A Not-So-Happy Labor Day

Posted by OrdinaryJoe - August 27, 2014 - Features, Jobs, Writing - 1 Comment
B.C. Lorio / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Labor Day is just around the corner, but I’m not overjoyed.

For the past few months, I have heard one news story after another that prosperity is just ’round the corner. Jobs are being created again, and the stock market is booming. Anytime now, I expect politicians and economists will be singing “Happy Days Are Here Again” and “Celebration” on the nightly news.

Unfortunately, in my side of town, prosperity is like Dorothy’s Oz–somewhere over the rainbow.

For the longest time, I have been looking for a decent job. I will admit I am picky as a job hunter because I want the type of job my father and grandfather had–that is, a stable middle class job with paid vacations and a pension.

I don’t get excited seeing job opportunities in my e-mail box from companies that are scams from the get-go. Believe me, no one is going to get rich stuffing envelopes and drop shipping goods for fly-by-night corporations based in Nigeria or the Bahamas. And many firms advertising on the Web are nothing more than glorified pyramid scheme outfits looking for unemployed suckers.

Nor do I get excited over jobs that are constantly advertised in the newspapers, job fairs, and the Internet. I know right away most of them have lousy pay, no benefits, awful supervisors, and terrible working conditions. If they were “good” jobs, they would have been quickly filled through the grapevine. For instance, a relative of mine got a job at Ford (which seldom if ever advertises in the classifieds in Louisville) because he dated a girl whose mother who was a Ford bigwig.

And I can’t imagining myself spending the rest of my life working at a fast food restaurant. Not only am I slower than a handicapped millipede, I don’t particularly want to associate with pimply-faced, surly teenagers and jowly faced, surly customers. Much sooner than later I will go nuts getting a meager paycheck while repetitively saying, “You want fries with that?”

Right now, I am trying to reinvent myself as a writer. I know the odds against me making a decent living from my literary masterpieces because there are hordes of talented but starving writers. And maybe I might want to do something else should it come my way.

But I am following the old adage of “do what you love (or at least like), the money will follow.” I have enjoyed writing ever since I got acclaim from teachers in seventh grade for writing a haiku about the environment.

And not only I am keeping myself busy, I have something to put down on my resume. The dreaded “unemployment gap” is as big of a cardinal sin for a jobseeker as a stint in the state penitentiary.

Maybe I will someday find success as a writer. If not, that’s life. I have changed careers so many times in my I won’t be disappointed for I have become the archetypical “jack–more accurately, jackass–of all trades but master of none”.

Joe’s Maybe Memorable Quote of the Day

You have made it in society when you can always eat steak and lobster with your daily bread.

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