavery-capitalism/
  3. [3]David Benfell, “About that alleged ‘labor shortage,’” Not Housebroken, October 16, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/05/09/about-that-alleged-labor-shortage/
  4. [4]David Benfell, “About that alleged ‘labor shortage,’” Not Housebroken, May 12, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/05/09/about-that-alleged-labor-shortage/