Friday, April 20, 2007

This goes out to the unemployed slacker in all of us

Today is a very special day for me. Today is Friday, April, 20th, otherwise known as 4/20/07. And what makes this such a special day? This is the last Friday I get to experience as an unemployed slob, for my new job starts on Tuesday.

How come nobody warned me about how energy-sucking and depressing it is to try and find a job? Everybody I talked to made it seem like all I needed was a bomb-ass resume and the rest will take care of itself. WRONG!

As I was leaving the army last September, I was fortunate enough to take a three-day class wherein they taught outgoing soldiers how to write resumes, dress for interviews and respond to interview questions. Sadly, most of those soldiers leaving were infantry guys, which means that they don’t have the frontal lobe capacity to deal with work outside of the military. If you want to use your infantry skills in a non infantry-related job field, you’ve got very limited choices. Basically you can choose to be a cop, (which is what most soldiers go for) or you can be a mercenary, an assassin whose skills can be purchased by anybody with large sums of cash, (ex: Blackwater and Aegis.) Because, when you get down to it, the ability to kick in doors and shoot innocent people only applies to those two jobs. You can’t go to the Gap and put on your application that you can shoot a person through the eye at 200 yards, it just won’t help in the retail business.

I’m a little luckier off. Since I was a journalist and public affairs dude, I have a few more options when it comes civilian employment. Meaning, I can be a journalist at all types of different newspapers. Yet I don’t want to be a journalist. Five years of that, two of which were spent in Iraq, is enough of a journalistic endeavor to last me awhile. I wrote hundreds of stories, took thousands of pictures and interviewed everybody from the lowliest private to the current president of Iraq. Time for a break from that nonsense, I say.

But that cut out a whole bunch of options for me. What kind of writing can I do if it’s not for a newspaper or magazine? (Honestly, I have no clue!)

So, once the money I saved up from Iraq was gone, and I was living, (albeit not in the manner I’m accustomed to) on unemployment, I figured that it was time to hunt for a job.

I spent months looking, (a month and a half really, I guess) for any job that had to do with writing. I networked, I posted my resume on all those job sites, (including Craigslist, possibly the dumbest idea I’ve had since joining the army in the first place. Using Craigslist led to about a million spam emails, all involving working in America for British companies and sending them money for some reason) I talked to people, I made phone calls, I stood on the side of the road with a “Will Write for Food” sign. I did it all.

Let me not bore you with the many, many failures I’ve dealt with. Including the time I thought I was going to be interviewed by a marketing and ad agency, but it turned out that I had to spend the day with some tool, going from business to business in strip malls somewhere in Virginia, trying to sell Papa John’s coupons to the proletariat. That’s right, I enjoyed a day (in what turned out to be the most uncomfortable penny loafers ever created by Satan) as an unwanted, unloved solicitor. I feel even worse for the guy I was observing, he has an MBA and had to do that garbage. I had never felt so lied to in my life. So, in that vein, if any of you are ever in VA, don’t go work for Sky High Marketing, it’s a bunch of bullshit, same goes for Seam Marketing in Baltimore. Don’t thank me, I’m just doing the public service these blogs were intended for.

Eventually I got a job. I’m going to be the entire marketing department for a company that sells waterproof keyboards, (they’re cooler than they sound.) I’ve got to get people excited and interested in waterproof keyboards! Excited yet? They’re keyboards! And they’re waterproof! Sand-proof too! Type rambling manifestoes at the beach! Play Sims online while going over the Niagra Falls! I’m sure there are other things you can do too!

My only regret is that gone are the days of getting up at noon. Gone are the opportunities to drink heavily whenever I feel like it. Gone also are the days spent in front of the t.v. watching naught but cartoons. Hmmm, now that I think about it, that might not be too bad. Sure I lose some freedom, but I will be gaining money. And, if I ever miss those freedoms, I can always just quit. I mean, finding a new job can’t be that difficult, can it?


Anonymous said...


I'm glad I saw your comment on Seam marketing.... I'm getting ready to move to baltimore, and I thought they were legit. Holy Balls! Thanks for posting!

Joshua said...

Glad to be of service. As long as at least one person benefits from my misfortunes, then it was worth it, (or something like that.)