Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Tuesday, May 28, 2019


In the last week or so, I have been offered, via email, the opportunity to apply for a job: as a sales estimator, emergency room nurse, refrigeration technician, optometrist, sandwich engineer, quality assurance software tester, customer service rep, computer programmer, hospital CEO, and manager trainee.

At first I was pleased that the person who gave them my name as a possible employee was so impressed with my skills, that I would be able to do all those different jobs. Then it occurred to me what whoever wants me to get a job must be quite desperate, willing to suggest me for any job that came along. I am pretty sure I know who gave those potential employers my email address. As George Weiss’ wife said, “I married George for better or for worse, but not for lunch.”

When we lived in Sterling, IL, a new restaurant was opening up in the mall where we walked in bad weather. They had a big sign in the window saying that they were hiring. Many married couples walked by that sign. There was never a time, not one, when I was within hearing distance, that a wife did not say to her husband as they walked by, “You know, you could get a job there.” The average age of the husbands was about 85. You’ve got to hand it to those wives for continuing to hope.

I am often tempted by such signs myself. Even those emails. I don’t trust invisible money. I like to get a check, or a handful of cash, at the end of each week. So I think about what fun it would be to work at Wal-Mart, ignoring customers so I can complain to my fellow employees about who is taking her break out of turn.

I do have some work experience—farm hand, detassler, hod carrier, carpenter’s assistant, gas station attendant, tester and adjuster of electrical relays, bus boy, janitor, carnival roustabout, social worker, commercial actor. I imagine any one of those is more likely to get me an interview for a job as sandwich engineer or hospital CEO than “preacher.”

That’s why I don’t even bother to apply. As soon as you tell an employer that you used to be a preacher, they suddenly have to go a meeting and say, on the way out the door, “Don’t call us; we’ll call you,” which, of course, they never do… until they need someone to officiate at their kid’s wedding or their parent’s funeral.

And when they do, I’m going to charge them big! I have to; I can’t get a different job.

John Robert McFarland

No, I’m not writing again. I’m just trying to gain control of my keyboard by making it produce random thoughts out of random words out of random letters, the way those ten thousand monkeys with typewriters used to produce “The Encyclopedia Britannica.”

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