I spent much of this year working a fairly thankless temp job at a sanitation garage in Douglaston, a little village close enough to the Nassau County border that you could almost smell the Aqua Net. Any prior misconceptions I might have had about the good graces – or, indeed, the existence – of karma or cosmic payback have been completely cleared up in the two months since that odd little gig ended, because since then there has been: nothing.
Five or six years ago I left a bookstore job that I’d had for longer than I’d like to remember. It was time for a change, it had been a long time coming, and quite honestly I felt strange continuing to work the same job I’d had before college after I’d, ostensibly, gone off and spent a decent amount of money learning to do something a little more productive and/or beneficial to society than telling some corporate lawyer why he’d rather read Jeffrey Deaver than James Patterson. (There was also the little matter of not really being able to support myself on my salary, which was more to do with the fact that it was East Hampton than the piddling amount I was earning. But I digress.) And I figured, hey, what would be more fun than moving to New York and being a job hopper? Think of all the material you’ll get, dude, I remember thinking. Sure, why the hell not? My girlfriend was already here.
I bring up my old bookstore job only to illustrate that another bookstore job, this one down in the Village, is only one of several places that have rejected my advances in the last two months. I mean, Christ. If there’s one job I can do forwards and backwards, in my sleep, it’s manage a bookstore. The guy said he’d keep my resume “on file”. Yeah, well, I’ve seen that guy’s files. That thing may as well be in orbit. It’d be just about as easily acceptable there.
The thing that’s really starting to get to me is this: I’m not trying to shoot the moon, here. I want $35K a year and a job that’s not going to make me vomit. Typing, data entry, filing, copyediting. Usual, mundane, gutshot phlegm, the sort of thing that society and pop culture would have you believe any lummox with opposable thumbs and a four-year degree can just fall into.
If that’s the case, well, apparently I’m not that lummox. Or else my thumbs aren’t really opposable. And I don’t think that’s it, because I haven’t noticed myself dropping things. Maybe that’s the final joke: that I’m just good enough to know why I’m not getting any callbacks, but not good enough to, you know, actually get a callback.
even the people I know
with master’s degrees
are making lattes
and walking dogs
I’ve always been a pretty shitty networker, too. Maybe that’s it. Maybe New York isn’t what secretly wants me dead. Maybe I secretly want me dead.