Browning Out: Summer job hunt

Callie Brown

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Spring is rapidly approaching, and we all know what that means: Summer is just around the corner. And again, we all know what that means: You had better find yourself a job, you lazy asshole. Personally, I had the nice experience of applying for a whole multitude of jobs when I was home over spring break. I went from store to store with a deranged look in my eye, hoping I conveyed the amount of sheer desperation that I felt. At one point I even looked one of my potential bosses in the eye and mentally communicated, “It’s either this or babysitting all summer, and we both know that kids can be dicks.” This experience led me to ask the obvious question: Why wouldn’t anyone want to hire an undergrad college student who has really no valid job experience? Really, I am possibly the perfect job candidate around.

I began my search optimistically. I donned my least shabby outfit and ventured downtown. I walked into the first store and noticed there were three cats just wandering around. This is an issue because I’m obsessed with cats, and it might have distracted from the put-together look I was going for. (Although how can we really be sure?).

I approached the counter and asked, “Hi, do you hire summer…” and at that exact moment a cat leapt on to the counter. What could I do? I finished the sentence, “Cats! And by cats I mean… You have a lot of cats.” The elderly lady working the counter peered at me, clearly not appreciating how overwhelmed I was by the whole situation.

“Yes,” she responded with the kind of half grin that you give to your weird cousin at family gatherings. Then, of course, I booked it out of there, after contemplating taking a picture with the cat and deciding against it.

Things continued from that point on a slightly higher note. I successfully completed a few applications. Dropped a few résumés off. I was feeling like a functional adult for all of five minutes. But then the worst happened. Someone asked me, “What makes you qualified for this job?”

This happened to occur in a little cafe, and I was completely tongue-tied. I looked around, processing the environment around me-food, drinks, waitresses-looking for anything that might give me a hint as to what I should say that would make me sound at least somewhat intelligent. Here’s what I came up with (apparently the only logical thing I could think of): “I, too, enjoy partaking in the occasional brunch feast.” Needless to say, this was followed by supremely awkward eye contact and utter silence. (PSA: I do not do well with silence). So I continued talking.

“You know, I would say breakfast is the mightiest of meals. Without breakfast, how could you conquer the day? Coffee and bacon. I have no job experience.”

He looked at me with the kind of cold blank stare reserved for those people who are just the biggest idiots you know.

“Thank you and good day sir,” I said with a dramatic flare that I really didn’t know I possessed.

If I were going to summarize this whole experience, I would say that being an adult sucks. Moral of the story: Work on your social skills before applying for jobs. Also, if you know of any jobs that require virtually no job experience, please let me know.

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