>>> Text-Heavy
By staff writer E.E. Southerby
Volume 119 – March 6, 2005

“The Best Things In Life Are Free, and So Is This Column”

Now Playing: “Broken Road” by Rascall Flatts

Back in the good old days, before women could vote, summer job hunts took place in the summer. But every year the competition for the six jobs that haven't yet been outsourced to subcontinental India increases, and the hunt must begin earlier and earlier, sort of the way stores begin setting up their Christmas displays in August. Well this year I'm joining in on the hysteria by beginning the hunt now, which is pretty convenient because it means I don't have to think up a topic for this week. Here's what happened:

-Select a Location: As a college student, you have three (3) choices in job location: Your college town, your home town or ‘miscellaneous'. If you choose to work in your hometown, it means you'll probably have to move back home for the summer, a prospect about as appealing as a coat hanger through the urethra. If you elect to stay in your college town, you'll find out just how lame-ass it is when all your friends have gone back home. And if you opt for ‘miscellaneous', you'll spend more money on moving costs than you will make throughout the summer. As you can see, the right choice is quite obvious.

“The best thing about the Canadian military is that you can just un-enlist whenever you feel like it, so on the off-chance Halifax is invaded you can skidaddle.”

-Think Upward Mobility: By this point in your college career (I hate that phrase too), you should be thinking about more than a paycheck. Ideally, you want to look for a job that has something to do with your desired career. If you're studying to be an astronaut, maybe you could get a job at Planet Hollywood. If you're a philosophy major, try to find a job that gives you a lot of time to think. Maybe you could become a member of the NHLPA. They seem to have nothing but time on their hands these days.

-Update Your Resume: The average employer will spend about 15 seconds reading your resume. The way I see it, you shouldn't spend more time writing something than will be spent viewing it (this is also the philosophy behind every David E. Kelley show). Unfortunately, if you spend only a quarter minute on your resume it will probably be filled with typos and sexy lies, but nobody will notice and it won't keep you from getting the job. Heck, do you realize how little time I spend writing this column? If I can do it anyone can.

-Purchase a Fax Machine: I don't understand why employers always want resumes faxed to them. I thought fax machines were a fad of the early 90's and nobody used them anymore because email was so much easier. Well, the job hunting world has always been about a decade behind real life, and if you want to be a part of it you're going to have to buy a fax machine. Oh, sure, you could just pay 30 cents and have your resumes faxed at Kinko's by a kid with an eyebrow ring, but when your future employer sees that your resume was sent from Kinko's he'll think you're behind the times, or ahead of the times, or something. I haven't watched ‘Back to the Future' in like forever but I'm pretty sure this situation is sort of like in that movie. Oh Biff, you're always getting dumped with manure. You silly cad.

-Attend an Interview: Congratulations, you've gotten a callback. I'm surprised employers don't insist on faxing back their answer, but there you go. If the job is not located in your current area code, the high cost of employment will continue to rise as you travel to meet with your employer. There's no earthly reason why they couldn't just have telephone interviews, unless they want to see what you look like and make sure you have desirable (read: blonde) hair. You'll probably want to pick up a wig along the way, because evaluating hair is the only reason interviews are held in the first place. If they actually cared what you were like don't you think they'd spend more than 15 seconds reading your resume?

-Volunteering is for Suckers: You might think it's a good idea to give something back to the community by working for free with poor people who can't pay you because they're poor. Not so. Remember that the point of a summer job is to earn money to pay for school, not to help anyone or do anything useful. Do you think famous celebrities like Bill Gates and MC Hammer got to where they are by volunteering for free? I don't think so. A lot of volunteer organizations will try to sex up their deal by offering you a trip to Africa in exchange for your free labor. This might sound appealing until you remember there are no Denny's in Africa, and the people there are really poor. Did I mention they're poor? If this paragraph hasn't been enough to deter you close your eyes and try to imagine just how poor they really are. I bet even if they had Denny's in Africa nobody would be able to afford it.

-The Military is Cool Until There's A War: If you're really stuck and can't seem to find work anywhere, you might want to consider joining the military. This is a way better idea if you're Canadian, as there is little to no chance that your decision will cause you to perish. The best thing about the Canadian military is that you can just un-enlist whenever you feel like it, so on the off-chance that Halifax is invaded or something you can put in your two weeks notice and skidaddle. The second best thing about the Canadian military is that we only have jungle fatigues, which don't really camouflage anything unless you're fighting in the jungle, which hasn't really happened since the British Empire invaded Congo in the late 1800s. I bet the Americans with their desert fatigues can't even see each other in Iraq. (“Is that Billy or just a pile of sand?”)

-Selling Bootlegs on Ebay is Not a Job: All those “Make Money from Home” flyers they put up at the campus library bulletin board are not nearly as appealing as they would have you believe. Oh, sure. Selling third rate/stolen crap on Ebay sounds glamorous, until you realize thousands of other suckers are trying to do the same thing. You've got a better chance of making money via pyramid scheme than you do making a living off Ebay. If you don't believe me give it a try, because two things you just don't see enough of on Ebay are diet pills and ebooks.

-If You Work On Commission You Are Pathetic: There are several companies with impressive sounding names like “Cutco,” “Primerica,” “Cutmerica,” “Exploitco Inc.” etc. that take advantage of desperate people by recruiting them to sell knives or insurance or panda bears on commission. I could rant for hours about how these companies are at best immoral and at worst illegal, but you won't believe me until you get involved with one of them and end up wasting hundreds of hours and dollars, as well as annoying all your family and friends by trying to sell them shit. There are two kinds of people who get involved in these scams: Innocent, naive people who don't know any better, and pathetic wastes of life who have been brainwashed into thinking these MLM schemes are an honest business opportunity. If you are dumb enough to get involved with this and don't realize your error within a week, you are a perfect candidate for the death penalty. There I said it.

-McDonald's is Probably Hiring: If all else fails, check your dignity at the door and go flip burgers with other people who have no future. Because if my tax dollars go towards your welfare check I'll be hella pissed. (This message brought to you by the Bush administration.)