Clam Chowder

So I meant to write this yesterday but I got distracted by, among other things, an episode of “The West Wing.”  Yesterday was the day I decided I would get out there and get my hands dirty, so to speak, in terms of job hunting. Until recently, I have only applied for jobs like Editorial Assistant, Assistant Editor, Administrative Assistant, etc.  I have not had much luck with any of those, despite my qualifications…grrr.  Anyway, I have a friend who came home from school, where she had been partying for the four years it took her to get her AA and quitting every job she ever got by basically just not showing up, and she handed out resumés at several downtown restaurants and was offered a job at Anthony’s as head hostess, on the spot (despite only working as a hostess once before, hating it, and eventually quitting after only a few months).  I on the other hand, with my bachelor’s degree and resumé full of steady employment, am unable to find a job. So, I decided I would suck it up and apply to “lesser” positions – no offense to those positions – in the hopes that I, too, would be offered a job on the spot. Spoiler: I wasn’t. (This is one area where it helps to be five foot ten and look like a model, like my friend.)

So I went downtown and applied to several restaurants: Anthony’s Homeport, Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill, Mercato, Ramblin’ Jacks, and Batdorf & Bronson’s coffee shops.  I have no real desire to work at any of these places (hopefully their hiring managers are not searching the internet reading this…) but work is work and at this point I’m too broke a begger to be a chooser.  I struck out at the first three I went to (Mercato and Ramblin’ Jack’s owned by the same person and I was told to come back the next day to speak to the hiring manager, and Anthony’s wasn’t hiring any more hostesses), filled out an application and returned it to Batdorf’s, and drove along the pretty little winding drive to Hearthfire Grill as my last stop.

I got to Hearthfire Grill just as they were offering open interviews. Well, a half an hour early, which was to my benefit because then I had time to fill out the application.  The guy took me and three guys into a banquet room and gave us a lecture about Hearthfire Grill (turns out their meat and seafood is all owned by the same Anthony’s corporation from the cow’s birth and seafood caught, respectively) which was actually quite interesting, and then sent us individually to meet with another hiring person, who immediately endeared himself to me by telling me that my major “sounded like a really interesting thing to major in.” It was. Anyway, I was my most charming and polite self, my heart sinking while the manager told me that I was “exactly the kind of person [he] would want as the face of his restaurant” (as a hostess) but that they weren’t hiring at the moment. He told me he would call me at some point in the near future if a position opened up. Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard it all before. 

The worst part was, I didn’t even want the job. It required you to be available every weekend and holiday, and I am DEFINITELY a 9-5 kind of girl. But I love the restaurant, and the atmosphere with the floor to ceiling windows overlooking the water and the dark polished oak and colored glass walls.  He interviewed me at a table in the bar, and there was an elderly couple sitting by the window eating an Early Bird Supper of clam chowder bowls, and all I could think was, I would so much rather be seventy years old and sitting with the love of my life eating clam chowder than doing what I am really doing, which is, being twenty-two years old with a college degree with an on-again-off-again Republican non-boyfriend trying unsuccessfully to find a job as ANYTHING. 

The thing is, I thought as I was driving home, I’m not really the kind of person who enjoys change. I like routine. I like stability.  Of course I like to be busy, especially when it is something I am passionate about and enjoy doing, but I like to know well in advance the boundaries between my “busy” time and my “down” time.  And being unemployed is one of the most unstable things there is to be. I am so lucky that I have a family who will support me while I find employment, because I honestly don’t know what I would have done.  My dad says it is because I am over-qualified for what I like to call “shit” jobs, like waitressing at Red Robin or selling t-shirts at American Eagle, but I am not qualified for “real” jobs, like, in an actual office with actual tasks that make a difference (this would be because I do not have 3 years of experience, which all jobs seem to require these days, despite having been in COLLEGE for the last four years of my life).

I ended up feeling even more depressed than when I started out.

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~ by Bitterroot Buttercup on August 18, 2009.

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