There are more people than just ex-Borders employees who need a job.
Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of this all over Twitter: Got a job for an ex-Borders employee? Post it HERE!
And part of me thinks is so great to see people utilizing social media this way. Helping the thousands of workers who are losing their jobs since Borders announced they are closing their doors earlier this week.
But another part of me thinks it’s incredibly selfish.
What makes Borders employees more deserving of finding a job over the thousands of other unemployed people in the US?
Absolutely nothing. They are not more deserving of a job and they are not less deserving of a job.
First of all, let me say that I am in no way against people helping others find work. The economy is a bitch. It’s been that way for awhile. It’s fucking fantastic to see people using social media to potentially help people they’ve never met in a state they’ve never been to find work.
But why are we doing this just for ex-Borders employees? That seems a bit wrong to me. Borders employees are no more and no less deserving of a job over the thousands of other people in the US who have lost their job due to economy. Where are the offers to help those people?
I say this because when I see tweets like the one I mentioned earlier dominate my Twitter stream, I get a big angry and defensive. Why? Because of my mother.
She’s been unemployed going on two years now. She hasn’t been able to make a payment on her house for almost 18 months. And just the other day she was telling me over the phone how the 100+ degree weather dominating DFW right now is causing her electric bill to shoot up more than she was expecting to. She’s hanging on by a thread and has been for years now.
The money she gets from unemployment isn’t going to last forever. Frankly, it’s a bit of a miracle it’s lasted for two years. Any money she has goes directly to bills and food. She’s cut the “fun stuff” out of her life. No extra clothes, no manicures or pedicures, no trips to the salon, no going out to eat and no cable. The only “fun” thing she’s kept is the internet, and only because her primary use for it is to check her email and to look for jobs.
So why is it that when a bookstore goes out of business, people are crying out over how sad it is that the employees are losing their jobs? Why are the employees of Borders more deserving of a new job (and help to find it) than a middle-aged, single mother who has been unemployed for two years?
I’m not trying to say that the employees of Borders shouldn’t be helped. They should. It’s damn hard to find a job. What I am trying to say, however, is that there are more than just Borders employees looking for a job. When Borders closes their last door, their employees will probably be able to collect unemployment. That unemployment will hold them for awhile.
There are people who, like my mother, are running out of options. Unemployment won’t continue helping them for much longer.
Think of all the resources and connections you know. Think of all the resources and connections your connections probably know. While it’s wonderful to see writers and people in the publishing industry pulling together to help Borders employees, I’m positive that all those writers and people in the publishing industry know people outside their industries too.
If you’re going to help Borders employees find a job, why not help non-Borders employees?
So while I think it’s wonderful to see the influx of support Borders employees are receiving, I also think it’s selfish too. There are all kinds of people in the US looking for a job. Why not reach out and help them?
Still, if the only desire to help is the desire to help Borders employees, well, that’s better than not helping anyone at all.