Sunday, March 30, 2008

How To Lose A Job In One Stupid Question - OR - I Know Why The Caged Housewife Sings

The things that have happened to me that I like out way the needs of the many. My life continues to be good while your life only gets worse and worse.

I started my new job at Gethsemane Garden Center on the north side of Chicago a few weeks ago. Today, they gave me a Gethsemane T-shirt, which means that I was worth hiring. They also gave me a book about plants and a little bag full of plant clippings that I have planted and will have to keep alive in order to become a full time employee. I honestly live about 100 feet away from this place yet it is a whole different world within its walls. I wear an apron (which I fold in half to make it seem more like a utility belt; complete with bat-pruning-sheers, bat-sharpie-pen, bat-price-tags, and exploding-shark-repellent-bat-spray), and I answer questions about plants, sunlight and dirt.

I now have more houseplants than you can shake a goat at. The newest ones include, but are not limited to: Silver dollar Jade (carjacking, crack head, deadbeat-dad asshole), Purple Passion (total slut with endearing eyes and a taste for the tasteless), White Ice Begonia (investment banker that has missed out on his youth and is making up for it by wearing punk band T-shirts to the office), goldfish plant (Miss misunderstood, prom queen, republican, close talker, scary driver, jaded single mother of a seven year old rubix cube champion), Mass Cane (Siberian taxi driver with no eyebrows, a fake leg and a two hour story about the invention of shoelaces), and Jasmine Belle-of-India (cross-eyed and single-toothed harbinger of the apocalypse, drives a '72 Brat and plays harmonica at other peoples concerts between yelling requests for more pickles), just to name a few. They waste away all day and keep me up at night. While I toil and work my fingers to the bone to keep their little plant stomachs full and their little plant attentions occupied with soccer games, ballet class and piano lessons, their voices in my head get louder and louder. It’s enough for me to want to go crazy, give them all away, buy a mini-van, a leather studded thong, earphones with radio antenna on each side and walk around town with a goldfish in a huge martini glass, reciting Mother Goose and Kafka while eating raw hot dogs and drinking mayonnaise and prune juice. I’m not sure if you want to hear more about these guys or not, but don’t worry, there will be a lot more talk about plants in my future.

I, surprisingly, was offered three other jobs this week, all of which would have paid more money than the garden center. The most interesting of which was an interview for a $48K + benefits position doing tech support for a company that designed user-unfriendly bankruptcy assistance software for bankruptcy lawyers (Grace, wanna team up and make the world dept free and full of bad credit?). I asked if I could bring my flamethrower to work. They asked me how I got the interview in the first place. I shrugged, said I wasn’t sure, stood up and walked out. I’ll never get a good paying job with benefits, and I just don’t know why.

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