Reading is Fundamental

Based on the responses I've been getting from my job ads, I might as well be writing them in Latin...if i knew how to. (source: Wikimedia, Author: Szczecinolog)
Based on the responses I’ve been getting from my job ads, I might as well be writing them in Latin…if i knew how to. (source: Wikimedia, Author: Szczecinolog)

When I was a child in the 1970’s, there was a commercial from Reading Is Fundamental which aired during the Saturday morning cartoons. Reading Is Fundamental was a not-for-profit organization based in America that promoted child literacy through reading programs.

I’ve seen the commercial enough times to motivate myself to try to improve my reading skills, which I admit back then were not very good. With a lot of effort, I became a voracious reader by the time I was 18, reading everything from comic books and science fiction novels to newspapers and computer books. Today, I still read most of the newspaper after checking out the classifieds for work, and have taken up reading poetry and blogs published on the Internet.

Recently, however, the phrase “Reading Is Fundamental” has also become an expression I say in frustration. I’ve made it repeatedly clear to job head-hunters who represent me in my job search that I want to remain in Toronto for work. I do not want to move out of my apartment to work on contract in another city or province, only to have to find a new place to stay when the contract is over. Despite this request, I still get offers to work elsewhere from those same people.

The same goes for my profile on Monster, Workopolis, Careerdoor, Jobboom, Torontojobshop, and other job search portals. I put down in my profile that I do not want to work on 100% commission, yet I am offered commission-only sales jobs from companies that I have to diplomatically turn down. I shouldn’t have to do this, since It’s all there in black and white if one takes the time to read the profile.

The whopper of them all has to be the feedback I get from Kijiji and Craigslist “David Needs A Job” ads. Consider the following excerpt from one of my ads:


My name is David, and like the subject line says, I need a job….

Let me explain what type of job I am looking for:

1) No commission jobs. I’m willing to work at minimum wage ( or even less if the amount of work reflects that.

2) No franchise or SOHO offers, please!

3) It must be in the City of Toronto

4) The job should not require purchase of a license or any type of equipment

Pretty straightforward, right? Well, despite what I put down in the ad, not only do I get offers that are complete one-eighties from what I am looking for, I get a lecture after politely declining the offer:

From: *omitted*

To: David Gay 

Subject: Job Ad Response Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2012 14:31:10 -0300

Why do you rule out jobs that entail getting licensed ? You might be able to make a lot of money doing one of those jobs. Especially considering your experience and background.

Just a thought.

Good luck.

In my reply, I stated money is tight and I can’t justify any expenditures that do not guarantee a return, like a job. The response to my reply is a beauty:

From: *omitted*

To: David Gay

Subject: Job Ad Response Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2012 1:42:52 -0300

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you found something that was minimal start up cost ($100) and that reimbursed you 1000$ in your first month?

In the immortal words of Charlie Brown, “Good Grief”.

All of this might come across as David in a huff about one aspect of his job search, but please consider this: if someone does not take the time to understand what I am looking for in my job search, do you think that same person would take the time to understand my needs as an employee in their company?

Such an understanding, like reading, is fundamental.

Thanks for reading!



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