nice work if you can get it

Although I’m not in crisis mode any more, financially speaking, I would still like to find a…and I forget what they’re called…that’s right–a job. But it’s proven a bit daunting.

A while back, I was quarter-heartedly looking for a soul-sucking, mind-numbing underpaid office job with no benefits, and though I  emailed over two hundred resumes,I got exactly zero responses. Admittedly, my resume is a bit thin. I’m fifty-one and have worked exactly three real jobs, totalling maybe five years in the ‘real’ world. The kids on ” Real World” actually have better job prospects than I do.

Combine my scant experience with the fact that I can only take jobs I can do sitting down due to my mysterious hip/knee/leg enfeeblement, and the fact that (though I’m no expert) the economy seems to be…less than booming, making my job prospects about as good as those of a Republican running for mayor of Chicago.

Friends suggested I pad my resume. Get creative they say, which in my case would essentially be making shit up.  So I tried to think of things that couldn’t be checked on easily.

2001-2006         Missionary Work             Ulan Bator, Mongolia

Some people have said “But what about your years of work as a comedian? There must be a way to use those skills in the workplace.” Yet oddly enough, very few companies seem to need someone who’s good at mocking authority and insulting drunks.

Still others have said I should emphasize my life experiences. I’m just not sure that in my case that constitutes a marketable ‘skill set.’


  • watched television
  • developed contacts in the marijuana industry
  • gained proficiency at moving, especially on short notice

The other bit of advice I got was to not limit myself. Instead of applying for only those jobs for which I think I’m qualified, cast a wider net and apply for anything. “You can learn on the job” , they’d say. “Any job will train you if they like you.“ I must admit this was kinda fun. Just to see how far into the process I could go applying for a job as, say, a radiologist, or senior hydraulics engineer. Or, from a Craigslist posting on August 19th–

“Yes, I’m interested in the position of regional osteo biologics specialist. Now I think I’m pretty familiar with with the whole osteo biologics thing–did a little googling–just wondering…what region are we dealing with here? This is some sort of bone thing, right? Hello? …Hello?”

I’ve actually seen job listings on Craigslist for doctors. How many bridges have you burned as a doctor if you’re looking for work on a free ad site? Is that the standard career path for physicians? But the problem with looking for work on Craigslist is that Craigslist has all these other categories that suck you in and you never get to the job listings.

Craigslist is like this primordial soup of human randomness, neatly categorized. ‘Lost and Found’ is a great example–there are actually ads where people are saying they lost a wallet–and believe that someone will actually see the ad, and return the wallet! People who lost–other people! “Yeah, I think I found your cousin Ed–you wanna meet somewhere so I can return him?”

But my favorite is in the ‘For Sale’ category under the heading ‘Free.’ People giving away gerbils. Toilets. Yarn. A fifteen foot live birch tree. It’s the cyber equivalent of throwing shit in the alley.

Someone actually posted an ad offering a goat. This begs so many questions. Why does someone in Minneapolis have a goat? If someone in Minneapolis has a goat, they obviously didn’t get it ACCIDENTALLY, so why don’t they want it anymore? What’s wrong with the goat? And if someone needed a goat, would the first place they checked be Craigslist?

Anyway, if anyone knows some place that’s hiring middle-aged pot-heads who can type a little, let me know. I’m willing to relocate.