Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Your Career: The Roadmap to LOSERVILLE

So you've made the biggest mistake a studeny can make.
You've left the comfort of the college campus to make something of yourself in the real world. For reasons only you can explain you have given up binge drinking, casual interdormitory romantic contact, and the credit card your mom and dad secured for you (with a deposit of a thousand dollare and to use "only in an emergency," which you interpreted as "only when you are out of money for pizza") to go off and make your mark.
Well, here is my advice....
Good heavens! Go back! Don't ever, ever, ever leave the cushy life of the undergraduate world. The real world is a hellhole! There are bills to pay! These bills must be paid (with the exception of a few aboriginal cultures) with money! You, graduate, must somehow earn that money! For the love of all that is holy, stay in school forever!
You didn't take that last paragraph seriously, did you? Sigh... Don't say we didn't warn you.
You have to go get a job, my friend! Allow us to offer you some words of advice.
First of all, you'll want to find a job in your chosen field. That could be one of a million possible fields of stufy offered by today's modern colleges, so let's look at just a few of these myriad pathways of matriculation. This is an unscientific survey of college majors, based on the geeks and pinheads with whom we associate.


Congratulations! You chose a field in which people actually find work!
Chances are you don't need my advice in finding a job. Therefore let me give you one small piece of post-employment advice: Never, ever, speak about your accounting job to anyone with whom you desire physical contact.
Just trust me on this one.
The advice for accounting goes for anything you may have majored in that required you to enter any building on campus where a business couse was offered.
So let us move on to the bachelor's degrees that guarantee a fruitless employment search.
Let's talk about what I majored in....


Every college has a theatre department. No one knows why, really. It just seems that when the plans are drawn up for a college campus the architects and planners slip a performing arts building into the blueprints, and mysteriously, no one complains.
Well, now you've gone and done it! You went and studied acting in college. Shame on you! What did you parents ever do to you to deserve this?
For the newly graduated actor or actress here is some brief employment advice.
Simply stated, the hardest part of being an actor is learning the daily specials. It is also good to remember that you always serve from the left, and that the coffee cup should never be less than 50 precent full if you want a good tip.
"But I'm a trained actor!" you may whine.
Yup. You are. And that's why you're working at a restaurant. I mean, think about it... They made you learn lines in the theatre department. Why? So you'd have no problem remembering the daily specials after graduation.
Oh, by the way, Theatre Major, you're in trouble when it comes to figuring out how to add up the checks - they didn't teach you any of that in voice and movement class.
I guess maybe you should have majored in accounting if you wanted to work as a waiter.
Let's move on.
Maybe you attended college on an athletic scholarship, which most likely means this book is being read aloud to you by someone else.
If you're a jock, then you majored in.....


Don't tell me, Scholar Athlete; here's what made you pick this prestigious course of study:
In between reps on one of the shiny machines in the gym, this thought entered your mind: "Maybe I should have a backup plan."
It occurred to you that if somehow you didn't vault from collegiate sports stardom directly into the NBA, WNBA, WNFL, WWF, WWWWF, NHL, WNHL, or the CIA, you would need something to fall back on.
You figured you could always work as a gym teacher.
Well, take a lap. You were wrong.
Sure, there are about twenty-seven million grade schools, high schools, middle schools, and culinary schools out there, and they certainly do have gym teachers at all of those schools. But think about it. Remember the person who taught gym at your high school? What did he weigh, about 371 pounds? How old was he? About ninety-six?
Of course he was. That is because gym teachers never die.
Why? Because they never exercise; they just watch other people exercise.
That explains the fat pretty well when you think about it. Gym teachers never die, and they are always balloons. It's a fact.
For instance.... The man who taught me how to do jumping jacks in my youth also taught Teddy Roosevelt how to do them. My gym teacher (like the gym teacher of every person reading this) is alive and well and taunting some terrified skinny kid.
Currently, that terrified kid is stuck halfway up a rope.
So Phys Ed Major, where do you go from here, you might ask?
It comes down to one of two quite noble professions really: furniture delivery or bouncer at a sports bar.
Yep. You'd better be ready to either wrestle drunken phys ed majors out of a tavern or heave a refrigerator up three flights of stairs. That's your REAL backup plan, Muscle Boy.


