How to Stay Unemployed

Guy 1: "I guess the Republicans were wrong about global warming, huh!"
Guy 2: (Punches Guy 1 to death)

It is so hot in New York that the rules of society are starting to break down - I just saw a homeless woman start peeling her clothes off on Lexington Avenue, and the people around me looked on not with disgust but with envy. It is so humid that stepping onto the street is like stepping into a bowl of split pea soup if all the split peas were replaced by ass. Right, it smells bad too.

Hot girls in minidresses have hair plastered to their faces and an oil slick sheen. Their pursed lips tremble as they try to balance looking good with wilting in the midday sun. Men have pit stains that run down to their belts, plus back stains and chest stains. They waddle around like penguins on account of the rapidly pooling water in their crotches.

Also, I dont have a job.

That's not to say I haven't had interviews. They just haven't amounted to anything. Each job interview is preceded by hours of grooming, dressing and primping: I shower (at the gym, obviously), apply deodorant liberally and then swath my body in layers of formal clothing so I can attempt to trick people into hiring me. I got a summer hair cut, just like your dog did, and I spend careful minutes teasing my coif with a hairdryer and styling products, only to find it has congealed into a sticky helmet after just a few minutes outside. My freshly ironed shirts wrinkle on contact with the outside air, my suits trap my body heat until I start to braise and my undershirts are so sweaty that I actually cannot peel them off my body once I get home.

It's gross, and humiliating. Plus I still don't have a job.

Summer is absolutely the worst time to look for employment. In winter, I'd put on a three-piece flannel suit and wool socks, and I'd walk into offices with cheerfully flushed cheeks and Jack Frost nipping at my nose and everything would smell like gingerbread and my prospective employer would give me a job out of Christmas spirit. Now, I flop out of elevators like a fish on a boat deck and furiously wave my arms around to try to dry my body. I smile widely while sweat pours down my face and give slimy, crushing handshakes that feel like an octopus attack. Powerful men with cars and mortgages and salaries extend their hands to me, and I slowly slide a raw chicken breast into theirs. Their faces drop, and we go through the formality of the interview but secretly we both know that the position has already been filled by someone less clammy.

Surprisingly, I still don't have a job!

Of course, there are steps I could take to avoid this problem. GQ recommends I invest in a linen or seersucker suit, so I can look like a Miami Vice villan or Colonel Sanders, respectively. I could take taxis to interviews - those have air conditioning and I can say, "Oh, I just got back from Bangladesh!" to make me seem worldly and not be totally lying. I could stop trying and sit on the air conditioner all day rubbing ice on my body. Of course, this all requires money, which requires a job, which requires tastefully begging people, which requires not looking like you just ran a 5K. And then fell in a swimming pool with your clothes on.

Rejection is part of any job search and I am not letting it get me down. I know I have important and useful skills. In truth, I am a kind of magician - just like Harry Potter! - but instead of potions and dragons and Patronums, I conjure up language. Words. In fact, I'm doing my magic right. This. Second. NOW.

Apparently, this is not what employers are looking for. I was surprised at how fast security arrived, actually - maybe my interviewer was an actual magician and I offended him? Either way, I was back out on the street feeling like I had just walked into a dog's mouth, sweating like a Pope in the woods. (Wait is that how that phrase goes? I'm not Catholic.)

Truthfully, the most humiliating part of looking for a job is seeing young people with jobs. Hedge fund guys, analysts, marketing and fashion and PR types, all my age or slightly older, and all walking with their heads held high and a disgusting sense of pride and accomplishment. Oh, you have a job? Congratulations on NOT majoring in journalism! You want a medal? It's called Any Degree That Is Not A Journalism Degree.

These young professionals roam the streets of midtown Manhattan in search of custom salads and coffee - it fuels them for the day, the same way I am mostly fueled by Kraft American Cheese Singles and hatred. They crowd into subway cars and check their watches fretfully, while I play Angry Birds and wonder if it would worth getting sent to Rikers to have a job pressing license plates and folding laundry. Most infuriating of all, they congregate in the waiting areas of every office, talking about their latest exploits and having a work hard, play hard mentality that clashes with my sleep hard, cry often existence.

I was in an office this week - I won't say which, just that it is next to Bloomingdales and has the same first five letters as Bloomingdales and it was Bloomberg. I sat on a plush circular couch in the middle of a bustling employee funzone. Glass panels glowed pastel colors, flat screen TVs flittered with stock quotes, and glorious tropical fish peered at me from huge fishtanks. Even the fish had jobs.

A bunch of analyst types were sitting around, drinking their free coffee and eating their free muesli and yogurt and candy and, wow, Bloomberg is an incredibly cool office. The girls were wearing pantsuits and blouses and sorority necklaces and slutty bras, the boys all wearing their same khaki pants from that Sig Ep mixer sophomore year and trying not to listen to Dave Matthews. This actual conversation took place next to me:

Girl: I can't even believe he came. He was SO wasted.
Bro 1: Well it was $1 Long Islands at McFaddens last night.
Bro 2: NO WAY! Dollar Long Islands?
Bro 1: Dollar Long Islands dude.
Girl: Dollar Long Islands are crazy! McFads is on 42nd street right?
Bro 1: Yeah, only reason to go is for Dollar Long Islands though, seriously.
Bro 2: We should hit that place before the Hamptons this weekend! Get some Dollar Long islands!
Bro 1: Nah, I'm gonna drive the new Benz out instead.
Me: (Will never have any money, head explodes)
Girl: Ew, that unemployed guy just exploded on me!
Bro 1: Too many Dollar Long Islands!
(Bro 1 and 2 high five, have made more money during this conversation than I have in my entire life)

I wish I'd majored in Douchebag too. Then I'd have a job.

It's still hot out.

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