Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lousy jobs

There is an old country song that goes, "the girls always get prettier at closing time". This can also be said to be true for people who desperately need a job. An article in the Times opinionates on how even having a lousy job is better than no job at all. According to the piece, even a crappy job presents the recent graduate a valuable learning experience.

I graduated into a lousy job market in 1974 with a BA degree in English. I finally landed a job selling hot dogs at Two Guys on Route 4 by concealing my degree. I did learn a lot at that job.

The most useful thing I learned is how to steal money. The secret is not to be greedy and make your pilferings moderate. You wait for the hurried customer who rushes away after giving you exact change. You give him his hot dog but you don't ring it up on the register. Then you discreetly pocket the money. This information is invaluable later on if you find yourself supervising clerks in an environment where money changes hands.

I also worked for temporary agencies. Here some of the jobs were okay and some were pretty awful. The worst jobs are the ones where you show up at the agency (I fondly remember Handy Andy in Hackensack) for the early morning shape-up. Nobody feels more miserable than a hung over 21 year old college graduate sitting in a hard chair waiting to be put on a crew.

Finally I found a job courtesy of family connections through CETA. Family connections are the deux ex machina of modern life.

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