The Daily Need

‘Unemployed need not apply’

The plight of the long-term unemployed has been thoroughly and heartbreakingly documented since the nation fell into an economic recession in late 2008. Benefits run out before new jobs are found, age discrimination abounds among employers and health care costs continue to soar. The New York Times recently reported on yet another reality for the long-term unemployed: hiring biases against unemployed candidates.

Most job seekers are already cognizant of the fact that unemployed applicants are often at a disadvantage. But the National Employment Law Project, a nonprofit organization surveying the labor market, scoured through listings at job sites CareerBuilder, Monster, Craigslist and Indeed, and found 150 ads requiring applicants to be currently or recently employed. The practice of overtly excluding unemployed applicants has apparently become so widespread that New Jersey recently passed a law to prohibit employers from excluding unemployed candidates in the application process.

At Mother Jones, blogger Kevin Drum writes:

Having a long gap in your resume has always been a problem, and having a long current gap has always been a really big problem unless there’s a mighty convincing explanation for it. The difference today isn’t that employers have changed, it’s that they’re so swamped with job applications that they figure they might as well just admit their biases up front.

Moreover, Drum notes, the recession has caused the pool of long-term unemployed workers, particularly in the middle-aged set, to greatly expand.

The perception that the long-time unemployed candidate languishes while their employed counterparts build their skills and keep up-to-date with current trends is a primary factor in employers’ hiring bias. Moreover, the image of a job seeker that has been unemployed for months or even years tends to invoke a fear that some other unknown factor must render the candidate undesirable. Whether this perception has any merit is a different matter. As a reader sarcastically remarked in response to the New York Times article, “This is exactly why I won’t date a woman who is not already married. If she’s still single there’s probably a very good reason.”

 
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Comments

  • Guest

    Guess that is why employers can’t find employees – they don’t want to look at the 16% of people out of work or underemployed.  When there are 6 workers for every job, luck plays a role and blatant discrimination by employers (age, unemployed, etc.) is overlooked. Skills dob’t seem to matter.  We are just creating an entire group of aging cynical workers who will forget about ‘loyalty’ if they finally find a job and help create more declining revenues and demand for government and business.

  • America

    Just think, pay your income taxes three years late and save for today. We are free to pay penalties just like our Govs.

  • Bkrsmiley

    Some employees, such as maintenance are the last to go !!  I was expected to crate up equiptment to be sent to CHINA, and SCRAP the rest of the equiptment, and chain and lock the buildings as this was done.   As a maintenance man KNOWING THE END OF MY EMPLOYMENT WAS NEAR !!   Or get FIRED on the spot !!  

  • Andrewmiller313

    I have been looking for employment for over 2 years. Finally gave up and enrolled in school at 51 years of age!

  • http://www.adela.vn/dich-vu/thiet-ke-to-roi-to-gap.html Thiet ke to roi

    I agree with the comments you mentioned.

  • Fswampy

    Went’s back to School at 49 Graduated tech school At 50 with a 4.0 as a Pharmacy tech Passed the Fed certification Cant find a job ether they want more experience or they want more Schooling i am very frustrated at this point!

  • underemployed

    Most of my friends are returning to school. I’m not. I have a useless master’s degree. At my age, I figure low wage earnings are better than student loan debt. If I’m screwed either way, I’d prefer to not have the student loan millstone around my neck.

  • Shorehon

    Unfair and ridiculous. Actually, I would PREFER to hire someone who is unemployed because, not only would it dramatically enhance their lives and the lives of anyone their income helps to support, but it has been my H/R experience that many of those who are currently unemployed appreciate their job and the fact that they have one in this terrible economy much more than many who DO.

  • Shorehon

    Unfair and ridiculous. Actually, I would PREFER to hire someone who is unemployed because, not only would it dramatically enhance their lives and the lives of anyone their income helps to support, but it has been my H/R experience that many of those who are currently unemployed appreciate their job and the fact that they have one in this terrible economy much more than many who DO.

  • Jmccollo

    It’s obviously not about enhancing their lives but about increasing the corporate bottom line.

  • Jmccollo

    It’s obviously not about enhancing their lives but about increasing the corporate bottom line.

