Nobody wants to work anymore? Tell that to Joey Holz, the Florida man who applied to 60 entry-level jobs, only to receive one interview. Perhaps all of the problems facing the American labor market are, in fact, not due to widespread “laziness.” Go figure.
Odds are you’ve seen a sign outside a place of business, lamenting a loss of employees. If not in real life, perhaps you’ve caught a quick glimpse on the internet. It’s pretty widespread at this point. There’s even a Facebook group titled “No one wants to work,” where short-staffed employers could meme out their frustrations.
In an interview with Insider, former food-service worker and charter-boat crewman Joey Holz recalled hearing one business owner’s labor shortage complaint, saying he “went on this rant about how he can’t find help and he can’t keep anybody in his medical facility because they all quit over the stimulus checks.”
Holz continued, “And I’m like, ‘Your medical professionals quit over $1,200 checks? That’s weird.'”
Weird indeed, considering that even after the end of federal unemployment benefits, there hasn’t been a surge in employment. Holz told Insider “If this extra money that everyone’s supposedly living off of stopped in June and it’s now September, obviously, that’s not what’s stopping them,” he said.
Holz decided to inquire/investigate further. He started applying for jobs himself, starting with restaurants, which had been more outspoken about their staffing obstacles. The rule was to only apply for roles he actually qualified for. He told Insider “I didn’t apply for anything that required a degree. I didn’t apply for anything that said ‘must have six months experience in this thing.'”
Describing the common job qualifications, Joey noted that “some jobs wanted a high-school diploma … some wanted retail experience … most of them either said ‘willing to train’ or ‘minimum experience.'” In terms of the pay, “none of them were over $12 an hour.”
In an amazing show of his administrative skills, Holz even tracked his process in a spreadsheet. The results? Pretty abysmal. Out of 28 job applications, he received only nine email responses. But hey, that led to one interview! Oh boy, here comes the big turnaround.
Holz went to interview for a full-time site cleanup position with a construction company. Where the hourly rate was advertised as $10, the company instead tried to negotiate that down to $8.65. And instead of full time, they offered part time until Holz gained seniority.
By the end of his experiment, Holz had sent out 60 applications and subsequently received 16 email responses, four follow-up phone calls, and the one interview with a company that misadvertised its hourly rate. He shared a pie chart showing that 70% of his efforts received no reply.
So, is this really a case of entitled generations waiting for government handouts? The chart suggests otherwise. Holz has a clear stance on the subject. In a Facebook post that went viral on Twitter and Reddit, he wrote, “58 applications says y’all aren’t desperate for workers, you just miss your slaves.”
Seems like Joey has hit the nail on the head. People aren’t laying back, they’re fed up. Fed up with toxic work environments and unlivable wages, to the point of “rage quitting” and starting anti-work subreddits lambasting the terrible bedside manner of most bosses.
Like this bartender, who wasn’t a “team player” for drinking on his night off.
r/antiwork thread on TwitterTwitter
Or this worker who–despite being the top performer–received a complaint from his boss about not standing on a broken foot.
r/antiwork thread on TwitterTwitter
No amount of sloth-blasting rhetoric is going to change the fact that a systematic change, one that actually causes the workplace to thrive and promote well-being, needs to be made. And as Holz told Insider, his story is “familiar to many.” Maybe this isn’t an act of apathy and more like a cry for help.