Founding Fathers intended when they wrote the Declaration of Independence, or the Constitution, or the Magna Carta, or whatever scraggy brown paper (where the letter "S" really looks a lot like the letter "F") we are basing our government upon these days.
Anyway, whatever "political science" is, you went ahead and studied it. Now you want a job in politics, I suppose. Even though I'm not inclined to help anyone head off into that direction, I believe I can in fact help.
Want to be in politics? That's easy! Walk out into the street, ask the first person you see what they want, then promise to give it to them.
Congratulation. You are now in politics.
Don't worry about actually following through on what you told the stranger you would get her or him. That's not the point of politics. The point is to get elected by any means necessary. So tell people exactly what they want to hear, no matter how stupid it is.
Here are a few easy things to say to the boneheads who live in this country that are guaranteed to get them to punch the card (hopefully all the way through...) next to your name. All of these suggestions, are more or less, actual political ideas recently used by successful politicians. So, look directly into people's eyes and:
Tell then you will cut taxes but spend more.
Tell them you will spend less and get even more.
Tell them you will put a chicken in every pot.
Tell then you'll stash some pot in every chicken.
Tell them you intend to build a bridge into the Twenty-First Century.
Tell them there will be no toll on that bridge.
Tell them you'll give them 1,000 Points of Light, or better yet....
Tell then you'll pour them 1,000 Pints of Bud Light.
Tell them you will speak softly and carry a big stick, then...
Show them your big stick.
Tell them you'll invade some country where the army rides around on llamas.
People here love stuff like that.
Finally, just one word of warning: Don't have sex in your office.
Apparently, people here don't like stuff like that.


Personally, I find it hard to believe that anyone capable of understanding the nuances and intense calculus that are the bread and butter precepts of nuclear science will be reading this. But if you did, let me just say....
Good for you, Poindexter!
You will never lack for employment. The world needs nuclear physicists for the simple reason that the entire economy of the planet is based on the military-industrial complex. Stated simply, that means we need plenty of nuclear weapons all over the globe, and we need those weapons to be pointed at each other all of the time.
Otherwise, well... a lot of guys with really cool uniforms will be out of work.
And the people who write and report what those bomb-wielding guys in cool uniforms are doing will be out of work. And the people who construct the bombs that the bomb-wielding guys in cool uniforms point at each other will be out of work. And the people who wash up, store, and shine the bombs for the bomb-wielding guys in cool uniforms will be out of work.
In short, we will all be out of work if we ever get rid of all the nuclear bombs.
And if you as a socially consious nuclear physicist cannot morally or ethically work for the military-industrial complex, don't worry. There is still plenty of work for you!
In the safe, sane, and well-regulated world of nuclear power.
There really is only one other course of study that bears mentioning in this when it comes to entry-level employment tip, and that is:


Chances are, if you majored in computer science, you didn't pay to read this. Oh, you're reading this all right; you just didn't PAY for it.
You downloaded it off of the Internet - for free. You didn't pay a cent for this. But you are reading it nonetheless.
And now you want my advice.
Well, take a hike, Nerd. I don't give out advice for free.


How many times have you heard someone you admired referred to as a "Renaissance Man?" What does this really mean? Well, first and foremost, you should remember that the Renaissance occurred back in the years between 1350 and 1700, so apparently being a Renaissance Man involves having no electricity.
Here's a quick guide to being the next Leonardo da Vinci.
Be a Renaissance Man:
Throw your raw sewage out of the second-floor window.
Be a Renaissance Man:
Walk the streets of your town in tights and a codpiece.
Be a Renaissance Man:
Clean your teeth with a pointed stick.
Be a Renaissance Man:
Accuse your neighbors of witchcraft.
Be a Renaissance Man:
Annoy your parents by pursuing a career as a lute player.
Be a Renaissance Man:
Set off to discover the New World in a leaky wooden ship.
Be a Renaissance Man:
Conduct all correspondence via carrier pigeon.
Be a Renaissance Man:
Deny the existence of your electric bill.
Be a Renaissance Man:
Rob a grave and dissect the body.


Jaime said...

my uncle always told me to stay in school as long as possible... he should know as the former doctor turned lawyer.

you missed my major though, which was one of the most useless on campus... criminology

Joker_SATX said...

I majored in Pub!

I could tell you what was on tap on Wednesday for the Friday Party when the Pub found out on Thursday...the day before.

I knew every woman's drink in the place. I knew every guy's request to give a woman if he wanted to score.

Yet there doesn't seem to be a job for this. Bartending in the real world doesn't quite stack up to bartending while in college.

Jormengrund said...

Jaime: I'd have made some kind of joke about it, but there are just TOO many jokes out there already on lawyers, and folks in law.. It's just too redundant for me.

However, I _do_ appreciate the visit and your continued interest in my writing!

Joker: How interesting.. I majored in Geek, to be honest. I didn't dare talk with anyone with breasts, I didn't dare LOOK at someone of the fairer sex, and I basically buried myself in books.


Because I was worried that if I screwed around in college, I'd lose all of my tuition, and then be stuck having to work for a living.. The horror!