Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Job Hunter's Survival Guide

Out of work, out of hope and out of patience? Wondering why that economic upturn isn’t turning you into a paid employee? Feel like crawling into a deep, dark hole? That’s not necessary! You can make the most out of a bad situation. All you have to do is follow the Job Hunter’s Survival Guide:
1. Appreciate your newfound freedom.
You should feel sorry for all of those working stiffs still trapped behind their desks. Your time is your own and you don’t have some overbearing boss scrutinizing your every move. You’re one of the lucky ones! And now you have time for all of those things you’ve been putting off: cleaning out your closets, writing your memoirs, learning Portuguese. With all of this free time, you can transform yourself! Become a more well-rounded person! Achieve a more enlightened state of existence! Evolve into a higher being! For Pete’s sake, embrace this opportunity!
2. Remember you’re not alone.
Job hunting can be a very lonely undertaking. When everyone you know is employed, you may feel like you’re the only loser in the world who can’t keep a job. Not so. In fact, there are now several thousand of us “losers,” and we all feel your pain.
3. Never give up.
No matter how bad things get, it is absolutely imperative that you keep your chin up and keep on trying. It may seem bleak. It may seem hopeless. It may seem like you have a better chance of getting arrested than of getting hired. (Actually, that’s not a bad idea--free room and board, cable TV...hmm...maybe I should consider a new career path...) But don’t despair--that perfect job is out there waiting for you. All you have to do is keep your eyes and ears open, wait until your dream job makes itself known, and then pounce on it mercilessly and make it yours.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Crazy Family? No problem!

You’re surrounded. Everywhere you look, you see these menacing strangers. They look like you, some of them even talk like you, but you feel strangely out of place in their company. Most of them are exhibiting various types of odd behavior. Are you having a bad dream? Are you trapped in an insane asylum? Worse--you’re at a family get-together.
It’s no fun having a crazy family. It’s embarrassing, and at times downright dangerous. But as I have learned, there are definite perks as well. So if spending the holidays with the relatives has got you down, try looking at the brighter side of having a certifiably insane family:
1. Life is never dull.
With a crazy family, life is one non-stop adventure. Cousin Jimmy sets the couch on fire, Uncle Rick gets arrested for disturbing the peace, Aunt Rhonda channels the spirit of Elvis Presley... It’s almost too much excitement!
2. They make you look good.
Think about it--people won’t expect much from you, because, hey, look where you came from! So no matter what insane and inept things you do in your life, you’ll look like a near-genius compared to your relatives.
3. They broaden your horizons.
Your crazy family can expose you to all kinds of new and educational experiences you’d never know about without their influence. Who else can teach you how to hotwire a car or contact the Other Side?
4. You get the sympathy vote.
People are nice to you because, poor thing, you’ve been through so much already. They give you things, let you take cuts in line...there are a wealth of opportunities here if you just know how to take advantage of them.
5. Hey, the only way to go is up!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Confessions of an Internet Junkie

It all began so innocently.
“Have you heard of this thing called the Internet?” a friend asked me several years ago. I hadn’t, but boy was I impressed! You could find anything you wanted on the ‘net, and as a college student I found it to be a much more efficient research method than spending hours on end in the dusty old school library. And for a while I kept things strictly academic. But soon the allure of extracurricular surfing proved too overwhelming. Chat rooms, message boards, blogs...what mere mortal could resist such temptation?
Steadily, my obsession grew. Oh, how insidious it was! Each day, it took more and more control over me, until I was entirely at its mercy. I live my entire life online now: shop, pay bills, work, meet people. Why, I’ll never have to leave this chair again! But wait...maybe that’s just what it wants, to turn me into another one of its mindless slaves. No, never! You’ll never have me! I should try to fight it! I should...oh listen to me. Now I’m just being silly.
I don’t have a problem. Plenty of people spend more time online than I do. I can quit anytime I want. Right after I check the message boards. And then read a few blogs. And maybe pay some bills. And send a couple of e-mails, check the latest headlines... I give up! It’s too much! I surrender! Oh glorious and mighty Internet, I am but your humble servant!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Top 10 Uses for a College Degree

It was an arduous journey, filled with unmentionable peril and strife. It was not for the faint of heart. At times I thought I might fail. Just as my elusive goal would come into view, some obstacle would throw itself into my path and thwart my efforts. But I persevered, for I knew at the end of my journey I would finally hold in my hands the object for which I had so long labored: a college degree. And though it cost me several years and several thousand dollars (not to mention my youth and my sanity) I’m glad I stayed the course. After all, there are several uses for a college degree (although getting a job doesn’t seem to be one of them.) So if, like me, you find that that little piece of paper isn’t fulfilling its appointed function, consider one of these alternative uses:
1. Paper airplanes (this is also a good use for those pointless “help wanted” ads in the newspaper.)
2. To line birdcages
3. In case you run out of toilet paper
4. Bookmark
5. Placemat
6. Coaster
7. Scrap paper, for writing:
--Outline for the Great American Novel
--To-do lists
--Ransom notes (hey, you gotta make a living some way!)
8. To wipe up those messy household spills.
9. Kindling (for when your utilities get cut off because you can’t pay the bill.)
10. Origami (very therapeutic--great for passing the time when you get institutionalized for going bananas after going on 20 job interviews in three days.)
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