I’d like to blame it on the economy, as that’s the easiest thing to do, but in all honesty, it’s probably adult ADD. The stock market could be bearish or bullish or othermammalish, and I’d still looking for a job. This is because I tend to choose short-term projects and temp assignments over long-term, stable employment (much to the chagrin of my parents.) I am happier and healthier if I know that whatever miserable, mind-numbing office job I happen to find myself in will eventually be over in a very specific amount of time. Stuck answering phones for a bunch of modern-day Mad Men on a Monday? No worries! New job on Thursday! Is that one evil bitch from HR giving you the stink eye? Who cares? You’re gone in three weeks anyway! That’s the beauty of temping. You don’t have to make friends. You don’t have to engage in office politics. You just have to be a body. A web-surfing, book-reading, occasional phone-answering body.
My most recent temp job just ended. It lasted from August to January, and was a down-right pleasant fundraising gig. I liked it so much, I could have stayed there indefinitely, which is, like, huge for me. On par with George Clooney suddenly declaring a biological need to commit to and settle down with one lady forever and ever. So anyway, after realizing that, hell, I kinda like working in the same place every day, I decided to man up, get an Adderall prescription and start looking for a real and proper job. You know. A job with benefits. A job with normal business hours. A job that mails me W-2s and not 1099s.
Unfortunately, while I was busy raising the big bucks for Lower East Side kiddies last fall, our sad, broken financial system finally crumbled into pixie dust and blew away, taking all but a few desirable jobs with it. So now those Mad Men bastards and that one HR whore are all unemployed and stealing my temp work. Meanwhile, I’ve been spending my days in a bathrobe, on the couch, scouring Craigslist, and watching Rock of Love Bus marathons.
I had no idea what to do. How do I make money while trying to find a (better) way to make money? I don’t have any waitressing experience, and I can only mix drinks that have the ingredients in the name. I’ve only ever broken an espresso machine. I’ve never sold things or managed people. I don’t do numbers and the only graphic design experience I have is using Photoshop to make myself look thinner. I was on the verge of - oh, who are we kidding - I was having an all out panic attack last Friday, pacing and sobbing and trying to block out sepia-toned visions of train-hopping back to Arkansas à la Natty Gann when I almost stepped on my ukulele.
The ukulele I got for Christmas this year. The ukulele on which I can play five - almost six - songs. The ukulele that, until that very moment, had been nothing but an innocent hobby. A sweet little sort-of instrument that I was going to use to blow people’s minds at parties, nothing more. Well, nothing until now.
I live in New York City. People with much less talent than myself perform in subway stations every day. If those people can make money, why can’t I?
So that’s what I’m doing until the economy perks up or something better comes along. I’m taking my act on the road (or under it, rather) and playing for the masses.
See you under ground!