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June 7, 2004

That Ol' Classified Nausea

It's been a while since perusing classifed ads stirred that low, vague sick feeling in my stomach. Something about the blend of possibilities and impossibilities, the visions of what a day might entail and what just wouldn't fit within the hours or the energy, is like a graphic description of one's life being churned.

I'd go to the job fair that the Providence Journal is hosting this week, but its title is clearly exclusionary doublespeak — Diversity Career Fair. A fair, to turn a phrase, not apparently meant for the fair, as the picture on a promotional brochure confirms. What would the HR folks from the 31 participating companies say were I to approach their booths? The last fair was for healtcare workers, the next (in September) for medical/bio-tech, and the following (in October) for "workforce." Medical industry. Labor. Or minority.

The DNC, by the way, is hiring activists to "work to defeat Bush." Call Sarah or Kirk.

A couple of weeks ago, one of the local papers had an ad for a job doing exactly the sort of work I'd like to do with exactly the sort of company with which I'd like to do it — and within a mile of the house to which I'll soon be moving. My wife called from work to tell me about it, and I immediately contacted the company. The receptionist gave me an email address to which to send my résumé, and I did so as soon as I'd crafted a temperately acquisitive introductory note.

The very next day, I emerged from the shower to find that the woman to whom I'd directed my note and résumé had left me voicemail requesting a return call. The receptionist took a message. I haven't heard back. Maybe she's on vacation. Maybe she contributed to this blog's recent visitor totals.

What gets me about the columns upon columns of available jobs is that, at this point, I'm willing to do just about anything. Still, pulling against that willingness is the recollection of too many times in the past that I've made the rushed decision to take a job and found that it adequately answered none of my needs or desires.

But what are needs and desires? Last night, I saw the second half of a documentary about the battle of Iwo Jima. It certainly made a triviality out of the difference between a job as assistant manager at a record store and one as an editor or graphic designer at a multimedia firm.

I think there might be a fishing-boat dock not far beyond the company that hasn't called me back. I have experience.

Posted by Justin Katz at June 7, 2004 12:02 PM
Diary & Confession