What Bugs Bob? : Job Searching

Bobby Durben
Staff Writer

If this past week taught us anything, it’s that 1) the weather (like life itself) is fleeting, and 2) Mother Nature is a raging, hormonal and unpredictable a-hole. My point is that Spring was an absolute blast for the whole day it lasted. Unfortunately, it’s long gone now and only the frost-fingered griped of Winter Part Two stands between us and that beautiful bikini-filled paradise we call summer.

Summer rocks. That point is absolutely not up for contention. If you’re really trying to debate that, I suggest giving your parents a call and asking them where exactly they went wrong with your upbringing and which traumatic event in your childhood flicked the switch in your brain that causes you to hate fun.

Bobby DurbenAnd while summer is as close to perfection as it gets, there are still a few slight downsides to the otherwise-impeccable time span of late May to early September. The pungent smell of bug spray lingering in the air. Getting sand on the rim of your beer and not really noticing until you go to chew your sandwich and you bite down slightly too hard and hear that familiar crunch and get a sharp pain in your teeth so you’re hesitant to eat the rest of it because you can’t decide, is the sand in there or was it just in your mouth from the beer? So eventually you just toss it and go get a soft serve from the ice cream stand but, damn-it, the machine is broken so you’ll have to settle for a scoop of chocolate mint chip, which, let’s be honest, just isn’t as satisfying. And of course, the notorious summer job search.

The first thing you should know about summer job searches (if you aren’t already painfully familiar), is that they are always unsuccessful. Not unsuccessful in the sense that you won’t get a job eventually, but in the sense that the chances of you getting employed with one of the places you’re actually interested in are about as likely as me receiving a $500 bonus to pen an article on the benefits of taking a journalism and blogging class (your move, Wemmer). With that in mind, let’s talk how to lock up a slightly-more-tolerable-than-death job for the next few months.

When you start searching, you’ll apply for one, two, maybe even three exciting and interesting jobs, and a handful of other ones as backup. As far as those places you want to work are concerned, you might as well have mailed them an envelope full of Anthrax and a couple armpit hairs. Which means unless the hiring manager has some kind of weird fetish for poor personal hygiene, you’re not getting a call back. The backup jobs, on the other hand, will flood you with emails asking for references and CORI forms and expected wages. It’s a lot to deal with. I personally recommend skipping the CORIs (what are the chances you’re actually a convicted felon, right?), listing both your parents and a foreign President as references (they won’t call outside the country. Way too expensive), and requesting your salary in a foreign currency in the hopes that maybe they’ll screw up the exchange rate and accidentally pay you double what you earned because they couldn’t quite convert Armenian rubles to dollars. Doing this should rule out the jobs you don’t want: the ones that actually care about your history of criminal activity, your compulsive lying, and your inability to estimate what a respectable salary for the position is. In my experience, those tend to be the real dull ones.

Hopefully this should narrow your options down a little bit. If a company has gotten this far and is still interested in you, that’s a good sign: it means they don’t really give a rat’s ass about fancy stuff like “reliability” and “integrity” and all those corporate buzzwords that all good workers embody. You can probably stroll into work ten minutes late with a large iced coffee and a cigarette tucked carelessly behind your ear with this job, a perk that I cannot stress the importance of enough.

At this point, it’s really just a matter of personal preference. If you can deal with kids, take a camp counselor job. The cigarette will have to go, but nobody’s going to notice a little Kahlua in your morning coffee. Plus (speaking from personal experience here), you’re almost a full-grown adult. When the ice cream man comes after lunchtime, your well-developed legs are going to get you across the parking lot way faster than all those frail little kids. Make sure to rub your King-Size Drumstick in their sad little faces while they have to wait in line.

The most important thing to remember about summer jobs is that they will in fact end. There might be days where it feels like time is dragging on forever, where the sweltering sun beats down upon your brow and you raise a fist to the sky, cursing your dry throat and empty pockets. But 5 PM on Friday will roll around eventually, that paycheck will come in the mail, and you can focus on just getting to the beach for a delicious sand-sprinkled sub. Have faith.

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