Not working . ca

Every year about this time, I try to get a job.

It just seems like the right thing to do.

Much as I love blogging, it doesn’t pay the bills, any of the bills. I’ve been thinking of putting Google AdSense on my site but I can’t figure out how to put it on.

You have to know something about HTML — that stuff looking at me from the top of the screen — and I don’t know anything about the real business of computing. In a way, I feel that Bill Gates has let us down by making computers so simple to use.

When I got my first “laptop” back in the early Eighties, you had to know some computer stuff but today, it’s a matter of plugging and playing. So you don’t have to know anything about computers unless you have to add Google AdSense.

I’d prefer laying on the couch all afternoon or opening a bottle with my teeth to learning HTML, so it’s pretty obvious that, as a blogger, I’m pretty much a bust, financially.

Anyway, I went looking at the job boards and I simply cannot believe how little they pay writers these days. A big fat nuthin’, that’s what.

I applied for a job the other day and it paid less than my daughter makes, and she’s just out of college. The pay is less than the last job I got, and that was back five years ago, and even that job paid nuthin’. The pay was even less than I made in the 70s!

Every year I try, and fail, to find gainful employment. Mostly it’s because those in the hiring seat continue to pile more responsibilities on the “English writer”.

I remember when the key qualification for “writer” was the ability to write in a clear, concise manner with minimum mistakes.

Now you have to be able to speak two languages; be proficient in Web page design; fix the carburetor on the HR girl’s car; and perform unusual sex acts once only reserved for monkeys or Hillbillies.

I’m still kicking myself for not taking that car repair course in high school.

Then you have to take a writing test. The last few times, I simply refused, pointing out that I have been published hundreds of times and that I’ve been the editor of four magazines. Obviously, this didn’t sit well with the HR girl who was already fuming about my lack of car maintenance skills.

Then you have to sit in a room full of bored people and tell them why they should hire you. Truth be told, I don’t have a clue how to answer that question. Because, in reality, I don’t really want a smelly office job. I want to be able to write my blog, do some paid work, have a nap, take the dogs out and read the latest comedy book — in the sun.

Sometimes, I like to play Zelda on the DS.

I think this comes through.

I do have one talent at the job interview and that is making the panel laugh. I tell them a whole lot of anecdotes about when I worked in the Prime Minister’s Office two and a half decades ago.

Then I kill by telling them about the incredibly boneheaded stuff one of my colleagues used to do in another job. How she used to make me do all her work while she tended to her sick kid in the next room. How she dressed in jodhpurs and still managed not to break the ridiculous dress code.

My worst faux pas at a job interview was when I was trying to get a job with the International Humane Society and I was explaining different ways to get a message out in the media. The executive director was impressed.


“Yep,” I said. “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

Seriously. I said that. I didn’t mean to, but it just came out.

I didn’t help that I laugh hysterically after I said it.

The other problem I have is that I have absolutely no useful skills. Whatsoever.

My ideal job would include the following mandatory requirements:

  • Inability to put up with complete incompetence, silliness, slackery, obfuscation, procrastination and all other stupidity on the part of coworkers.
  • Inability to keep one’s mouth shut when you know your boss is a complete idiot who tolerates all of the above with the girl wearing jodhpurs, but who gives royal shit to you because you came in four minutes late.
  • Ability to ferret out all of the best gossip and share it with the cool people in the office without being found out.
  • Inability to put up with the hot boyfriend of the ugly boss who insists on coming into your office and rubbing his groin up against you.
  • Ability to get all your work done by the first coffee break and spend the rest of the day playing on Facebook and bitching to colleagues on the office email.
  • Ability to catch every cold or flu that’s going around the office.
  • Ability to write and edit copy in a timely manner and give it to the incompetent girl next door who is too busy nursing her sick child to actually do her job. 

Quite seriously, this is all the real life job experience I have. I’m 55 years old and I’ve only worked full time for five years.

It’s already looking like I’ll be spending the winter on the couch with Zelda and Anderson Cooper.

Any help with HTML would be appreciated.


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