By now, most of you are familiar with my job search, tentatively titled "If it's this hard for ME to get a job, ya'll are screwed!" For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, well, I've been looking for a job that will provide a living wage ever since I decided to leave journalism and the ulcers, night sweats and random screams of emotional anguish and mental exhaustion that came with it.
I figured, hey, you know, a guy who graduated fourth in his college class, with a front-page Washington Post story about industry-changing innovations he made and killer references that include a Pulitzer Prize finalist might be able to catch on with an entry-level job at a small publishing house, or talk his way into a writing gig for a Web site, or stumble into some kind of office job somewhere. Especially when he files with eight local temporary agencies, and applies to everyone from corporations looking for marketing professionals and technical writers, to smaller companies needing a communications specialist, to organizations looking to get their message across in a Web-friendly manner, to those small publishing houses, to those Web sites, to those offices, to every book store in town, to retail stores, to ... well, you get the picture.
Since February, I haven't found a single job that will pay me enough to live on. Not one. I've found jobs, all right, but $9 an hour doesn't cut it if, say, you have student loan debt and want to avoid bankruptcy. I hear having no credit for seven years is not fun ... it's sort of like the modern equivalent of some kind of Medieval punishment that requires you to serve seven years on a ship at sea, or seven years on Elba, or some such. If we're going to have credit wipeout for bankruptcy, why don't we bring back debtor's prison? It's just as well, considering that walking around without credit in today's capitalism-gone-mad economy is just as useful as a dead ox at harvest. Or some other folksy agrarian corollary I can't quite think of right now.
OK, so enough public bellyaching. I could be worse off. I could be getting blown up in Iraq for no good reason, or getting sent there for the umpteenth time by some power-obsessed administration, or I could be one of Michael Vick's dogs.
But, really, I never did figure that things would get this bad.