I helped my buddy paint his bar the other day. it seemed the neighborly thing to do. Especially since I go there all the time and I’m a pretty lousy tipper. I felt like I owed him about 3 hours of free labour in unpaid back-tips.I don’t know why I’m such a crummy tipper. I used to be a busboy, and also a barista once, and I know that when you’re working in the service industry you watch how people tip like a hawk. You get so you can smell a good tipper from 5 ft. away, I’m not kidding.
So anyhow, I’m helping him paint his bar and at the same time he had posted an ad on Craigslist that he was looking for a new bar tender, and people were just stopping by every 3 minutes to drop off resumes. I ended up doing all of the painting while my friend just took resumes and talked to hopeful wannabe bar tenders.
As I guy who had literally just quit a decent paying job to focus on writing for 6 months, which doesn’t pay jack-diddly-squat, it was kinda a major bummer to see this steady line of people all trying to beat each other out for a part-time bar-tending gig. One that, I’m guessing doesn’t even tip that well, since I’m a frequent customer and , as I’ve said, a chronically lousy tipper. There was some poor sap who had just been laid off from his job as a middle school teacher and he was trying to get the bartending gig (along with like a 100 other folks in the few hours I was there.)
“Hey man, you should just hire a hot chick. They will make the best tips.” I told the bar owner from a top a ladder while I worked the paint roller back and forth. He just gave me a pained grin like I was talking nonsense.
“Seriously, think about. That’s what all the coffee shops do, hire a smokin’ hottie to run the register.” I said. He was still not really responding, but I realized he was directing the painful grin to somewhere behind me. I turned around. There was a “smokin’ hottie” standing there, awkwardly holding her resume in front of her. I cleared my throat and got really focused on putting a second coat on this one section of the doorframe for awhile.
I hope she gets the job.
Another guy applied who seemed to be pushing 70 years old. He had 45 years of experience. He had the same reply to all of the interview questions.
” . . . . .. What?” he’d say.
There was also a big bro-dude who applied for the job. He seemed kind of desperate. At one point near the end of the interview, when he was listing his positive qualities he actually said ” I know how to fell a tree!”
Like, he used the verb “fell”. As if you never know when you might need to fell some timber during a busy bar shift. You just never know.
So yeah. All those people, a teacher, a guy with more experience than I’ve been alive, a lumberjack all vying for the same job. It got me wondering about the wisdom of quitting my job in this economy. We will see how it goes. it also got me thinking about all of the odd jobs I have worked in my raggedy patchwork career of – doing stuff to make rent while I aspire to be a writer. Other careers you put in the hours, or work up the ladder, or pay your dues. With writing you aspire.
While aspiring I have worked as a high school teacher, a mental health counselor, the night shift guy at Plaid Pantry, a wild fire firefighter, a librarian, a gutter cleaner and a bunch of other stuff. If it pays not very much and is pretty tough work, I’ve probably done it. So, to celebrate my newfound unemployment to focus on writing, I am going to post a series of reviews of the many different odd jobs I have worked on this blog over the next few weeks. Partially because remembering all those differnt jobs makes me really glad to be currently unemployed.