Aisle Of Wit

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Going in A Different Direction

“North, East, South or West?”

That’s how I answered the gentleman who manages the local California Pizza Kitchen near my apartment who last week informed me, after a nearly four month process of applications, video uploads, reference checks and interviews they were “going in a different direction” to give someone else a steady, paying job that I frankly need very much these days.

I’ve become humbled as I seek a consistent source of income.  After all, there’s this pandemic thing going on (haven’t you heard?) and an upheaval on business plans that have frozen or eliminated thousands of jobs.  But if you read and listen to news as much as I do, our political leaders insist there are thousands of job openings as more cautious and/or burned out people choose not to work.  I’m not particularly confident in my ability to drive a van or work as a picker in a warehouse, but when I saw the “help wanted’ SIGN in the exact restaurant that I ate dozens of free 7” pizzas last summer (a great Dodger promotion, BTW, that more than justified my initial $16 investment), I felt I had an in.  I knew the product, I knew the hiring manager, I actually saw they had a job opening, and I felt confident I could serve people.

I was telephoned, and after four unsuccessful attempts to return it, I was informed by said manager that they went in a “different direction”.  I was still without a steady job.  I was yet again crushed.

I asked if he could clarify what led him to go in a different direction.

He said “sure”.  He then said “you aren’t a fit for our culture”.

I asked “Really?  What is your culture?”

He said “What do you mean?”

I said “Well, if I had a better idea what works for your culture perhaps I’ll be more successful the next time I apply”.

He said “I really can’t point to one thing; we just don’t see you as a fit in the culture here.”.

I asked “is the culture different elsewhere–perhaps at the CPK a couple of miles away?”

He said “possibly; I can’t really say”.

I asked “Well, can you say anything except what you’re being allowed to say to someone you reject for a very needed job?”

He said   “Not really.  Are you inferring anything, sir?”

I said “I’m not inferring a thing.  I’m just asking you to clarify  if your culture is perhaps defined by younger, more minority-representative employees?”

He said “Sir, is that a threat?”

I said “No, it’s a request for clarification”.

He said “Sir, I can’t clarify anything”,

I said “A few minutes ago you attempted a clarification for me.  This was an extension of the same clarifiication you just said “sure” to.  I assumed “sure” was an affirmative response?

He said “I’m sorry, I have to get to work.”

I said “At least you can”.

With all due apologies to the ghosts of Abbott and Costello, “Third base”.

I’ve gone through hundreds of similar rejections in the past 18 1/2 months.  Most of them have been either in person or inferred after follow-ups from actual zoom calls never occur.  Apparently a company can arbitrarily decide that saying “we’re going in a different direction” absolves them of any other detail as to why they did.

So I guess I have to go in my own different direction.  And as a very trusted friend persistently advises, I have to hire myself.

So I looked on the internet for inspiration of how people can hire themselves and effectively be their own brand.  Found a couple such examples.

Stephanie Motto, a reality star who rose to fame on the top-rated 90 DAY FIANCE made as much as $50,000 a week at one point last year by selling bottles with the aroma of her farts.  With a steady diet of protein shakes, black beans and eggs, she literally blew herself into a hospital after earning over $200,000 in total.  At the advice of her doctors, she has recently pivoted her business to sell NFTs of the fart bottles.  She does plan to donate some of her newfound wealth to charities who work with gastric disorders.  Good on you, Stephanie.

Sarah White charges a minimum of $1000 an hour–double that for emergencies–for online sessions as “The Naked Therapist”.Steeped in the principles of traditional therapy, Sarah meets with her male clients–by her own estimate, roughly 1,000–and allows them to explore feelings of shame, fear, depression or frustration tied to feelings of sexual inadequacy. Both she and her client get naked, she encourages arousal, and she spends a good deal of the hour merely talking to them in an open, intimate exchange that traditional therapists could not legally explore.  How much of the hour is spent talking is dependent upon the client.  She claims many return for multiple sessions.

The harsh reality is that an attractive woman has options that a dude like me believes he does not.  I emphasize believe because the same trusted friend insists that in a world that has produced unprecendented isolation and physical deprivation, not to mention self-exploration of what floats one’s boat, I might be pleasantly surprised if I had the balls to attempt such a business.   As I’ve written before, Only Fans has proven that there are millions of people around the world willing to have their credit cards charged just to see a stranger say their name in a suggestive matter.

I’m still not ready to try that.

But I know that this work is perhaps a precursor to a model where my intellectual skills may have a price point.  I’m exploring them.  The price of my brain may not be quite as high as my ass.  But I know I’m worth it.  I hope some of you will agree.

Oh, and just in case you are intrigued by the possibility suggested to me?  I’m reigniting my weight loss regimen like millions do in a typical January.  Starting with cutting down on pizza.

Until next time…