There is this myth going around that Louisiana—and southwestern Louisiana, exactly—is one of the happiest places in America. I’m here to debunk that myth. People can hide behind the food, the tourism industry and months of festivals to make it seem as if a location is ‘happy’, but when you are plagued with little to no job opportunities, poor educational institutions, and a government who is obsessed with concentrating business and opportunities to one side of town, the reality of life is that you are in one of the saddest places in the United States. Let’s also couple all of the things that I just listed with high instances of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, a high murder rate, a large amount of people dying because of drunk drivers and a poor and homeless population who cannot just get a job, and you will see that this myth that is going around in the popular press is just that…a myth.
I’m unemployed in Louisiana. That’s not because of choice. I completed a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited 4 year institution in this state. I’ve worked a professional job for over 10 years. I’m obtaining my Master’s Degree. I cannot find a job. I live in Lafayette, Louisiana. When I apply for jobs, no one calls me back. I do not get denial emails. All I get as a big dose of Nothing. My outlook on this whole process would be positive if someone would turn me down by directly communicating with me. Sending a prewritten denial email takes 2 seconds, and it seems like that is never done. Out of the hundreds of jobs that I’ve applied to in this state…I’ve only received 10 denial emails. None of the rejection emails were from the State of Louisiana Civil Service, who, by the way, were aware of my 90% out of 100% scores on state civil service exams.
I’m writing this blog because I’m only one of hundreds of people who are trapped in this state for whatever reason. I’m here to shed light on what I’ve learned during the process. I’m here to help you, if I cannot help myself, see the reality of living in Louisiana and the fact that you are reading this means, you are having the same problem as I am—you cannot get a job.
The last denial that I received stated that the competition for the position is fierce because of the layoffs in the Oilfield. I do not accept this excuse. I know that all oilfield workers do not want to be educators. It seems as if all of the specialized jobs that I’ve applied to that require my education are given to surplused oilfield workers. Louisiana thinks that they owe them something and not me. I decided to obtain my education in this state. I decided to stay in this state. I should not be over looked because an oilfield worker was laid off. We are all in the same boat.
As I write this post, I am contemplating leaving Lafayette, Louisiana and leaving Louisiana in general. The former governor did not accept federal funds to help the state. Right now the state is in a recession. There is also a large job recession. There is no hope for the future. But the media keeps saying that this exact area is one of the happiest in the country.