Given the pink slip about two weeks ago, I have been left to survive on my salary from stevemcdevitt.com alone, which according to my last calculations was a cool negative twelve dollars per month. Even with the help of unemployment pay the harsh reality has already set it – I can no longer go out every night of the week and blow my money at top notch drinking huts formally known as bars. It is a complete and utter disappointment. I don’t support anyone (other than myself) abusing our government’s unemployment system, however I think I speak for everyone down at the unemployment office when I say they would be happy to know that I’ve now resorted to spending their money only during the hours of 4 to 7pm, Monday thru Friday at local happy hours. I feel they would be rather jovial to hear this. It has been a tough adjustment and several local bars have recently contemplated shutting their doors due to an unexplained recent downturn in business.
At the point of dismissal from my lucrative software job, I figured that job opportunities would be rolling in as I casually took some time off to frequent my favorite golf courses, watch Seinfeld reruns and wake up drooling from afternoon naps. Once my resume was posted however, instead my e-mail inbox was invaded by pyramid schemes, porn site advertisements, Backstreet Boys concert updates and male sex enhancement spam. (Ok…so three of the four I got before the resume was posted…)
The first day I walked out of my place to grab a coffee and some breakfast when I was confronted by a solicitor. Usually I pass by these eccentric characters in a huge rush to get to the fake place or lie that I’ve told them, but today was different. I was unemployed and I had all the time in the world for Green Peace, Jerry’s kids, or whatever other crazy cause some whacko was peddling in San Francisco. The last time I stopped for one of those things, some lunatic was trying to get a waste facility renamed as George W. Bush sewage facility. (This is what people will picket for hours for in San Francisco). This girl, who wasn’t a day over seventeen, was very nice and was concerned about pollution in the Bay affecting the sea lions and I was all ears. Then it came – “would you like to join our mailing list for $50?” I knew it was coming and for once I had the perfect alibi and it wasn’t even a lie. “I’d love to but I was just laid off, so I can’t help you out,” I responded sheepishly, expecting us to then part ways. “Oh I’m sorry, I can probably get you a job if you want, this gig isn’t too bad, I can call my…” I didn’t even hear the end as I stepped into the street narrowly avoiding a swerving taxi. It hit me like a ton of bricks and all I could think of was myself with my arms wrapped lovingly around some amiable sea lion…great software job to slanging sea lion preservation…this was going to be harder than I thought…
Just when I was starting to get discouraged and was one Cialis e-mail advertisement away from becoming a mendicant, begging for leftover Jumbo Jacks on the street, THE e-mail came through. I had just finished slopping up the last few gulps of my 29 cent Beef Top Ramen, when it hit.
“Starbucks Barista Opening!” $8-$10 per hour.
First and foremost I have let it be known that a Starbucks barista is probably the hardest job in the world. How they memorize every possible combination of drinks and make these concoctions at the same time out of their minds on free caffeine is totally beyond me. I could probably perform brain surgery on a cricket with more of a success rate than whip up a double half-calf-decaf-nocaf-extracaf with soy, no cream, with room, extra cream like the baristas do. It is like another language when you walk into a Starbucks. Long story short…my job search continued, but it was encouraging to see that a college education and five years of professional experience made me eligible for the same job as a six-teen year old with lemonade stand and lawn mowing experience.
Then it got worse. I started receiving janitorial jobs, a pet store clerk, and a most recently a shoe shiner gig, not to mention twenty e-mails per day from different Farmer’s Insurance reps. If I didn’t know any better I could swear that Farmer’s Insurance is actually some sort of cult sending out kool-aid-like virus e-mails, pre-programmed to release a deadly insurance selling bacteria turning you into a cold-calling insurance salesman the instant you click the mouse.
Even with all these discouraging job offers I kept a positive outlook, which was mostly aided by the happy hours. The final straw however came just the other day. What started out as the promise of a new day quickly ended when my G-mail alerted me of an incoming e-mail.
The title read “Be my housekeeper.”
Starbuck’s jobs, cleaning up rat poop at a pet store, and selling oranges down by the off-ramp of the expressway are not glamorous jobs, but at least I need two forms of identification to get hired. I first tried not to stereotype, but let’s not beat around the whisk broom – most housekeepers are woman and illegal aliens, two identifiers I was not willing to become to obtain work. (I would be willing to do one, but that is my final offer).
“Housekeeping…you want towels…?”
I could just see myself now…
Unfortunately my happy hour money was running low and I was getting just desperate enough to housekeep my way back to the top. I would have resorted to picking up trash on the side of the road, had a pugnacious group of surly thugs in orange jump suits not ran me off of the 280 freeway. That coupled with the fact that homeless guys had now started offering me change on the streets when I walked by them, instead of asking me so I read on...
A thirty-six year old Swiss man somehow found my resume as a dead on match for someone to stay in his house free of charge while he runs his jewelry ring through me at the house. Totally normal, I thought to myself while popping a Lemonhead into my mouth I had unearthed from underneath the deep confines of my truck seat during a recent search for loose change.
According to the Swiss chap’s posting, all I would have to do is maintain the house and sell jewelry to his U.S. clients when he is not in town. While he is in town I would still be able to stay at the house for free (most likely as long as I dress up in a sailor outfit and tight leather chaps). Makes perfect sense…
I am writing this blog jobless and from the porch of a friendly gang member named Blockhead Joe in Oakland. After hearing my tales of non-grandeur he was nice enough to shoplift me a 40 of Old English, once I explained how I had now out-priced myself of happy hour pricing once the housekeeping gig went down in flames…I have to sign off for now, since Blockhead, or just Block J, as his homies address him, has just informed me he needs the porch to sell some rock or something, but tomorrow is a new day. If I’m lucky I’ll receive a job offer for cleaning bird poop off of the pier at Fisherman’s Wharf, an invitation to participate in a case study involving anthrax injected anally or a promising lead for a job as assistant manure cleaner at a local petting zoo. I know these are lofty expectations, but a kid can dream can’t he?