  • Julian

    Corporate America has taken the “Human” out of Human Resources making it??? Resources! That is exactly what people are to Corporations. A resource to be used to supply the energy to the Corporation. Our courts have given Corporations “a life” by making them entities. It is Congress’s job to take that away that court ruling by putting in place laws that restores order and gives Humans back their rights in this world. We need laws that tax those that do not hire “x” number of people for “y” number of profit and if they do hire the correct number an appropriate tax relief number.

  • Michael

    Not to mention the fact that having another degree doesn’t in any way guarantee you will get hired in that field either.

  • scott

    maybe they are not hiring you due to the poor grammar?

  • http://twitter.com/mrpoods Watrick Poods

    Moreover, moreover.  Moreover.

  • http://twitter.com/mrpoods Watrick Poods

    Moreover, moreover.  Moreover.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rrroady Rebecca Roady

    Then there are the COVERT employers who manage to exclude us through irrelevant “background investigations” by “consumer reporting agencies.” Seriously, after years of un/underemployment, who has a pristine credit rating, and what measure of qualification is that for ANY job? Poverty does not preclude integrity!

  • http://www.resumeconfidence.com Shannon @ Resume Confidence

    I am a resume writer & I choose not to share this article with my clients.  In fact, I advise them to IGNORE news like this because in my experience all it does to many of the unemployed is feed the fear, stress and despair they are feeling.  None of that helps them feel or portray the confidence or positive attitude that are paramount in a successful job search. Networking contacts and interviewers both want to recommend or hire (respectively) folks that seem self assured and on top of their game.  Job seekers who are angry or suspicious of employers who won’t hire them anyway because of a job gap are going to exude exactly that vibe, and the cycle perpetuates. 

    Job seekers – focus solely on the jobs you seek and how wonderful it will be when you land that position.  Do whatever you have to do to feel secure and relaxed in your job search.  Look at the time off as a blessing to do projects you’ve put off and just ENJOY the time — while ALSO doing a balance of the necessary and prudent job search activities – custom cover letters & resumes for the jobs you apply for (NO COOKIE CUTTERS, please), professional and courteous networking and follow ups, invest in keeping your skills up or increasing them with classes or workshops – stay active & engaged.  Your next great job IS on it’s way when you balance your attitude and your activities to support that outcome.

    All my best – chin up!

    Shannon  

  • Me

    Make sure you are looking outside your area that you currently live in as well. I’m looking all over the world. You have to be flexible.

  • Chrysalis62

    If you won’t hire an unemployed person, you shouldn’t expect them or handicapped to patronize your business –ever!

  • Lkamundson

    Another problem no one likes to admit. If you’ve been unemployed, your credit history has taken a hit. Many employers check your credit history (their rationale is that if you don’t have good credit, you won’t show up on time, are irresponsible, etc.). This is creating a permanent under-class of educated people who are willing to work but who can’t get a foot in the door.

  • Jamesoberg74

    You can’t tell people to ignore the truth. Some folks don’t HAVE any income, so “enjoying the time you have for projects” is bullshit. When you have to decide whether to feed your kids, pay 1/2 the rent so maybe you won’t get tossed onto the street, or pay the light bill, just doesn’t sound like something you can just “chin up” and start building model airplanes, or finally get around to re-upholstering that old chair! It makes you feel helpless and angry. All your “advice” comes from-you guessed it-SOMEONE WITH A JOB.

  • Itiscomplicated

    I only hire unemployed people that have been out of work for over a year. 

  • Itiscomplicated

    I only hire unemployed people that have been out of work for over a year. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NBX65SK5T3ZIVYKJ7NEUJXAYAQ M.

    I’m a 99′er.  Two engineering degrees and a double MBA.  The market is tough out there even for the very skilled.

  • Jazzeltine

    While I’m know your position is increadibly difficult, I believe Shannon’s point was that a negative attitude will ruin your chances of finding work. Frankly, after reading your post I don’t even want to be in the same room as you, never would I hire someone who came across as an angry, bitter person.

