. . .And Get a Real Job

Chaos in Print

So, September is upon us. And, unlike so many summers past, I am not returning to school. Nope, I am now a university graduate, with B.SC.’s in Math and Physics. It is now up to me to get a job and join the rat race! But, this is my only problem. I don’t want a job. I’m just having too much fun laying on the couch, watching cartoons, and writing this column. But, I’m fully aware that this society frowns upon welfare bums, so I guess I’d better start finding a job soon.

I’ve fully established what the only thing keeping me from getting a job is. See, the average person’s life plan goes something like this:

School -> Lifetime at job that is only marginally liked in order to get by -> Retirement

But, this is my life plan:

School -> Retirement

I’m missing that all important middle step. And I’m starting to find out that not having a job means you get miss out on certain things in life. Like a DVD player. Or a car. Or a new computer. Or the Batman Beyond soundtrack. Or a relatively debt-free existence. So, like so many people before me, it is time to sell out my values and get a job. But what kind of job?

I had this teacher in junior high who once said that before you know who you are, you have to find out what you are not. I’m still trying to figure out if those truly are words of wisdom or rhetorical nonsense. But, let’s say for the moment that those were words of wisdom. I have spent pretty much a whole summer figuring out what I am not. So, here’s the list. I am not. . .

A teacher – Many people have told me in the past that I would be pretty good at this, but I am not so sure. The fact is, I just don’t have the patience for it. Sure, I can give out 10 minutes worth of advice to point someone in the right direction. But if I were doing it all day, I know that around lunchtime I would be screaming “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!! IT’S SO SIMPLE!!” So, no to this.

A police officer – I flirted with this idea when I was close to graduating from high school, but too many people told me that I didn’t fit their idea of a cop. So, no to this.

A leader – In elementary school, I was made captain of the school patrol, and I turned into a little dictator. In college, I was leading a protest campaign against a highly unpopular choice for Students’ Union President, but I caved under the pressure. I could probably do this, but I need a hell of a lot more practice.

A soldier – Come on, face it! I wouldn’t survive boot camp.

A burger-flipper – I didn’t go through university to say “Would you like fries with that?” I don’t care how many careers were started at McDonald’s, this just isn’t me.

A laborer in a gravel pit – I did this for a summer 2 years ago, and hated every minute of it. I was getting a few offers to go back to it, and I was so close to doing so. But, I couldn’t. I just don’t like it that much.

Well, that’s pretty much what I am not. So then, what am I? A question many a person has asked as they looked up at the stars. Well, I am still not to sure as to what I am, but I do know what kind of jobs I wouldn’t mind having. Here’s a list of them:

A letter carrier – You know, a mail man. It just a certain simplicity that appeals to me.

A DJ – I did host the #1 radio show at Augustana University College for 3 years. Many people have told me I had a knack for it. My only problem with going pro is being faced with “selling out,” something I am not to eager to do.

An engineer – Not a guy who builds bridges, but a guy who drives trains. I’ve always liked traveling, and this job has more of an allure than truck driver. It’s something I’ve been infatuated with since childhood, so it would be neat to see one of my childhood dreams come true.

A park ranger – I’ve always liked the outdoors, and this is not as intense as a law enforcement officer. I might be able to pull off doing this a little easier than being a cop.

A politician – Oh, come on. How many politicians are leaders?

A video store clerk – What can I say? I love movies and this has a little more appeal than flipping burgers.

A movie theater projectionist – Why settle for being a clerk in a video store when I could do something similar on a grander scale? Who knows? Theater managers might be impressed with my Physics degree and say “Hey! If this thing breaks down, he can fix it!” Plus, I get to watch movies all night. I like it.

A film-maker – See a trend developing? Why just watch movies when I could be making them? Besides, I’ve got tons of ideas circling around in my head. And who hasn’t dreamed of seeing their name up there on the silver screen? All my idols are film-makers. Dare the dream!

This next one is the one that has suddenly gotten a certain degree of appeal for me:

A writer – I am really starting to like doing my silly little columns. All summer, I’ve been toying with writing a book. Enough people are telling me that I’m good enough. All those ideas I have for movie could easily be turned into novels, and I wouldn’t be faced with budget constraints. I could travel, too! Get myself a laptop, and one day I could be writing from beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and then Central Park in New York City, and then at the world’s first McDonald’s in Los Angeles!

Well, then. My course is clear. If I got the job at the video store, that would probably be enough to keep me alive, and get enough time to write. I know I just can’t jump into this. Sure, I could write a book, but then I would probably have to spend years trying to get it published. I would have to learn the definitions to terms like “unsolicited manuscript.” But, no matter what comes in the future, I know it means having to get a job of some sort. So, I’ll keep spreading around the resumes, and keeping my fingers crossed!

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