Travis Willmore:Local student for sale, no reasonable offer refused

Except for the lucky few who have either a full-ride scholarship or millionaire corporate-shark parents (or both), most college students end up having to flog some kind of part-time job to help pay for their education. Being one of those people who find themselves in the same sentence as “one of the lucky few” about as often as I do with “double-jointed circus mime,” I am currently trying to find a new job for myself. Something close to campus would be ideal, since I don’t have a car and very few employers are willing to pay you for time spent on the MAX.

SOMEBODY should pay me for time spent on the MAX, as compensation for psychological wear-and-tear. So, close proximity = good. Roll out of bed and go to class, roll out of bed and go to work, roll out of bed and go to the Tortoise … but roll out of bed and go to work WHERE?

The job-search process is always one that would have me banging my head against the wall if I didn’t live in the concrete bunker that is the Ondine and there wasn’t the danger of knocking myself out cold. Usually I am all about democracy. However, this is one of those times I wish I could live in a communist-type system where they would just assign me to work in the ball-bearing plant or whatever, based on some rudimentary aptitude tests to determine where I would be most useful to the State. That’s probably where they’d put me, too. I like having a job, but I absolutely abhor the PROCESS of trying to find one.

Never let it be said that your friendly local Vanguard op-ed columnist is an aimless slacker. I have absolutely no problem with working. I am much happier when I’m out dealing with the public all day than I would be locked in a dark room playing Dungeons and Dragons, or whatever it is people do in dark rooms these days. But it is always a pain to figure out what exactly I want to channel my energies toward next, hence my half-serious desire to have it all decided for me by a higher authority. It’s probably not good for a college student to have such a morbid aversion to thought, but that’s where I’m at on this one.

It’s much easier to figure out what I DON’T want to do. No fast food. You’ll hear me say “stab me in the eye with that bleach-filled syringe and then set me on fire” before you’ll hear me say “Would you like fries with that?” I would also prefer to avoid janitorial work – I’ve found that it’s bad enough having to clean up my own puke on a (fairly) infrequent basis.

When I used to do conference-room setup at the Smith Center, taking out trash from the rooms was naturally part of the job. It was there that I discovered a new application of Murphy’s law: You will always run into the hottest girls at work when you are carrying a big, stinky bag of trash. The rest of the day, it will be all Madeleine Albright clones.

My other hang-up with looking for a job is garden-variety anxiety about having to impress the people I want to hire me. I always feel very unnatural trying to “sell myself” to people. I guess this means I wouldn’t make a very good prostitute, but that wasn’t one of the options I was considering anyway. I want something respectable that will earn me enough to move out of the dorms, get a car, get a nice apartment, etc. A penthouse with maid service and a gold-plated toilet seat can wait awhile, I suppose, but I’ve been in college housing for two full years now and it’s starting to warp my mind.

At various times, I have told myself, “Why bother trying to make more money, you’ll always spend everything you take in anyway.” And I WILL, too, but I know in the back of my head that saying this is just a cop-out. When you’ve raised protective rationalization to the art form that I have, it’s impossible not to develop the awareness of the fact that you ARE just playing mental games with yourself. This is no exception. Obviously, it’s much nicer to spend everything you take in when you’re taking in a whole hell of a lot.