I don’t mean to abandon this blog, but right now I am working at the site I want to develop into something commercial: NewMotorcycleRider.com. In the last week I’ve been writing on changing a motorcycle battery, tire care tips, and replacing an air filter. I should probably write something positive here, to counteract the negative feelings about that failed job fair, but right now I can only work on one thing at a time. I’ll be back here soon enough.
Even freelancers have to eat. The Postal Service is holding a nationwide job fair on Wednesday, November 19th, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00. p.m. You can go to http://www.usps.com (link pulled — no longer relevant) to learn more. Look for the “Careers” area. The process is supposed to work like this: you register first, get an invitation to join, then log in on Wednesday. Somehow, someway, the USPS or their hiring contractor will hold a live chat with the applicant. I assume by text but I am not sure. At some point you’ll probably have to set up an account with a user name and password. I registered a hour ago but I’ve not yet received an invitation. I’m interested in part-time work only but I want to see what’s available. One note: you need Internet Explorer or Firefox to get through the process.
November, 17th update. No word or invitation yet from the USPS.
November, 18th update. I just got an e-mail from the, apparently, contract employer for the USPS. The group is called the ERP Workflow System. Anyway, I now have login and password information. If you are really serious about getting on with the USPS, and have an hour or two to spend putting in your resume, you may want to create an employment profile. Here’s the page with the link to register your employment profile: http://about.usps.com/careers/welcome.htm?WT.mc_id=jobs&ns_campaign=jobs (link pulled — no longer relevant). At this point I think you don’t have to put up a profile in order to go through the on-line job fair. But don’t hold me to that conclusion. Oh, and remember, Explorer or Firefox!
November 19th, update. FYI, according to the web page I am being directed to, the following language exists: “You’ll need a valid email address and an eCareer Profile to apply for jobs with the Postal Service.” But when I go to complete the profile I started a day ago, no information can be entered. Either the version of Firefox I am using (the newest) is unsupported, or there are too many people on-line. These are just guesses. But the bottom line is that I can’t complete the form on my profile page. Also, there seems to be some malware floating about with the latest version of Firefox, which I downloaded for this occasion. No fault of the Postal Service, just something to be aware of. Always download from the source and not a third party. At this point I don’t know if I will actually be able to log into the event.
The job fair has started but I have run into numerous problems, all of which do not let me proceed. When I finally found the log in button, it’s at the upper right, my profile name and password were not recognized. It did give me the chance to log in using LinkedIn, which I did, however, I got to a point where I needed to enter an ID code I had been e-mailed. No matter how many times I entered the correct number, the system kept rejecting it. I may try again in an hour or two but I am completely baffled on how to proceed. Here’s the screen that has stopped me dead cold.
Well, the event still has three minutes to run, but I’m pronouncing it an utter failure. Couldn’t even enter the event. I’ve been on an Apple computer since 1978, so I think I know how to overcome technical problems. But the only solution I saw was to delete the current Firefox program and hunt for an older version. Maybe that would have worked. But generally you create more problems than you solve when you go back to an older version of a program. I did leave two notes to the USPS. It will be interesting to see if they respond. With absolutely no technical support during the event, I am little encouraged that they will.
November 26, 2014 update: No, the USPS or their contract employer never did respond to my messages. But, seemingly clueless, they sent me this e-mail today. I should not have expected anything more.
I’ve complained that the vast majority of jobs I’ve bid at freelance sites (internal link) appeared to have never been awarded. I’d put together an individually crafted bid, wait weeks, only to have the job disappear from the system. There would be no word on what happened. I think I now know what goes on.
Over the weekend I entertained a number of e-mails from a person that seemed intent on hiring me. He also seemed serious about conducting our conversation outside the Guru.com communication system. It seems obvious: once people find a good prospect, they then circumvent a site’s mail program, all to avoid paying fees to the site which was responsible for putting them together in the first place. This is why the jobs never seem to get awarded; both parties have dropped off the site and are communicating privately.
Is there any reason to continue drafting bids at these sites? Freelancer.com has new language on their site which declares they are better monitoring the jobs being posted. Perhaps. But I won’t be back until I hear from other people that they have cleaned up their act. Showing me that jobs are actually awarded would be a good first step. Until then, I’m not participating.