  • boba

    tHIS IS PROBABLY TRUE THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY & IT IS A DISGRACE!!!!!! I AM IN NYC ONE OF THE MOST EXPENSIVE PLACES TO LIVE IN THE COUNTRY & REGARDLESS OF THE LENGTH OF TIME UNEMPLOYMENT WAGES RUN, I KNOW OF NO MIDDLE CLASS FAMILY THAT CAN SURVIVE ON THE STATES MAXIMUM PAYMENT OF 405.00 A WEEK….AND THAT I MAY ADD IS TAXED ALL OVER, THANK YOU PRESIDENT REAGAN!!!! IT WASN’T ENOUGH THAT THE UNEMPLOYED PAYED INTO THIS FUND ALL THERE WORKING DAYS (U HAVE ALL HEARD OF UNEM,PLOYNMENT TAXES) AND SINCE HIS PRESIDENCY U NOW HAVE TO PAY INCOME TAX ON IT….DONT GET ME WRONG, OBAMA IS THE BIGGEST JOKE EVER TO LIVE @a35c6d5f9ba78ac2c5bdfd293b19e1c3:disqus  1600 PA AVENUE (INCLUDING CARTER) BUT I HOPE THAT ALL THE AMERICAN CITIZENS HAVE SEEN IN SPECIFICALLY THESE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS, THAT ‘EVERYONR’ IN CONGRESS OR THE SENATE ARE NOT CONCERNED FOR US OR THE COUNTRY BUT WHO WILL LOOK BEST COME ELECTION TIME, U ALL SHOULD FIND OUT IF U DO NOT ALREADY KNOW, WHO YOUR SENATORS & CONGRESSMEN ARE SO THAT YOU CAN VOTE THEM ALL, EVERY LAST ONE THAT IS THERE TODY, OUT OF OFFICE….IF THEIR OPPONENT IS A BABOON, VOTE FOR IT!!!!!!

  • boba

    tHIS IS PROBABLY TRUE THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY & IT IS A DISGRACE!!!!!! I AM IN NYC ONE OF THE MOST EXPENSIVE PLACES TO LIVE IN THE COUNTRY & REGARDLESS OF THE LENGTH OF TIME UNEMPLOYMENT WAGES RUN, I KNOW OF NO MIDDLE CLASS FAMILY THAT CAN SURVIVE ON THE STATES MAXIMUM PAYMENT OF 405.00 A WEEK….AND THAT I MAY ADD IS TAXED ALL OVER, THANK YOU PRESIDENT REAGAN!!!! IT WASN’T ENOUGH THAT THE UNEMPLOYED PAYED INTO THIS FUND ALL THERE WORKING DAYS (U HAVE ALL HEARD OF UNEM,PLOYNMENT TAXES) AND SINCE HIS PRESIDENCY U NOW HAVE TO PAY INCOME TAX ON IT….DONT GET ME WRONG, OBAMA IS THE BIGGEST JOKE EVER TO LIVE @a35c6d5f9ba78ac2c5bdfd293b19e1c3:disqus  1600 PA AVENUE (INCLUDING CARTER) BUT I HOPE THAT ALL THE AMERICAN CITIZENS HAVE SEEN IN SPECIFICALLY THESE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS, THAT ‘EVERYONR’ IN CONGRESS OR THE SENATE ARE NOT CONCERNED FOR US OR THE COUNTRY BUT WHO WILL LOOK BEST COME ELECTION TIME, U ALL SHOULD FIND OUT IF U DO NOT ALREADY KNOW, WHO YOUR SENATORS & CONGRESSMEN ARE SO THAT YOU CAN VOTE THEM ALL, EVERY LAST ONE THAT IS THERE TODY, OUT OF OFFICE….IF THEIR OPPONENT IS A BABOON, VOTE FOR IT!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/wicasta Wicasta Lovelace

    How many times does one have to be kicked in the teeth before one starts to expect to kicked in the teeth. All these people who are blathering on about how a positive attitude can help your situation clearly hasn’t been in the situation where employers won’t give you the time of day, despite the fact that you’re very well qualified for the position you’re applying for. When your submitting that 100th or 200th or 300th application, your expectations have diminished dramatically, not to mention your self-esteem. The worst part of this tendency of employers to expect applicants to be currently or recently employed is that a lot of skilled labor is basically being squeezed out of the work force. But what most of these companies, and most politicians, don’t understand is that those people don’t just disappear once they are no longer appearing on pie charts somewhere. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ND7TI7L7ECPHTNL4MR2ZM6C3BU Blue Rain

    Get over yourself. People like you who lack compassion are asking for it, frankly. Once YOU fall in a ditch, THEN I’d like to see y’all act like Polyanna and dismiss everyone else’s pain.

