December 15, 2005


Job interview today. The guy who interviewed me knows about this blog so maybe I shouldn’t write about my proclivity for working naked, but this blog’s all about being honest. The interview went well so I can write such a thing. I’ve been half-employed for too long. I’ll be writing e-mail copy for an internet marketing company. This is very good news if it goes down.

One of the most numbing jobs I’ve had in my life was grading 4th grade standardized tests. It sounds like it could have been interesting but I really don’t like jobs where you get exactly an hour for lunch, if that, and two ten minute breaks, and you’re not allowed to move in between. We had to ask to go to the bathroom. It took them two hours to explain to us what should have taken five minutes. Adults shouldn’t be treated this way. At 10:00, for the first break, everyone would be watching the seconds and then run for the door. You can see people from these types of jobs sometimes, huddled together smoking with a look in their eyes like they’ve been staring at a clock for six hours. I’ve had more than one job like this, as have most people. Phone polling was another--but that was better, even when people hung up on you. This job was like taking a standardized test for eight hours, every day.

I’ve never appreciated music, listening or playing, so much as the drive to and from that job. Sometimes, during the breaks I’d go sit in the car and listen to music--I was listening to Husker Du’s "New Day Rising" and Lou Barlow’s "Winning Losers" a lot. The job was just so deadening, it made music sound so alive. I wish I could respond to music that way all the time, but feeling dead I can live without. This job prospect seems laid back. He said he was glad that I’m a writer, that my head’s somewhere else as well. Basically telling me that I don’t have to devote my whole soul to the job. So long as I get the work done, he says, he’s fine with it, which is refreshing. I want to possibly work in an office again, after being isolated at home alone. I can actually write for a living.

After that I got a job working as an editor at a trade magazine for industrial construction workers. I don’t really want to revisit that time. Let’s just say that for a few months in Wilmington, NC, I worked for Satan. A cocaine-addicted redneck who beat his wife, worked alongside his wife, and had prostitutes go into his office for hours at a time. They’d come out sniffing and rubbing their noses. His wife had this terrible scar running from her mouth to her ear, no doubt from when he hit her. They got in trouble for leaving their kids in the car in a hot parking lot, more than once. He had so destroyed his nasal passages from cocaine that he’d make this demonic snorting noise throughout the day. That’s when you knew he was back in the office--when he was gone, it was calm. When you heard the snorting noise, it was like kids thinking, oh no, dad’s drunk again. People called him "The Monster." Jesus, it was bad.

Olivia was just born during this time. There weren’t a lot of jobs to be had in Wilmington, for anyone, which is why we moved back to L.A.--also to be close to the grandparents. It worked out pretty well up front, we both got jobs almost immediately. The last few months have been harder.

I need to get a steady job--for them, and for myself of course. With the "Golden Calf" movie being developed, various things getting published, and a new job, 06 is going to start off all right.


D Scott said...

First time to your blog. As someone in the midst of a protracted, emotionally debilitating job search, I very much enjoyed seeing that I'm not the only one in the fire -it sometimes feels that way. Congrats on the positive interview.

Love your writing style and look forward to future posts.

Empty Drum said...

Henry, if you get this job you're totally buying us all dinner.

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