Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Job That Ate My Brain

Searching for a job can be a disheartening experience, especially if, like me, you can't actually do anything. With no qualifications, you are limited to the standard range of unpleasant-sounding jobs, from customer service to labouring to chicken boning (although I do like the concise frankness of "labouring"). It's even more frustrating if, like me, you are in the process of achieving a qualification that will (hopefully) ensure that you never have to service or bone anybody ever again, unless you really like them. So, yes, there is an element of snobbery involved: "Chicken boning? I'll have you know I'm a third year undergraduate who can use the word 'flocculent' in a sentence. How dare you suggest I waste my precious time investigating the insides of deceased fowl?"

The language used in job advertisements does not help. As a rule, any ad that features multiple dollar signs, extensive capitalisation, and the promise of riches beyond your wildest dreams is to be avoided. While it might be nice to have "$$$ 4 XMAS!!!", chances are the job will involve traipsing around dodgy neighbourhoods, knocking on people's doors, and trying to convince them not only to buy whatever crap it is you're selling, but to please, please, lower that shotgun and call off the dog. Likewise any ad asserting that you'll be joining a "crazy team of wacky funsters" (or similar) who "play as hard as they work" should be dissolved with acid before you have the chance to even consider applying. Unless, that is, you find appealing the idea of working with a bunch of irritating extroverts, alpha males and narcissists, in an highly competitive environment where the only concessions to "play" are a Coke machine and a tattered pool table that it would be bad form to actually use.

Then there's the frequent non-correlation of employer/employee expectations. You want a brainless, easy-to-learn job that will pay the bills until something better comes along. Your prospective employer, on the other hand, wants somebody who will devote heart and soul to the chicken boning trade, and maybe even take on some sort of traineeship and rise the giddy heights of Junior Assistant to the Assistant Manager (Chicken Boning Division). The only solution is to lie. Yes, you tell Mr Boner in your interview, boning chickens has long been my dream, and now I wish to make it a reality. Although I am only months away from finishing my PhD in aeronautics, I am willing to forego that qualification and sign on to your exploitative in-house training programme. In short, Mr Boner, I offer you my soul. Now, allow me to sign the contract. What's that, you don't have a pen? Well, never mind, I believe my own blood will work just as well...

Luckily, in a couple of years I'll be done studying and ready to begin my career. Until then, all I have to do is go without food and shelter. Sure, I could get a job, but frankly it all seems too much like hard work.

1 comment:

Ionic said...

Hey its not that bad, I once saw a guy in the Dominican Republic whose job was to suck the shit out of live chickens. I shit you not. Official title:
Chicken shit sucker.

Remember that everything worthwhile in puny human lives takes at least five years. So commit to doing something for five.