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Adventures Of The Unemployed

Okay, I'm a little removed from the work force. Had been a unrepentant slacker for the longest time. But in these tough economic times, being a slacker is just not feasible. I've had no choice but to pick up my game. Thinking I'm doing the world a tremendous favor by getting off my couch, putting the bong down, and cavalierly dropping off a couple of resumes a day...those days is over! I mean, I'm sorry, but it is just supremely tough out there. I tend to believe the econonmist that say "unemployment isn't really down, it's the number of people that have given up looking for a job is way up--that's what's skewing the numbers."

This week, my job search hit such a prodigiously low bottom, I'll just try to make light of it all, like it's a bad comedy, or a black comedy, or maybe it's not funny at all, maybe it's just pathetic. When I first started on this diabolical mission to find a job, my mind was in a delusional state. I hadn't worked for awhile, and all I thought I'd do was re-do my resume, slap on some makeup, recover that old business suit stuffed in the deep recesses of the closet, schmooze, and voila! A laid-back job that paid disproportionately well would bequeath itself to moi! Okay, now that didn't happen. So should I quell the fantasy of a job with the company car, and the three hour lunches, as long as I make my quota? Yep, kind of think so. Not too many responses. So then I thought: "Okay, what if I had to actually work a little harder than anticipated and make, well, not much, but enough to get by?" Still delusional. Not even a bite. Then, "okay, alright, so I can't find a salesjob, jeez, must I go back to waitressing or do retail? Shall I deign to do such lowly work at my elderly age?" Still feeling audaciously cocky. One last ditch effort of thinking I still got it going on...And ladies and gentlemen: Still nada. So we get to this week.

I saw a job on Craigs List "GraveYard Slot Attendant wanted at a Indian Casino. Must be able to be around smoke, carry 25 pounds, and be on feet for long periods of time." And I thought: "Now who in the hell would want to do that? I betcha there wouldn't be much competition there." Mind you, I had just recieved an email from a gift shop saying, "I'm sorry we can't consider you for this job, we had 287 applicants." Really? For a fifteen-hour a week minimum wage job?

So you can see I had somewhat gotten with the program on just how intractably tough the competition was out there. I was desperate. I wanted to make sure that from now on, I'd somewhat alleviate the competition by willing to do jobs that very few people would be willing to do. The casino was a long drive and I started thinking about how prohibitely high gas is, but kept driving, determined to get the job. I dressed in nice attire, was friendly and chatty, the HR women looking at me queerly, wondering why on earth a woman in a business suit would be applying for this job...because I'm desperate and hello! OLD. Although fifty-two is not that old, 'cept in this job market it's reptillian. I know they have some criminal records database they can access immediately, 'cause they went from real accomodating to breathtakingly rude in a total of ten minutes flat...Damn! Found those two DUI's of mine. Yeah. Part of my bad attitude and not working was because of the alcohol. I've been sober for two years and go to AA but that don't mean a thing to big corporations. I understand. So, then I thought, "well, I guess, I should try and find a job where they don't do background checks". Seriously. I just need money. All arrogant delusions washed away, (probably an excellent way to learn humility), I apply to the grisly dirty spoon in the hood. I went to train today. The crusty waitress with the dirty apron asked me if I had ever worked in a coffee shop. I told her yes, because it is positively true. She was pleased. Until she saw me carry three plates instead of five..she went from "Oh, I'm so glad we found you..." to by the end of the two hours, "we'll call you if we need you," said in a clipped and distracted way...as if she had already moved on to the next applicant in her mind.   
mariaweeks mariaweeks 46-50, F Sep 22, 2012

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