  • http://SparksInShadow.wordpress.com

    It might help to take a little course on human psychology before you choose who to hire. Often, the person who seems angry and bitter to a layman, is actually nervous and afraid of failing to get another job because they need it so much. The person who’s calm as a cucumber, could be the one who just doesn’t have it in them to care so much, and wouldn’t care to do the job so well either– but knows that once they’re in, you won’t want to go through the hiring process all over again. Consumers have all met that sort of employee before, and they hurt your company’s business and reputation.

  • Darkmartha

    ….I along with unknown numbers ended up loosing my job to Mexico! This was a decision by an well known AMERICAN corporation to reduce labor cost and increase profits thus their stock went up…but product quality went into the toilet! Now because this became common place with corporations…the whole damn systems down the tubes! Our 2 party political system won’t and can’t do anything because they are only looking to blame one another and jockey for power! Surely, the thought of a fair AMERICAN system has finally been drained from everyones mind. Mayberry was a TV show! Face it, it is and always has been a dog eat dog society but just not this bad…for me..I’m headed into the mountains…and growing dope!

  • Scritchlow1

    I also went back to school to get an undergraduate degree in history at 51 years of age.  I wanted to go back to work and earn a living wage.  I thought the best way to accomplish that goal was to get a college degree.  I am very close to graduation and now Texas is not hiring teachers.  Who would have ever thought that a teacher with a passion to teach would be unable to get a job.  Now everyone tells me switch programs from teaching and go into nursing.  What the heck is a person to do?  I would like to go back to work before I turn 60!  LOL 

  • jude

    My job has also moved overseas. Being laid off is bad enough but to know that it is going to another country is like a kick in the stomach for the American people! The large  corporation’s  get huge tax breaks for what? Just to send our jobs away. How in the world is our economy going to improve. Do we need to move to another country to have a job.

  • Gina L.

    What type of business/company do you have?  Where are the jobs located because I’m willing to relocate. I’ve been unemployed since March 2009.

  • Shorehon

    Not where I work…thank God.

  • http://profiles.google.com/speedracerx808 Ryan Takahashi

    Reagan was one of the presidents that started us into this downward spiral of debt we are in now. Then followed by Carter and both Bush’s. Whether or not you agree with his actions in office, Clinton was the best president in the last 20+ years. He gave us a balanced budget, and a plan to be debt free. If it hadn’t been for the GOP, we wouldn’t be in this fucking mess. Blame the Republicans. You probably only listen to FOX News though, so you wouldn’t know the real reason why the economy is tanking. The debt that Obama caused was due to the actions started by  Bush before he left the office. Again, blame the GOP, they are the ones fucking up the USA. They only care about the rich, they could care less about the middle and lower class. They are ruining everything so that they can blame it on Obama and take the office in the next election. You think it is bad now? Just wait till all you morons elect another Republican into the Oval Office. I don’t care if Obama or the Democrats win, as long as we get rid of the GOP holding the majority, we should be able to start fixing the damages done.

  • Roger Erickson

    Where are you at. I have been out since February 2009 I have several years of customer service and inside claims experience

  • Confused

    I have been out of work since 2009.  I didn’t worry about it too much as my husband works and we live okay on his salary.  So I took time off to do much needed projects around the house and to care for family members when they needed it. I did apply for jobs off and on throughout this time, only for jobs I really wanted and truly met their expectations.  I had a couple of interviews but never go the job.  Now I am really nervous as the projects are over, insurance is an issue and I need to work.  I’m 54, unemployed since 09, my career is in HR and Social Work, both are on the rocks.  Going back to school doesn’t seem the thing to do.  I’ve done a little volunteering and trying some new things but nothing comes from it and it cost money for gas and clothing, etc. 
    I have no answers, looking for them like the rest of you. Good luck and God Bless us all. 

  • Anonymous

    Carter came before Regan, and Clinton came along after GH Bush, and before GW Bush. Clinton also didn’t get much done in terms of the budget until he had a Republican majority in both houses of Congress — and as urged by Dick Morris to move to the middle.

