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Wednesday, September 26, 2007


This is another story from the dusty (cough) caverns of yesterday. I composed it in a time of suffering because, at that time, my journalistic endeavors were not panning out. Later that would all change. I put it on the blog so we could all be reminded of those pitiful days of unemployment. And forgive the first paragraph--it did not want to fall in line with the rest of the column

For reason's unknown I can share many a tale about the horrific pains associated with pounding the pavement looking for a job. I've been downsized, upsized and criticized. Still after all the hassle with the nitwits who hire the likes of myself, there are precious few jobs to satisfy my thirst for capitalistic gain.

There are two areas of the classifieds in my local newspaper that create disturbing thoughts of chaos and madness deep within my soul, the Help Wanted and the Mate Wanted section. I consider both to be for the down-and-out.

The sweetheart ads, as I see it, are for those who can't live without an annoying, nagging, room temperature body hanging around complaining about everything you do, say and think. Meanwhile the Help Wanted ads are also for those who can't live without an annoying, nagging, room temperature body hanging around complaining about everything you do, say and think.

Understand my dilemma, I really do want to be gainfully employed, but stopping white collar businessmen on the streets with the old "Buddy can you spare a job," routine is a unbecoming to my staunch Scandinavian heritage work ethic.

So instead, I awake every morning, convince myself it is advantageous to leave the safe haven from underneath my nice cozy down-filled quilt. Then begins the journey to jump-start my life. The coffee pot must be activated which requires me to first walk outside, grab my soggy newspaper, conveniently tossed under the lawn sprinklers, consume a mandatory 12 cups of coffee in order to bring my energy level to a somewhat higher point than the rigor mortis that claimed my body overnight. Then and then only do I dare turn to the Help Wanted Section.

For the sake of good mental stability and to show mercy towards my delicate psyche, I choose a maximum of three businesses per day from the ads and grant them complete permission to work me over by telling me I don't qualify because they need a stiff who can speak seven languages, operate heavy equipment, answer the phone and have the uncanny ability to understand 32 computer programs, be under 40, willing to work for $6,25 an hour and provide their own desk.

Okay, now this is my simple philosophy on job seeking, " Attempting to prove ones worthiness to consume precious oxygen in front of a nit wit potential employer, who really cares less if you can fulfill the above requirements, but has a job that pays substantial money if you can whistle Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Don Giovanni Overture backwards, is a one way ticket to neuroses." Stay away from such.

It is a documented fact that if you fill out more than three job applications per day, your mental health will deteriorate to a level where drooling and hallucinations may occur. I recall reading that 64 percent of people who attended four or more interviews a day had a high tendency of postal transformation. Foraging for the elusive splendid job is bad mental hygiene.

One secret I discovered--nobody is straightforward about the job you are expected to perform after applying for your wonderful new livelihood. If you are unfortunate enough to be searching for a job then cut out the following paragraphs and keep it posted on the fridge for a reference.

Below is a guide for employment opportunities:

Advertising executive means hanging fliers on doors of possible voters for the party of your choice. Drivers wanted means taking your car and running off your 100, 000 mile warranty, using up all your gas and likely bouncing up your insurance premiums, in order to feed couch potatoes all across your community. Customer relations means greeting folks at Wal Mart while handing out shopping carts to grouchy seniors and placing smiley face stickers on deranged children.

Sales jobs. Potential to make $15,000 a month is the same category as a protozoa life substance from Uranus launching into orbit only to crash through your living room window. Entertainment means nude dancing, psychic hot line jibber-jabbering or worse yet, sex line chats for some rapid breathing, unshaven low-life.

As I wind down the list of horrific jobs, we arrive at the telemarketer. Why in God's name (which is mighty) would I want a job doing what I wish my phone had a strangle button for. Many a time, a double flip and half twist was performed trying to get to the phone as quick as possible because that illusive job offer was beckoning me to the phone. Odds were three million to one that the dream job would appear, so with bated breath the receiver lifted slowly from the cradle only to hear some remedial reading student slowly parrot 25 lines off an index card and finally break his or her monotone voice asking, "Now doesn't that sound like a great deal."

"Zzzz, snore, huh, wha', sure I'll take a dozen. Good bye. Click."

This I pray Dear Lord

Please help writers avoid day jobs. Allow us to sit at Starbucks all morning and observe the yuppies come down out of the hills for their ritualistic feeding. Give us each day our daily hob-nob with the colorful locals at the corner cafe. Let us thus hear the tales of life which so enriches our imagination. Grant us free time every night to snuggle up in big overstuffed chairs and read novels that makes of envious of the writer.

For more inspiration I pray.



camojack said...

I've been fortunate in having been gainfully employed by the "Military-Industrial Complex" for nigh on 23 years now, with only one sabbatical (layoff) of 15½ months from April '96 to July '97.

But I've got a funny (to me, at least) story about a time before then when I was applying for a particular job; if you're interested, email me for the details...

Barb said...

I'm going to print this our for my son. He made the terrible mistake of being born a white male ,working his way through college to be awarde a Safety Degree the same year President Reagon got rid of OSHA.
He doesn't drink or do drugs(a very big no-no these days, I mean, they would love to rehabilitate him ).
He is hardworking,on time ,will gladly work overtime, but he is not a 25 year old woman with a cute butt and two illegitmate children.
He has had three jobs sold out from under him,"Sorry Charley,your unemployment ins. will last 6 months,lucky you!!."
Now I'm really glad I retired when I was 19.

Barb said...

It's always easy to tell someone what they shouldhave done.

You should have gone into Human Resources,and been the one who got to hire and fire everyone else.

Ms RightWing's Ink said...


It is sort of funny. I hated to toss the old column in the trash and it took a little editing to remove all the California places and names as that would make it irrelevant to the readers--but, as usual it has sparked memories for others and/or as in your case, reminds you of what your son is going through.

After I turned fifty, it was go bto chef school or never find a job. Luckily there are not many minorities to fight for a job when you are a chef. Still finding and keeping a job as a pastry chef is not easy, so I started my own restaurant. Then that nasty MS attacked me.

I don't look back and see loss, but only gain. When I wrote this, times were rough but soon my patience paid off and by writing and speaking I soon earned big money.

Nothing was ever handed to me and I had to dig my out of debt and pay my way through college in my mid-40's. Am I better for it? Heck I don't have a clue

Barb said...

Hey ,if you were much better ,we wouldn't be able to stand you ,you're just right the way you are.
As it worked out for my son ,it was a good thing ,because he has always been able to spend time with his kids. His wife has a much better paying job ,but it is also very time consuming.
And I always figure any knowledge gained is a huge plus.

Ms RightWing's Ink said...


I am waiting with bated breath!

camojack said...

Ms RightWing:
Did you email me yet?

Maggie said...

Shelly...This story is absolutely hysterical....a keeper.
Loved the Walmart public relations.

Beerme said...

This column is right on time! Due to our lying, tax-starved Governess, I have been hit with a temporary layoff. Hope it doesn't last too long but I also don't want the Republican congress to give in and raise taxes. What a dilemma!

Hawkeye® said...

I have the dubious distinction of having been unemployed only twice in my life and for a very short period of time. I say dubious because, after 35 years of continuous employment... I could really use a break. Besides that, a full-time job with OT and Saturdays really eats into my blogging time. Retirement, oh sweet retirement, wherefore art thou retirement?

Best regards...