note to self - stop writing in cliches!!
This isn't really a full story. Or a short one either. Just a way to get my mind off the fact I'm starting a full-time job tomorrow (!!!)
How many times this cycle had she checked the post? Probably a few hundred times, trying to continually bump it up the queue, hoping someone would give it a glance. That was the problem since the beginning - too much noise, not enough signal.
She sighed and swiped away her carefully formatted text, exposing the current stream of posts vying for attention. She would get a notification once her post had dropped below the 1000th position, reminding her to aggressively push back to the top with view-bots and post-bouncers. It wasn't exactly legal to set up such a program, but they hadn't found her yet - her post frequency wasn't automated and still looked human.
This particular forum she was working on was one that had the most employer involvement. She scanned the posts as they flew by, looking for job postings or employer guides. Work was increasingly hard to come by - the stream of applicants increased every cycle, without a change in the number of jobs available.
[SAFE WORK FOR INTERESTED APPLICANTS - 3 YEARS REQUIRED EXPERIENCE]
[$1700 FOR A 2-DAY JOB - IF YOU DON'T HAVE A PLANETARY PASSPORT DON'T BOTHER APPLYING]
[3 3 1 2 7 8 74 9 - SOLVE CODE FOR APPLICATION]
She continued her search, trying to find that golden nugget in the river of whiny pleas for help and vapid self-promotion. Not that she was any better, of course - you had to post, or risk having your account de-ranked and cast to the Pits of Hell (an aptly named forum for the torturous employers that posted hellish jobs for the desperate).
Pulling up her own profile, she automatically incorporated the subtle changes into her story that the newest guides had recommended. It was a tedious task and there had been no measurable difference in her chances, but she did it anyway. There was nothing to lose.
A notification flashed on her screen: [RETAIL JOBS A-PLENTY! APPLY NOW FOR 10% INSTANT PAY RAISE!]. She pushed it away with disgust. Spam-bots took you off the market for a cycle or two filling out tedious applications, and then promised they would 'get back to you'. She had once wasted about five cycles waiting for a reply, anxious that if she went back to the forums, she would lose her chance. But as soon as she dived back in, another spam-bot was waiting for her anyway.
The notification pulled her back to the present. Her post had fallen to 1053rd place. She fired up her network of bots to help her climb the ranks again.
Back to work.