No Steinbeck, But Sometimes I Feel Like A Joad
while ago after a reality-check conversation with a friend of mine I started
job-hunting anew. Instead of my never-ending quest for yet another admin job I
decided to just get any job. First I went to a local store of a coffee shop
chain and talked to a really nice manager lady who had me fill out an
application and promised to forward it on to the person doing the hiring for the
whole area. The bad news was that this particular store (in my city) was in fact
Okay so not an especially auspicious beginning but still I felt positive.
I mean filling out that application did get me out of the house. All this
Internet job-search stuff was starting to get to me. Buoyed up by what had been
a generally positive experience I decided to try my luck at a recently opened
restaurant. After driving around the block twice before I could find a place to
park, I screwed up my courage and went into the restaurant.
Walking through the door of the restaurant I glanced around at the
set-up. The hostess desk was empty so I headed over to the bar. The bartender
was busy and so I turned to a girl who was leaning against the bar in a waitress
uniform. I plastered on my smile and asked, ďAre you guys hiring?Ē This girl
looks at me with this totally sullen expression on her face and says, ďIím
not the manager.Ē So I asked her who was the manager and she pointed him out.
ďWhat the hell,Ē I thought. So went up to the manager and told him
that I had come here looking for a job and that this snooty little brat was
totally bitchy to me and in addition she appeared to be a little slow. The
manager was so upset by her behavior that he fired her on the spot and hired me
to take her place.
Okay, thatís a lie. I asked about a job, he told me that they werenít
hiring and I slunk away to my car. You have to admit that the other way does
make a better story. Once again defeated, I began to think that maybe this whole
Internet job hunt thing wasnít so bad after all.
This experience made me think about something else Iíve noticed, both
on the message boards and in real life. People with jobs donít seem to like
those of us who donít have them. Maybe it isnít dislike as much as a desire
to distance themselves from us. If they looked at me and saw someone who was
like them, who for no real reason other than bad luck was unemployed, they would
have to admit it could happen to them.
understand why we make some people nervous, but do they have to be so bitter to
us? Sometimes I get treated like
they think I have SARS or some other hideously communicable disease.
How dare I be unemployed? Oh my gosh, that just ruined their perfect day.
After all, who wants to deal with the hoi polloi?