Overrated Asheville: Job search in this town will break a person

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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helpwantedAnother thread from Reddit Asheville in the ongoing discussion about Asheville being named one of “10 Terribly Overrated Destinations” by a Huffington Post writer. This Reddit poster notes just how hard it is to live in Asheville, a tourist town with few good-paying jobs:

I feel your pain. I’m online all day looking for work and there is nothing out there but shitty, low-paying service jobs. I don’t know how they expect people to pay their bills and feed their families when they don’t want to pay anything. What really kills me is these adds on Craigslist that list multiple job duties and then when you get to the bottom of the list, they want to pay you $8.00 an hour. Are you kidding me? I’m supposed to know ten different pieces of software, kiss your customers asses and “look professional” for $8.00 an hour? Sorry for ranting, but this town will break a person.

Image link for help wanted.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Karen August 15, 2013

    Agreed! The job market is rough here.

    J.Crew is currently hiring for 1st and 2nd shift Warehouse positions. Starts at $9.50/hr-1st shift, $10.00/hr-2nd shift $11.40/hour-Powered Industrial Equipment. Steady work, awesome medical/dental/vision and 25 days of PTO a year after 90 days!

  2. James April 19, 2013

    My wife and I have lived in Asheville twice- once in the late 80’s and early 90’s when downtown was dead ( Mall Mart had just opened) and most recently since 2005- I run a “service” company that does pay well- both here and all counties west (part-time jobs that pay 22,000 with benefits and full-time jobs that pay 75,000 plus) You would be amazed at the trouble I have had keeping good employee’s – and in many cases- getting them to come to work each day… great town but very poor workforce in many regards…sad to say.

  3. indie April 15, 2013

    Many employers also require employees to know the difference between adds and ads.

    1. Smytty April 15, 2013

      /snerk snerk

  4. Mountaingoat April 14, 2013

    And people wonder why are there so many homeless in AVL…
    85 percent of homeless folks in AVL come from Buncombe County and surrounding mountain counties. We need more industry.

    1. Big Al April 14, 2013

      I do not disagree with you on industry, but CoA would rather build pretty roundabouts that trucks cannot negotiate than attract factories that build (evil) consumer products and enrich (evil) capitalist entrpreneurs. Of course factories producing beer(not so evil) for profit-sharing (yeah, right) entrepreneurs is acceptable.

      Where do you get the 85% number? Is that an actual statistic, or are tyou just assigning a number to your anecdotal experience and observation?

      I presonally believe that at least half or more of Asheville’s homeless are NOT locals, but out-of-towners who either a) heard that CoA government is more sympathetic to the down-trodden (they aren’t, they just talk a good game), or b) came here with nothing as youth expecting a utopian land of plenty (see above post) and ended up stuck here unable to afford a living OR a way out to somewhere with more opportunities.

      Not to mention the opportunities for panhandling and busking (which is often just panhandling pretending to be entertainment) that occur with so many tourists beating the pavement with their vacation cash. Other big cities that are not as walkable don’t have this problem when people spend more time shut up in their cars between attractions.

      1. Mountaingoat April 17, 2013

        I got that stat from the COA Homeless Initiative. It is so much easier to believe “they are not from around here”. Imagine being born into poverty and how desperately hard it could be to break out of it, anywhere. Now imagine, born into poverty, in WNC, how many options would there be? Yes, there are many, many factors that lead to homelessness…one eye opening stat I have heard is that over 50 percent of folks attending AHope (day shelter) report being a foster child. Rocked my world….

    2. Sean April 15, 2013

      I tend to agree with Big Al, although I think his “half” estimate is a pretty conservative one. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times…Asheville does not have a homeless problem; Asheville has a transient problem.

      The myth that many perpetuate around these parts is that Asheville’s “downtrodden” were productive members of society that fell on hard times, or suffer from mental illness. While there are such cases, they are getting more rare. Homeward Bound’s recent proclamation of “reducing homelessness is Asheville by 83%” in the ACT a few weeks ago was the most egregious case of self-serving propaganda I have seen in a while. Anyone that deals with this population on a daily basis around here sees right through that BS and recognizes that folks are showing up here daily from other parts of the U.S. And, to quote many of them, “We came here because we heard it’s easy to be homeless here. They give you apartments.”

      1. Big Al April 15, 2013

        Wow. I did not expect confirmation, I expected the usual reactionary bleating of “uncaring fascist, etc.” In what capacity do you deal with this population on a daily basis? I would like to know more from an insider’s perspective.

      2. indie April 15, 2013

        Homeward Bound does a great job, especially their program to get people into permanent housing. No apartments are given to anyone.

        You must realize how difficult it is to count homeless/transient folks and compile statistics. I’m sure their numbers are wrong, but probably more accurate than your impressions.

