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Examine the expectations and inferences underlying selected job positions. Consider timely topics in career preparation and the struggle for fulfilling employment. Analyze what could be improved in either situation. If this blog reminds you too much of work, then peruse my namesake blog for lighter fare.

Fuck UWM and all universities! UW-Milwaukee and their brethren are mediocre. Click banner ads on ClixSense instead; it's a better use of time than a college education in the UW System.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Custodian at "Palooka University" UW-Milwaukee; To Be Hired via Random Number Generator

Job Title: UW-Milwaukee Custodian

Job Announcement Code(s): 07-01844
County(ies): Milwaukee
Classification Title/JAC: Job
Working Title: CUSTODIAN 07-01844
Type of Employment: Full Time (40 hrs/week)
Part Time (less than 40 hrs/week)
Evening 2nd Shift (3pm to 11pm or similar hours)
Evening 3rd Shift (11pm to 7am or similar hours)
Seasonal (minimum of 600 hrs/year but less than 1828 hrs/year)
Salary: The starting pay rate is $11.284 per hour (schedule/range 03/08), including an excellent benefits package. A 6-month probationary period is required.

Special Qualifications:
Must be able to lift up to 60 pounds and push/pull up to 100 pounds; must be able to bend, twist, stoop, push, pull and climb ladders.

Contact the UWM Human Resources Department for further information and application procedures:
Phone: 414-229-4463 Fax: 414-229-4102

Bargaining Unit: Non-Represented
Area of Competition: Open
Deadline to Apply: Open
Exam Information: 89161-010 CUSTODIAN
Preview Exam:
WARNING: Question not assigned

The University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee is currently accepting applications to fill custodian vacancies on campus. UWM, a doctoral/research intensive university, is Wisconsin's premier public urban university and offers a comprehensive liberal arts and professional education at the undergraduate and graduate level to its 30,500 students. UWM takes pride in being a student-centered institution that is deeply committed to diversity in its student body, faculty, staff, and programs. UWM's 103-acre campus is located on Milwaukee's upper east side, one of the city's most attractive residential areas and home to many faculty, staff, and students. For more information, please visit our Web site at

Job Duties:

Provide general cleaning and maintenance in offices, classrooms, restrooms and all similar areas at the University. Sweep, vacuum, mop and wax floors, scrub walls and fixtures; dust, move furniture and equipment; replace light bulbs, empty waste receptacles, replenish supplies, shovel snow and perform miscellaneous related household duties. Working Conditions: Work inside State-owned/leased space in a variety of environments. Dust, chemical odors and noise commonly encountered on job. Occasional outside work, including extreme weather conditions during snow and ice control. Equipment used to perform essential functions: Brooms, mops, buffers, scrubbers, shampooers, vacuum cleaners, measuring tools, shovels, scrapers and snowblowers.

Special Notes:
This position will require a criminal records review. A pending charge or conviction will not necessarily disqualify an applicant. In compliance with the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, the University does not discriminate on the basis of arrest or conviction record. For information relating to the campus security report for UWM, please visit the following:

Job Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Qualified candidates will have the ability to move furniture, operate floor and carpet equipment, and work an 8 hour shift; the ability to use professional cleaning products; the ability to read and understand work instructions and schedules, warning signs and instruction manuals for equipment operation; and the ability to communicate effectively with supervisors, co-workers and building users. This position requires material handling up to 60 lbs. and pushing/pulling up to 100 lbs.

How To Apply:
Complete the Application for State Employment form, which is available online at or by calling the UW-Milwaukee Department of Human Resources at (414) 229-4463. List Job Announcement Code 0701844, check employment area (AREA 40) and send to UW-Milwaukee; Department of Human Resources; P.O. Box 413; Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413. There is no deadline as this is a continuous recruitment. A computer-generated, random numbering process will assign rankings. Applicants will remain eligible for three months. For additional information contact the UWM Human Resources Department at (414) 229-4463.

The employment application asks for contact information, EEO characteristics, and availability of both time and geography. It does not ask for employment history or criminal records. Why? A random number generator determines applicant ranking! UW-Milwaukee uses the meritless, socialist method of selecting job applicants via raffle.

One cannot earn multiple drawings per period, either; it is purely luck of the draw and not influenced by any KSAs you may have developed. An institute of higher education, built upon the premise that education is necessary and good for advancement in life, posts a job vacancy which explicitly states that skills, experience, and education (such as vocational college) will not be considered towards the employability of an applicant!

Fortunately, a semblance of merit comes into play when the applicant needs to renew his/her application, which expires every three months. Those with the perseverance to re-submit an application up to four times annually will have better chances than those who let their application expire without resubmission.

Nonetheless, it is employment practices such as these random drawings for new hires which give Wisconsin government a bad reputation as a haven for those who are unemployable in any other organization. To be fair, the qualifications for high-level state positions such as budget analyst and program evaluator are pretty stringent in that you need at least five years of relevant experience. (I recently placed 4th out of all applicants on the civil service exam for budget analyst, but the results did not show specific item scores or the total number of applicants.)

The lack of union representation keeps the starting wage of $11.28 per hour lower than what state employees are known for, but the lack of prior experience or even any requirement of “excellent interpersonal skills” or “friendly demeanor” justifies an even lower wage. This is without considering the benefits, which bring total hourly compensation to a minimum of $13.50. I witnessed many custodians at work while I toiled at my student jobs, and they were never in a hurry. They each had a half-hour lunch break during which they could watch television in the break room, as I would see this while busing tables to collect trays whenever I had cleaned all dish carts in UWM Restaurant Operations.

The custodial work at UWM is nothing compared to the frantic pace of Pizza Hut and its demanding customers. The floors don’t complain when they haven’t been adequately waxed. Custodians need not please members of the public but rather only need to tape off their work area and post “wet floor” placards to keep people from walking over wet surfaces. The custodians I saw at UWM never smiled unless to each other. In short, they would do horribly in customer service. I suppose misanthropes who need some legal income can always become a university custodian. Why enroll at UWM when you can win its employment lottery and be set for life working as a custodian?

Dec. 7, 2013 Update: As of this writing, no one has responded as to why anyone earning a decent wage and benefits as custodian would ever spend money on a university education. While for some it might be a "hey, I'm middle class now in THEORY" kind of deal when you enroll and eventually graduate, the economic motive is severely lacking.

I'll say that if you're that Hell-bent intent on getting some "higher education," then go to trade school, get some hands-on job placement through a formal apprentice program, and earn some money instead of competing in the surplus labor pool of fellow over-educated higher education rubes university graduates.

Patronize your library and reliable information sources on the Internet. THEN, if you STILL believe you somehow need a university degree to validate your own personal and professional competence, then by all means blow $30,000 or whatever for a chance to network with people who won't care.
"Here's your &!##@^%^&# education!"

Joseph Ohler's Affiliate Click-for-Cash Program

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