  • guest

    ‘Unemployed need not apply’ ? What?Therefore who can apply? It does not make sense.Why would an employed person look for work?There are plenty of jobs available in North Carolina but unfortunately in this country many candidates do not have the essential Math and Verbal & Writing Skills. So the prospective employers are unable to hire the right candidate.Wake up America ! This is a major problem. It is worse than unemployment or Dow Jones Industrial Average or S & P.We can have baseball, basketball games  or even hot dogs eating contest but if we cannot find the right candidate with the essential Math & Science Skills, it is no use

  • Mike Hunt

    As long as employers discriminate against unemployed applicants I will choose to buy products NOT MADE IN USA whenever possible. 

  • Gall_jon2

    I own a small business and I will never hire the libtarded unemployed degenerates who seek free money from Oh Bum Mao. These far-left scumbags can pass all the laws they want, I’ll hire the unemployed over my dead body. These scumbags can become homeless and starve to death for all I care. These are the people who have destroyed my country through their entitlement programs, steal my money through their entitlement programs and then they have the audacity to attempt to pass laws forcing me to hire them? Over my DEAD BODY!

  • Abc

    you are wrong…   and you KNOW that you are wrong.

  • Solidus608

    money money money wake up the future is not money or paying the bills unless you understand that we need to work to better the society not just the individual they hold you with you being ant social government want the people to fight each other so we don’t change the unjust system think about this taxes and debt working not working whats new we have more laws and less common goals as a people. we need to stop being a consumption civilization and evolve. change the culture and whys we live.

  • Katydid

    Wow, so much hatred in your post Gall_jon2!  
    I am sure you are not Christian because no one would believe that Jesus would ever espouse anything like that.  Watch out for “karma” my friend.  Someday, when horrible circumstances befall you or your family, and you need help, no one will be there for you. 

  • Heather

     I am a young, very conservative girl who has taken time from being employed to care for her aging parents who have the food, the shelter, and the income but not the physical strength to do everything around the house. I have never benefited from a single government program for the unemployed. (On the contrary, I have in the past spent my own income on food, water and clothing for a homeless ministry I served.)

     What do you make of this? If I came to you with a resume that had not been updated in a few years, would you just as soon assume that I was a lazy person come to seek a temporary ride on your income? Would you throw me into the same category? Do you distinguish between persons with deep and true consideration, or do you make this same assumption of every person who has been unemployed for the long term? What about mothers whose former part-time jobs would not support a maternity leave, or those who had to leave due to illness or injury?

    You may say you distinguish, and that may in fact be true, but I have faced many employers who would not distinguish. (It is ironic, but the fact is that they were too *lazy* to take that kind of time to really examine things.) It is never good to see the government forcing employers to hire those who genuinely will hurt a business more than help it, but if some employers had more grace, understanding and the effort to really consider an individual at more than a glance, we would not be facing such a strong push for this kind of law in the first place.

    Sometimes, also, a person who has not worked for a long time makes a much more loyal worker than a person who is continuously hopping from job to job. It really is something that must be examined on an individual basis.

  • Sloane25

    wow, hopefully your business will fail. a lot of the unemployed were great workers that were forced out of jobs as companies collapsed in this economic crisis and were not just lazy bums, hopefully someone will sue your ass for being so pompous and then you can be one of the homeless and starving, reap what u sow…..it’s called Karma….so shocked people can actually think of other people this way is so disturbing.

  • Sloane25

    don’t worry take a class brush up on any needed skills…..computer refresher courses, IT and Medical programs are short and huge needed market……. so you have something to show for and you will be fine. i see a lot of applicants and while many have been out of work for a while it doesn’t matter, what matters is u research the company look well groomed, speak like you are educated and are a doer. you’re your own advocate so you go to that interview and sell yourself and what you can do for that company and they will be saying yes by the end of the interview. stay positive, don’t be ashamed, if you really need work there is always a fast food restaurant, retail store, gas station that needs help and you go in there like a shinning star and could be managing that place in 6 months. it’s all about yr positive vibe and attitude!! believe in yourself and never be afraid or give up from a few no’s.  i hope this helps….good luck to you, don’t be confused!!

