I don’t like guests. I’m not very hospitable, and a terrible host besides. Our apartment is in a perpetual transitional state. Ripping and packing up 1500 CDs is the current project, but there’s always something. And if that weren’t enough, the cats are trained to annoy guests with their cuteness and persistent affection. Yet people still visit for some reason. It must be the scenic walk up Roosevelt Ave; the allure of slush and garbage can be intoxicating. Maybe they just come to see wifey.
I don’t really like guests on Jobless and Less either. The site wouldn’t really be about MY experiences with unemployment and under-employment if other people did all the writing. But I’m not fundamentally against guest writers. Rumor has it that other people have interesting unemployment experiences and opinions about them.
It’s been almost two years since Ben Breier—the last guest poster—shared his tales of interviewing woe. I’ve since been solicited often, though nobody ever seems to quite get it. The world just doesn’t need another post about how to write a resume or what to say in an interview. The topics have been amply covered, elsewhere, by people who actually have jobs. Why would anyone trust advice on finding work from a site run by someone who can’t find work? It’s much more fun and interesting to laugh at my repeated failures.
An aspiring contributor does occasionally get it. Charlie Johnson emailed me this past week with a link to his video. He’s a clever lad, who has been unemployed since November. Months can seem like years to a recent college grad itching to put his education and skills to work.
I know the feeling. At 23, I was impatient about my job situation too. When I failed to nail down a coveted blacksmith position at the town stables, I became a cobbler. Shoes for farmers and tradesmen would have to suffice. Then came the Great War and the Roaring Twenties, and my skills were suddenly outdated. (“Suddenly” took 15 years in my youth.) I thought my career was over, but the end of my career was just getting started.
Charlie is much younger than I am. He still has skills and experience and drive. He also has initiative and chutzpah, and a fierce jump cut to rival any Hollywood director. So I’m letting him tell his story, his way. Enjoy. Let this be a reminder that smart and creative people everywhere are struggling through this terrible job market.