Friday, January 24, 2014

Greff Fabrics Blues, 1971 (xiii)

Although the Snelling and Snelling placement counselor was neither an intellectual nor apparently very knowledgeable about many other subjects, on the one subject of how to find some kind of job for anyone who walked into her office, she seemed to know all the ins-and-outs that there was to know about that subject.

And, since she realized she could make just as much money placing job applicants who weren't white as she could placing the job applicants who were white, she did not automatically screen out African-American job applicants, as did many of the placement counselors/flesh peddlers at other private employment agencies.

So even an unemployed, economically desperate African-American high school graduate or African-American college graduate who got interviewed by her in her Snelling and Snelling office would discover that she was able to sell him or her to one of her clients who needed a low-wage job slot to be filled; and the African-American job applicant would discover that she could, indeed, produce some kind of personnel job for him or her in the Fall of 1971.

So that's how I ended up getting hired as a low-wage sample room clerk at Greff Fabrics in September 1971.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Greff Fabrics Blues, 1971 (xii)

Unlike the flesh-peddlers/placement counselors at most of the other private employment agencies in Manhattan, the Snelling and Snelling placement counselor/manager realized that screening out from permanent clerical jobs that only required a high school diploma job applicants in their 20's who were economically desperate college graduates--on the grounds that they would be "underemployed" and more likely to quit their jobs sooner than those job applicants who were only high school graduates--made no economic sense, in terms of generating Snelling and Snelling profits and more company-paid fees from her corporate clients.

So, instead of automatically telling the college graduates who walked into Snelling and Snelling's office that they were "overqualified" for the job oopenings she knew of and there were "no jobs for them"--like most of the other counselors at Manhattan's private employment agencies were telling the white liberal arts college graduates by the Fall of 1971--the Snelling and Snelling employment counselor/manager would tell you she could place you in a permanent clerical job--even if you were a liberal arts college grad; and she would then sell you to the business/corporate client who had a permanent clerical job slot to fill, obtain the clerical job for her young college graduate and collect her placement fee from the business firm/corporate client.

Or to put it another way: This experienced career woman in her 40's seemed to know how to place or peddle the flesh of any job applicant who walked into her office within the Fall 1971 labor market in Manhattan better than any other private or public employment placement officer/counselor/manager in New York City at that time.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Greff Fabrics Blues, 1971 (xi)

The Snelling and Snelling placement manager/counselor was a well-dressed, white woman who used lipstick and make-up and who looked like she was approaching her late 40's in the Fall of 1971. And most men would still be likely to consider her to be physically attractive, despite her age. She also looked like somebody who likely lived in some Upper East Side Manhattan apartment rather than in the outer boroughs and--given how many Midtown Manhattan and Upper East Side business firms and corporate accounts apparently relied on her to screen out job applicants or new hires for them--you got the sense that she had been working at Snelling and Snelling for years.

Compared to some of the other placement counselors/flesh-peddlers I had been interviewed by at other Manhattan private employment agencies, she seemed to have the most experience and expertise in knowing how to obtain lucrative fees for herself and her employment agency by fitting the economically desperate job applicants she interviewed into some open job slot that one of her business accounts needed to be filled for the lowest possible wage or salary.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Greff Fabrics Blues, 1971 (x)

By the Fall of 1971, there were few blue-collar factory job openings for male workers being advertised in the want ads section in New York City newspapers; and neither the New York State Employment Agency nor the privately-owned employment agencies in New York City were able to find many permanent blue-collar jobs in any New York City area local factories for people who filled out applications at their offices.

So unless your father or some other family member or a friend already had a blue-collar factory or construction job--or some other kind of blue-collar job--in some New York City-based workplace, and knew of some job-opening at his or her workplace for which he or she could recommend you to be hired for, it was nearly impossible for an unemployed worker to get hired for some permanent blue-collar factory job in New York City in September 1971. Consequently, during that month, my only realistic possibility for finding a new permanent job seemed to be to either find some Manhattan firm that was willing to hire an "underemployed" liberal arts college graduate or try to locate some kind of clerical job in Manhattan; and since my typing speed in the Fall of 1971 did not yet exceed 50 words per minute, I only was then able to apply for clerical, shipping clerk or clerk-typist office jobs--and not straight typist, dictaphone-transciptionist, statistical typist or secretarial jobs--at this time.

But in the Fall of 1971, there were also few Manhattan firms that were willing to directly hire either a liberal arts college graduate or a male clerical worker; and by the Fall of 1971, most Manhattan firms that wished to hire clerical workers were now relying on private, "flesh-peddling" employment agencies in Manhattan, rather than the New York State Employment public agency, to screen out or refer job applicants for them.

So in September 1971, I ended up getting a haircut and shaving off my beard again, dressing up in a suit and tie, taking a bus and subway into Manhattan, and filling out a job application in the Snelling and Snelling "flesh-peddling" employment agency's East Side and Midtown Manhattan office. And after a few minutes of sitting in the reception area next to three or four other dressed-up, culturally straight-looking unemployed job-hunters, I was called to the desk of the Snelling and Snelling placement counselor/flesh-peddler who was an expert at finding some kind of job within the Manhattan business world for high school graduates and college graduates who were still in their early twenties.