  5. Big Al April 12, 2013

    Young hipsters: DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE!

    Asheville is touted as a utopia of beer, pot and jam sessions and a “progressive” commune-ity that wants to share peace, free love and simple living.

    The fact is that unless you are a lawyer, medical professional or real estate agent, you get to wait tables for less than minimum wage, housing is both expensive and sub-standard, and all of that vegan health food from the co-op costs more than the “evil capitalist” grocery stores. Oh, and nobody gives away free beer or pot, and there is no “cover charge fairy” to let you in to the jams.

    You pay to play in Asheville, just like everywhere else, only you pay MORE and make LESS.

    And all of you Woody Guthrie wannabees need to stay where you are, we already have a glut of talentless, semi-homeless troubadors clogging the sidewalks.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love it here, but I had a good job lined up before I arrived and harbored no misconceptions anout Utopia.

  6. cranky April 12, 2013

    wait there are jobs here?

  7. Julia April 12, 2013

    I have been unemployed for 16 months now. I have submitted hundreds of resumes, had multitudes of phone interviews, dozens of in person interviews, and many second interviews – nothing. I am a 46 year old single mother with 25+ years experience in administrative/office work. I have lived in Asheville my entire life and for the first time ever, I am seriously considering having to leave. Very sad.

  8. Hugh Janus April 11, 2013

    My butt hurts from sitting so much at sitel

    1. Adam April 13, 2013

      In my 36 years, Sitel was without a doubt, hands-down, the absolute worst job I’ve ever held. I was working for the Citizens Bank client, and I had an elderly woman tell me that she “hoped I got cancer and died”.

  9. Jason W. April 11, 2013

    If you can’t find decent work here, maybe you should consider creating your own job. If you really want to stay in Asheville, you’ll figure out how to do it.

    1. Orbit DVD April 11, 2013

      I agree. I worked less than desirable jobs for years before I opened Orbit. Life’s a long road.

  10. NFB April 11, 2013

    There is nothing new here — Asheville has been a low wage high rent town that has been a playground for the wealthy tourist pretty much since it was founded. Its college educated move on to greener pastures and those seeking to find themselves take their place thinking they have found their Shangrala before reality gives them a quick and painful kick in the arse out the door. Don’t expect that to change as this system continues to be a boon for the powers that be in this town.

    Speaking of which, it is interesting to note how the Chamber of Commerce and its cheerleades at the Citizen-Times always give heaps of attention whenever Asheville makes some obscure, meaningless list like “Top 20 Cities to Retire To” or “Top 10 Towns for Underwater Basket Weaving” yet this list from Huffington Post is met by the sound of crickets.

    Go figure.

    1. indie April 15, 2013

      Did you read the article? There are things one might not like about Asheville, but complaining about the congestion indicates either the writer has never actually been here, was trying to concoct some negatives and was struggling or is just out and out clueless.

  11. hauntedheadnc April 11, 2013

    The fun part is, though, should anyone attempt to attract a major employer who might actually pay a decent wage, the NIMBY’s stop sniffing glue (or whatever the hell it is they do all day), mass, and protest. Nothing must ever change — ever! — because I didn’t move here from (pick one: Atlanta/Charlotte/Florida/Raleigh/other) just so someone could ruin MY Asheville with a giant (pick one: factory/brewery/skyscraper/other)!! Citizens Against Virtually Everything will be holding an informational meeting on how to stop this terrible travesty tonight in some coffee shop or bar or another.

    1. Laura April 11, 2013

      Ha ha – you’re exactly right!! And the real funny thing is that 45 minutes down the mountain in the Foothills, we’re loaded with factories and they haven’t “ruined our towns” one bit. With all the overtime we’re working, we’re making a tidy sum. If people start leaving Asheville in droves to find employment, Asheville might wake up one day. I guess there’s a reason Google came to Lenior, Apple came to Maiden and Facebook came to Rutherfordton, and NOT Asheville.

  12. Kenny L. April 11, 2013

    It’s sad and true.
    I lost my fairly decent job a few weeks ago and have been looking earnestly for work to float me in the meantime until I decide if I need to relocate to continue working in my career field.

    I’ve had a few interviews this week, most of them retail or pandering to the tourist trade in some other fashion or manner. All of them are part-time 15-20hrs a week, pay between $7.50-$8/hr, and have asked me for anywhere between 6 months to a year commitment. It’s insane what people go through here to work in this town, and the cost of living is far too high to make ends meet.

    Heaven knows what will become of this town’s workforce once Raleigh legislatures put their drug test requirements into place for social programs like medicaid & food-stamps. With all the pot folks smoke around here they won’t be able to keep living here on part-time crappy jobs without their social welfare.


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