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Empty Plate

  I’ve been in Maryland for a little over a month and I’m still unemployed.  It’s not for lack of trying.  At last count, I now have close to 20 applications for minimum-wage jobs floating around out there in the aether somewhere.  I’ve applied to every restaurant that I’ve driven by – still no call backs.  When I try to follow-up on an application, the hiring managers are usually conspicuously unavailable.  The problem is, people want restaurant experience before they hire you.  How you get that without working in a restaurant I haven’t figured out yet.  Vess seems to think age is holding me back.  I’m starting to think she’s right.

  Even the jobs I’m qualified for elude me.  I applied at a well-known art store chain that was hiring.  I was experienced with everything that the job required.  In fact, if I was staying in the art industry, this job would have been perfect.  I talked to the hiring manager on the phone and she seemed interested.  I filled out an online application, sent it in and haven’t heard from her since.  The last time I called she was in the middle of interviewing someone for the job.  Her assistant said she would make sure that I would get called back later that day.  That was 3 days ago.

  I don’t know what it is that’s scaring these people off, but it’s super-effective.  I seem to have mixed this too old-underqualified-overqualified cocktail that has poisoned me from getting even the  less glamorous of jobs.  I tried to get a job cleaning toilets in a restaurant – they haven’t called me back either.  If no one is going to trust me with their shit, they sure as hell aren’t going to trust me with their food.  What do I do in the meantime while I leech our funds and contribute nothing back?  I draw.

  I’ve got several shirt designs in the works.  Hopefully one of them will be good enough to get another print and save our asses.  It’s happened before, but I’m definitely not counting on it.  I try my best to get away from art or at least take a fucking break from it, having tired of it years ago, but I can’t.  Desperation and necessity make me do the only thing I can do well.  Exploiting my only talent doesn’t make me feel too good about myself.  It’s a crutch… one that is starting to wear a hole in the floor.  I just hope it works this time.  Forced creativity always sucks – but most people can’t tell the damned difference anyway.

  However, art does maintain my sanity.  Growing up as an only child and the one kid on the block that always got beat up from all of the other neighborhood kids, drawing was my escape.  A pencil and a piece of notebook paper allowed me to get away from the world, one page at a time.  Vess driving our only car to work leaves me in this apartment 24/7 and our neighborhood isn’t close to anything.  It’s nice to know I can sort of have an escape, if only in my mind.

  There are a couple of fast food places I haven’t applied to yet.  I’m going to get applications from them today.  If I do get hired, Vess will probably have to ride the bus to work .  Her job would be the only one with steady, predictable and daytime hours. 

  I don’t fell good about that, but you make do with what you have.


3 responses to “Empty Plate

  1. Woodie ⋅

    It sounds like a frustrating experience. It seems like, using the “six degrees of separation” rule, someone we know must know someone who can make a connection and get you in to a restaurant around there… I’d think, with a recommendation from someone they know, a restaurant would be more likely to give you a chance. Maybe a APB email request would help? I am going to think through our Rolodex, maybe we know someone who lives there or has connections around there, now…

  2. robin ⋅

    tough situation- hang in thar fella

  3. PC ⋅

    If I remember correctly, you knocked on my door several times before you made it into the inner chambers. It is not different now. There are so many people you have to compete with on even the smallest of jobs. You are a very talented and extremely smart person. Dont let it get you down and keep it up.

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