Lafayette Louisiana is the Happiest City in America…Here is Why

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.

Photo Credit: Lafayette Daily Advertiser July 22, 2014

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.

Photo Credit: Lafayette Daily Advertiser July 22, 2014

LEDA Job Fair Recap

LEDA Job Fair Recap

So, because I’m job hunting, I made plans to visit the LEDA job fair hosted by the Lafayette Economic Development Authority at the Cajundome Convention Center.  I’ve had my dealings with LEDA before and I had a feeling that a lot of the leads that I would get at this job fair would be a scam, but I decided to have faith and go anyway.

A few of the jobs that were there were repeat offenders.  A few people that I knew applied to these companies for the exact same positions less than a month ago and received denial letters stating that they picked someone with more experience, but then viola, they appeared at the LEDA job fair supposedly looking to fill the exact same position.


So, I get to the job fair promptly and start my walk around the convention center.  When walking around, I see people who are dressed for a Saturday afternoon in the park, complete with their children in tow and basketball shorts and flip flops.  Now I am not trying to be judgmental, but if you are trying to make a future for yourself and find a job, you may want to dress it up a little bit and find a baby sitter for a few hours.   I don’t know how I cannot be treated seriously for any jobs around here, but people who do not take job hunting seriously always get job offers.

…I digress…


So I start walking around the convention center ear hustling the conversations around me. What surprised me was a lot of employers were telling people there that they didn’t currently have positions open.  …what was the point of being there if you have no jobs?  A lot of the jobs were part time and my companion, who hit a lot more tables than I did, complained about 4 or 5 companies trying to offer him $7 to $10 dollars an hour for skilled work.


My companion felt as if people were getting the hook up at the job fair as well.  A lot of job seekers bee lined to one particular company, told the HR person that they knew so and so and right after that, were in the little interview rooms that were set up at the fair.


I often wonder if a few of these companies were there just to be in good standing with LEDA.  The positions that they are say are open are never available.  Because of that, I feel like that was a waist of time.  The best part of being out there, for me, personally, was the fact that I was able to get my resume looked at and critiqued for free.

I’ve compiled a list of Scam and Legit Companies that were at the job fair to help you out.

Scam Companies

  • Bell Helicopter: They were talking to males more than anyone else and seemed interested to help them more than other people.  The recruiter talked to one male for over five minutes telling him to apply for a specific job online and took his resume.  For the same job, me, a female,  there were no positions available and to check again in the summer.
  • Cintas:  They always have positions open but are never hiring.  They have yet to call me back in the 5 years that I’ve applied to them, and other job seekers that I speak with have the same experience with them.
  • Daily Advertiser: (same as Cintas).
  • KADN, KATC, & KLFY: (same as Cintas)
  • Lafayette Parish Communications Office (911): they have an archaic way of job testing that takes over a month to process.  In the end, they tell you that they’ve picked someone with more experience but post the same job opening two days later.
  • LUS Fiber: Low wages and part time jobs for the amount that they charge people for Video, Internet and Phone service.
  • Morgan Stanley: (same as Lafayette Parish Communications Office 911)
  • Southwestern Louisiana Community College:  They wouldn’t have made the list until the HR guy was rude to me and assumed I didn’t qualify for any jobs with them…when I did.
  • Honorable mention (they weren’t at the job fair, but had to be mentioned: LHC Group.



Companies Who were Genuine and Honest:

CGI: http://www.cgi.com/en/us-onshore-delivery/lafayette-jobs

Enhancesoft: http://enhancesoft.pages.ontraport.net/apply-1

Lafayette Consolidated Government: www.lafayettela.gov

Stuller: www.stuller.com

Waitr: http://experience.waitrapp.com/join-the-team/


There were many of other companies who could have fit into any of the other two categories, but I was not able to gauge them correctly.   All of the opinions that I’ve shared with you today were not only from myself, they were of my companions who attended with me as well.  I am not here to talk bad about any companies, but I am only here to share my experience.  If you’ve had an experience with these companies opposite of what I’ve had, then let me know.  I want to be able to know that I am wrong in a lot of instances but for now, this all I have to go by.  I’m writing this blog to not only vent my frustration, but to also help someone who is in the same predicament as me.  Look, I am not the only one in Lafayette having these problems.  I am one of the thousands.  I just want to be a voice for people who do not have a voice and I want to expose all of the injustices that are looming around when we are trying to improve ourselves with employment.


Some people say…oh it’s easy to get a job.  Maybe it’s easy for them.  But for the thousands of us who live in Lafayette, LA…finding a job is like having a full time job and sometimes it takes you years to succeed.

All and all, I had a decent experience at the job fair but I am back to the drawing board.  I’ll be hitting up Indeed in a few minutes.

Share with me and other readers some of your LEDA job fair experiences in the comments section below.  Also, if you had a different experience with these companies, let me know as well.




Waiting on Rejection

                There were times where I waited for the rejection letter because it took too long for me to obtain an interview. I would wait, and wait, and wait and wait again…and nothing. No email. No Calls. No updates on the talent websites. Nothing.

                I often wondered why the recruiters could not take time to reject me since it took me almost 2 hours to fill out the applications. How rude and how dare they disrespect my time…making me fill out a 20 page application when they knew who they were hiring prior to posting the job requisition? In my previous post, I stated a pre-written rejection letter takes 2 seconds to send to a mass of people. Because of this, I feel disrespected as a job seeker.

                Let’s say I did by chance get an interview. I am expected to be prompt and to respect the time of the person providing the interview to me.   As a person searching for a job, I never get the same respect.

This is annoying because in Lafayette, 90% of the time, unless you are hired by a large company hiring tons of people at a time, the person hiring people usually hires someone they know. This is called the ‘hook up’ job. You may not have any skills necessary to successfully perform the job, but you get the job anyway because you know SOMEONE that is in HR or someone who knows someone in HR. If you do not qualify for the ‘hook up’ job, if you are a white male, or better, a white male that was laid off from an Oilfield job, you get first dibs on all job openings. If recruiters in Lafayette can find out that you do not fit into that demographic, they just ignore your application all together.

Now, I would not be this salty if someone would have the common courtesy to email me back. I don’t mind receiving rejection letters. I do mind not getting any communication at all. I feel ignored, disrespected and clowned. Every job that I apply for I have experience and education in unless it’s an entry level job. I’ve had professional HR analysts review my Resume and Cover Letters. I’ve obtained other skills creating documents that you can attach to your application to show you are serious about the job (I’ll share those later with you), but I am still ignored.

Looking for decent, professional employment here is a joke. You can only achieve a professional gig through the ‘hook up’ method…the ‘white male’ method or the ‘surplused oilfield worker’ method. If you happen to get a job and do not fall into those means, you are indeed lucky and I commend you…and please share tips with those of us who are struggling so we can do better.

Lafayette will never have a skilled and diversified workforce if they keep using backdoor methods to hire others. This is the reason why the south is so behind and will remain behind. Others become frustrated and leave the south leaving those who are stuck here…stuck. And guess what…state Civil Service job applications are 10x’s worse that I just described. That will be my next post.

Let me know your experiences and thank you for hanging out with me.