Job Hunting in Florida

I decided to see what kind of jobs are available in Northwest Florida (again)…

So one of my first stops was Employ Florida Marketplace and they had the ability to browse through listings as a guest, and every listing I saw that was of any interest provided a direct link to the employer’s website… but I looked at the registration page — they wanted a social security number and date of birth… I see no reason to provide either of those to a job hunting web site — particularly one that impressed me as not being put together by the industries best and brightest.

But there was a note:

While we encourage you to register using your Social Security number so that we can continue to improve our services to you, if you choose not to, you may be provided an alternative way to access all Employ Florida services. Please contact the Help Desk at 1-800-438-4128 to be provided an alternative to providing your social security number.

So I called the number listed — they said simply I’d need to visit my local participating job center (I laughed and hung up — the web site could have just as easily said that).

I knew the local job center was Workforce Escarosa and there was a center just a few miles West on Highway 90 (5725 Hwy 90, Milton, FL  32583)… so I jumped in the car and went down there.

When I got there I was greeted (I’ll be polite — it was far from a pleasant greeting but a middle aged man grunted could he help me — so I’ll count that as a greeting); I told him I wanted to register, he immediately asked me for my social security number and I said politely “NO”, that if I’d wanted to use my social security number I would have don it on line, then he said that I wouldn’t be able to register — when I ask him why then the web site indicated that  I could and I called the number it provided and they said I would just need to stop by a local job center… he grumbled something under his voice and disappeared to the back.

After a couple minutes he re-appeared and in a snippy tone and said that I would just fill out the paper form and “of course just leave off that” (pointing at the social security number blank) and said then I would be able to search jobs.

I then said, I can search jobs now as a guest — and he quickly added, but you can’t apply — to which I said, all the listing I looked at had links to the companies web site and a way to apply for a posting there… then he put up the clip board with the form on it and said “I guess you don’t need to apply”.  All I could do was laugh and walk out.

I have no idea what the advantages of “registering” are supposed to be… but I have to say between the kindergarten level web sites and the totally dysfunctional employees all I see is these centers would be a way to greatly harm any chance of getting a descent job… and if these people can help anyone, it’s scary to consider how incompetent those individuals must be.

I’m not sure how these organizations are funded, but my bet would be through some type of public-private venture, and I suspect that a close accounting of the public money would find you’d be better off just burning one dollar bills to provide heat for the jobless than spending it this way.

Originally posted 2011-08-09 02:00:17.