Mums the Word

When I'm Dead Don't Touch My Shit

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My resume reads like the list of ingredients in a pack of cigarettes. Most of the components are toxic or poisonous, many of them are completely unrecognizable, and none seem to go together in any kind of purposeful way. “Acetone, naphtelene, cadmium, ammoniac, and it says here that you studied Classical Civilization at Boston University? Can you explain that choice?” All potential employers can decipher from my resume is that none of it is good. I must have more in common with cigarettes after all, because people keep smoking me anyway. Fortunately I can still get into bars.

I’m trying to help my friend find a job in Los Angeles. In the midst of my own search, he’s sending me his resume. It’s not a burden, but a welcome respite. I could use a break from my own grind: the grueling repetition of scanning Craigslist, composing a cover letter, pasting a resume into the email, scheduling an interview, riding a train to the interview, etc. It’s interminable. And then, after all that drudgery, they have the gall to ask, “When can you start working?”

I would rather work on someone else’s resume than tinker with my own. Hell, I’d rather write my own epitaph.

Here lies Parky

Wingspan 6’2”
“When I’m dead, don’t touch my shit.”

Some people have terrific resumes. It’s like a mouth-watering menu of how impossibly wonderful they are. It details where they went to school, what they studied, and how serendipitously relevant every second of their existence thus far is to the job they are applying for. One can look over their work history and see that they have grown from every position, that their career path curls ever upwards towards a beautiful crescendo of professional determinism. Isn’t life a peach?

I scrawl my resume with a black paintbrush. Something short of pride shadows every line of work history. Yes, I live in the “garden studio” apartment. That means “basement.” Andy the Android still answers to a Seattle phone number. My email is a free Gmail account. I went to an expensive school and earned a worthless degree. I helped John Kerry lose to the worst president in history. I sold zoo memberships, waited tables at a million restaurants and used to manage Farmers Markets. Every stop was the same. Thrilling at first, the new backdrop was stimulating; it was an adventure. Learning the system, memorizing my responsibilities, getting to know the team. That I could always do. It was the maintenance, handling the crushing boredom that comes with being a cog in someone else’s machine. That’s the impossible nightmare. Wrapping a tie around my neck every morning, cinching the knot, shackling myself to my master’s illusion.

I desperately want to write a truthful resume.

400 sq. ft. apartment
Un-hip neighborhood
New York, NY, 11102


BA in Classical Civilization completed with lowest possible GPA


Hard-boiled, travel-weary misanthrope looking to fool employer long enough to be eligible for maximum unemployment benefits.

Relevant Experience

Breakfast Bitch, Uppity Hotel for Millionaires. 2012ish

- Begrudgingly delivered breakfast on a rolling cart for some reason

- Tolerated idiotic supervisor until mortally incapable of doing so 

- Unjustly forced to shave magnificent beard to participate in false illusion

Campaign Fundraiser, Democratic National Committee. 2004
- Raised funds for inferior political minds of John Kerry and the execrable John Edwards
- Failed to terminate the dangerously incompetent presidency of Bush Jr.
- Tried to fuck Director of Street Canvassing

Window Dude, Woodland Park Zoo. 2005
- Lovelessly sold admission to families wishing to observe incarcerated slave-beasts
- Mastered level 50 on free online game Desktop Tower Defense
- Sadly ate lunch whilst staring and empathizing with self-loathing family of Tapirs


Julie Sholt, Ex-girlfriend. Ask her what I did to deserve this.

Marvin Blotchski, Manager, Alcoholic. Call before 4 p.m.

Julio Sanchez, Parole Officer. Help me get him off my back.

Truth-tellers don’t get hired. Not in restaurants, not unless they want to be a suit. No waiter is ever just a waiter. We’re all desperately dreaming of a better life as we refill water glasses and frenetically cocoon silver within linen. I know I do. I pace from kitchen to dining floor to dish pit and back, scribbling ideas on a pad of paper I keep in my back pocket at all times, trying to figure out how to write for a living, how to spit-shine my vitriol just enough to make it marketable. I’m not working with much. Sometimes I think I have ability; sometimes I think I’m just a fantastically eloquent whiner. What I’m working with is shit. Black, viscous shit, albeit nitrogen-rich. The best kind of fertilizer I’ve got, since I’m not yet a corpse.


Vents Karelis said...

For the last 3 month's or so I have been playing with the thought of starting a blog about video games, philosophical questions and anything else I might conjure up in the rotten head of mine, but haven't got the courage or determination to write a word. Maybe it's because English is not my first language or maybe because I am just lazy. Well, you Sir, or your style of writing has made me to write this long and boring comment so I can say you inspired me.
On the other hand I realize that whatever I can put on the interwebs will never be as good as what I just read.
Someone should and will pay for this. at least that's what karma told me.

James Parkinson said...

I'm so glad you like it! All I can say is, DO IT. If you need a confidence boost, contact me when you've got something, I'd be happy to read it and give you some feedback. You'll never regret it.

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