  • Boeingflight77

    AMEN to That

  • Mich

    What a loser you are to write such a comment,  I have been unemployed since 09/2011.  Single mom, worked for my company for 13 years while all the geniuses on wall street and the goverment turned a blind eye for decades and created the mess we are in.  They get bailed out with fat cash and at 49 you want me to work at minimum wage or for the yahoo’s who got us into this mess!!!!  Oh, yes I’m sorry im just a comman middle aged women its my fault I caused this mess!!!!  I don’t need any of you I’ll start my own business.  Ignorant talk makes me sick!  If you are an example of the type of employer out there, you can stick it, who the heck would want to work for you EBENEZER!!!!! not this Bob Cratchit!!!  Don’t think you will enjoy those long lovely chains with your friend Jacob Marley!  I will pray for your soul though, I am required to do that by my Lord.

  • http://twitter.com/cpatricia cpatricia

    God help you. Hope you remember this when one day you just might be down on your luck.

  • FSL

    Adrian Cronauer: You are in more dire need of a blowjob than any white man in history.

  • BWS

     Seriously? Can’t you see that 1 in 5 Amercian workers is unemployed or dramatically under-employed because we are in a Depression?? My Grandmother passed away at age 100 years this month. She said this time reminded her exactly of the times she had in the 30s except that now, thanks to unemployment insurance you didn’t have to see people on the streets begging as much. Some people may take handouts and let their skills drop. Most simply don’t know what to do to find a job when folks like you won’t hire over your own dead body. How about investing in your community and expanding your business, mind and heart a bit? And you really don’t care if your neighbors starve? I guess that is why you did not post your business name. Not so proud of yourself, right? I mean, seriously?
     

  • Tom Canavan

    If you want  job help me create it for you, everyone will be eligible. I’ll even give you a house. See The Jobs Mandate.org

  • Tom Canavan
  • http://twitter.com/lloydcata Lloyd Cata

     Willard? WILLARD??? Is that you Mitt Romney?

    Let me tell you something! The only thing the American people are “entitled” to do, CONSTITUTIONALLY, is to overthrow this corrupt and ignorant government….for ‘willful acts’ against the interests of the American people. New World Order, indeed!

    ….and it has been this way long before President Barack Obama. More EXCEPTIONAL IGNORANCE.

  • Nukerab208

    It is people like you who are raping the government so much so that the underclassers have to resort to “entitlement programs” (as you so eloquently put it) in order to not starve/have running water/working electricity. You are the fucking reason our country is in disarray you faschist fuck…. Now why dont you go syphon some more money from your Republican parents

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1118550484 Wm Doe

    To be continued….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1118550484 Wm Doe

    To be continued….

  • http://twitter.com/Scarylarry2012 Citizen Politician

    Tried to get a job with Sleepy’s, when the recruiter saw I was unemployed he actually changed my resume to reflect a false current employer, When I made it clear I wasn’t employed I went from ” your first training class will be next Monday ” to  thanks but you don’t meet our qualifications even though I had previously been in sales over 20 years. 

  • Pipstraw27

     Man..you are funny…lol

  • Pipstraw27

     Totally agree with your comments. Unless you have been unemployed and searching for a job, you can not understand how horrible it is. I have been doing it for 2 years and even though I am pretty tough, how many times can someone get knocked down before they decide not to come back up. Esp. if don’t have any support system like good family or friends.

  • Anonymous

    aww, another bot trying to create the false impression that America lacks math and science skills so you scumbags can justify bringing in millions of cheap workers.

    Scum like you belong in a prison cell.

  • Mike

    I have been out of work/Unemployed since 1/2/2012, shortly after…2/21/2012 I was hit on my bicycle by a hit and run driver who would call the Police Department and report himself. My point , I have had zero income since the accident , my Doctor told me “you Fool, you should have been on Disability a year ago” 2/1/2013 now who’s the fool, the one on TOO MUCH MEDICATION or the docter?. Guess I always thought I was Going Back too Work. Well….. so I applied; they just sent me a Notice that said “sorry, cant help you, you have to have been injured for at least 1 Year Well, I suppose if they had done their Homework they would have realized that this one has been out of workInjured for a lot longer than (1 year) I am a Lead Man Security Officer (VERY,VERY DEDICATED) Wish Me Luck 9/28/2013 the honest truth/Please go figure