Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spend my days making up burlap bags

Barbara Ehrenreich wrote a book entitled "Nickel and Dimed," which is all about the current economy.  She showed how hard it is to get by on the minimum wage by going out there in the workplace and doing it! It wasn't always successful, but she wanted to see if she could at least pay for a place to live, transportation, and food, off a low-paying job such as serving food, cleaning hotel rooms, being a dietary aide and residential housekeeping.

I don't think I would like to replicate her efforts; being comfortably ensconced as I am in my happy life means I don't think I'd do well living out of a rented room in Podunk and earning 6 bucks at MegaMart.  But reading this book got me to thinking about three jobs I could do and three jobs I WISH I could do.

F'rinstance, I would love to be a sub shop guy.  There will be those who have been sub shop guys or gals who will say, "Oh nuh-uh you wouldn't!" but maybe for a short period it would be fun to make cold and hot subs and pizzas.  Unless people got really picky and started telling me just how much mayonnaise they wanted, or to hold the fried onions on the cheese steak.  I guess I'm saying I would like to have a sub shop to make subs for me and Peggy, but maybe that's impractical.

Waiter or server, yeah, I could try that.  I believe that someone tried to float the word "waitron" as a unisex word for all who schlep food out of a restaurant kitchen and over to a table, but it seems that most people are sticking with "server." I do love to talk to people who do this.  They all have several hundred stories about good and bad customers, and if they have a second, they are only too glad to share the stories.  You have to know when to ask, though.  

Cab driver is something else I could try, as long as we can rule out armed robberies, drunk passengers, passengers who hop out of the cab without paying and run like thieves, and drunks who would rob me and then run like thieves.  Not good.  But, take away the unpleasant aspects of any job, and it looks like a bowl of berries.  I just think that pushing a hack around would give me the chance to meet some interesting pedestrians and show them my extensive collection of shortcuts and ways to get around our county.  I don't think I'd take any fares into the city, at least its more crime-ridden areas.  But I could tell people why they should stay out here in the boonies, and we'd both be better off!

Any list of three jobs I could never land but think they would be fun to get would start with major league baseball first-base coach because this non-stressor mainly involves greeting members of my team who have successfully reached first base, reminding them not to leave for second until I say so, and picking up foul balls to toss to happy kids in the stands.  And to think, people get paid to do this!

Being president of the United States of America would be a gas too, if only for the apoplectic state it would induce in my many critics who claim I am too liberal for words.  Imagine their faces when I start my term with promotions such as "Turn-In-Your-Gun Tuesday" and "Vice-President For a Day"!

There is no doubt at all that the coolest and easiest job of the high-paying jobs is movie director and what fun that must be, huh!  You get to stand in a room full of glamorous people who have their lines all memorized, and the sound effects person is ready, and the camera people and everyone else, and then you go "Action!" and everyone acts and then later you show up at the premiere wearing a beret and a tuxedo jacket over blue overalls and talk about your "craft" and the difficulties of being an authentic "auteur."  Occasionally, a new or nervous actor will ask you what is their motivation in some scene.  You just tell them their motivation is to say all their words in a reasonably convincing manner and not fall over the ottoman in the living room scene.  And then you start thinking about what to have for dinner at some swanky H'wood bistro later.

Nice to dream, ain't it?

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