Mums the Word

Apex Predator > Breakfast Bitch

Monday, May 21, 2012


I stalk my prey downwind and uphill, crouched, muscles taut. A real predator is never anxious nor hurried, not even at full sprint. I lay silent in the reeds, waiting for my quarry to err. That’s when I strike. I’m a hunter. Job Hunter.

Craigslist is jungle, and I am panther. Set your own conditions, maintain the high ground, yield nothing, stay silent, tread on roots and mossy spots and keep low to the soil. Know what to click, what to avoid. Think like my prey, learn their movements. This is my true occupation. My resume says “service industry professional,” but I specialize in job acquisition. My next kill will be Number 15 since moving to New York City, bringing the lifetime count to 32. I treat jobs like carcasses, stripping them of hide and meat until it’s time to eat again. The last catch was a big one, akin to a moose or an elk. I was able to feed for over a year, a veritable eternity. I try to use the whole buffalo, but I’m no Apache. If it tastes wrong, I’ll leave it for hungrier dogs.

Beware the open call: a time window of 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to line up, get interviewed, weighed and measured. That’s not my turf. I’m a bald, white male with a bald, white problem. No way to stand out. Open calls are the realm of gorgeous actresses with flat stomachs. I have an edge in experience, and we all know my cover letter is an elegant, layered masterpiece of near classic literature. It’s the visual that kills me. Broad shoulders and a square jaw lose to fuck-me heels and an artful neckline every time.

If interested, please email cover letter and resume to unstimulatingfoodandbeveragegig@job.craigslist.org. Paste resume directly into body of document. Emails with attachments will be ignored. Two magic words: Cover Letter. My quiver is full of deadly-accurate self-descriptors, active verbs and relevant examples of my intestinal fortitude and demonstrable excellence. I will be hired. This is not a discussion, there will be no floor debate, we shall bypass the court of appeals and sign this directly into law. I start on Monday, and I need to bring six pens, a pair of black dress pants, shoes that can take a shine and a cash bank of $100. Questions?

I wait. I don’t chase game; they come to me. I possess the luxury of choice. Something with benefits that pays well, is close to the cave, or at least a straight shot on the N. Apex predators don’t change trains. Also, I won’t shave my beard again. It was an act of deference the first time. Utter submission. I kneeled.

Two or three weeks have passed, a welcome break from the insane grind of being everyone’s breakfast bitch. I scan the vista for my mark, spear sharpened, lurking in shadow, verging on a pounce, prescient of this exhausted metaphor and its desperate scramble to survive the paragraph. Ultimately the job hunt is a numbers game. Strategy, tactics, animal instinct; they can help. The routine calls for diligence. Stalk the internet and fling some well-worded crap into the ether. Maybe some will stick and I’ll get a callback.

I’ll have to wait tables; it’s what I do now. I didn’t go to college for it--no one does--but it’s a paper chase and not a bad one. I have to eat so I’ll keep at it, but I soon must look farther afield. Hunt something that hunts back. I long for that old fear. True satisfaction is the product of struggle and conquest. I need bigger game.

2 comments:

James Halloran said...

Hello Sir. I really enjoyed this post. It gave me a great sense of false hope.

I just moved to NYC and I'm looking for a Server position to support myself. I see it as the only feasible option to make decent money and live here. The only problem is I have absolutely no experience.

Any advise for a lost soul?

James Parkinson said...

It's a numbers game. Apply everywhere, and be willing to start out doing something less than serving to get your foot in the door. Don't take it personally when people say no or aren't hiring, focus on the next job. Also, try temp agencies. Might be a better fit.

Post a Comment

Followers