When you’re unemployed, scanning through hundreds of job postings can be humbling. But it can also be entertaining. Just think that a campus locksmith can earn more annually than the amusement ride and game inspector. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I know that having an expertly installed & functioning lock is critical, but I suspect that having a Scrambler ride that doesn’t malfunction is, in the least, equally important.
Some listings essentially ask candidates to be upright and capable of consuming air. This would be like my friend Jeanette’s requirements for dating. Except Jeanette does go a step beyond having a valid driver’s license; there must be something to drive as well. Then there is the other end of the spectrum – my friend Sheila. The list of requirements is long and somewhat whimsical, but dare not leave a question unanswered. Here is the job posting equivalent of Sheila. I did not make this up. And I’ll only post a portion of the very detailed listing.
The Door Attendant is responsible for providing exceptional hospitality services to guests in an attentive, friendly and efficient manner. The Door Attendant is responsible for opening doors for all guests entering and exiting the facility and assisting guests with transportation to off-site locations.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Maintains pleasant, friendly and professional demeanor with all guests, co-workers, and clients
- Acknowledges and greets guests within five feet with a professional and friendly demeanor
- Uses guest last names during interactions
- Uses salutation of the day and welcomes guests to the location
- Opens all vehicle and hotel doors for guests
- Assists guests with directions, taxis, reservations and other inquiries
- Continually monitors and maintains cleanliness and order of guest services area
- Delivers messages, items and/or guest amenities as requested
OK, so this seems to be straight forward. I get the idea and basic sense of the job. But then it continues…
- Must be able to run at top speed, occasionally sit, climb or balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl
- Must be able to stand during entire shift
- Must be able to regularly stand, walk, run, use hands to finger, handle, feel; reach with hands and arms and talk or hear
- Must be able to regularly lift up to 50 pounds frequently and up to 75 pounds occasionally
- Must be able to push and pull (on bell cart) 75 pounds frequently and 100 pounds occasionally
- Must be able to push and pull (on wheelchair) 100 to 350 pounds frequently over considerable distances
- Must have close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perceptions, and ability to adjust focus
And there you have it. Just like Sheila, this employer is looking for James Bond.
I was never lucky with boys. But on this night, this Saturday evening, 5 girlfriends and I were heading to a club 45 minutes from home. Surely, this would be my chance; the chance to meet boys with sensibilities for the witty friend. Boys that didn’t remember your grade school self in cat-eye glasses and ugly hand-me-down bell bottoms. So, we six girls with our freshly curled hair and colored lips, loaded into Shannon’s car and headed, map in hand, to our Mecca.
There were strobe lights, hordes of good looking people and pitchers of cheap wine. Pitchers of wine! Truly a Mecca for a 23 year old in the 80s. Oh yes, this would be the turning point for me and my “game”.
Fast forward to three hours later. I’m sitting alone at a high table, heels on the lower rung, head leaning on hand. I pushed the several empty pitchers out of the way and poured myself another glass of sour-tasting white wine. My friends waved from the dance floor wrapped up with the boys with whom they have been slow-dancing, fast-dancing and making out for two point three hours. Ok, maybe my bitter memory is exaggerating; maybe it was just two hours. Two wine-packed surly hours. And the ride home would seem even longer.
And so it goes. Sometimes the journey to Mecca is fruitful for some. Sometimes your journey to Mecca should be experienced in solitude. And sometimes the journey to and from Mecca is accompanied by wine sweats.
I hate that Charlie Daniels song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. Not because I dislike Georgia, the fiddle or spurn the Devil (OK, if my pastor is reading, I do spurn the Devil). It’s more because it reminds me of a humilating time in Junior High.
The story: I used to go on vacation with my friend Shelly’s family – her Mom, her little brother, Shelly and me. We did several beach vacations and traveled well together. Once, in Myrtle Beach, Shelly and I, all of 12 or 13 years old, met two similarly-aged boys on the beach. This, mind you, was after Shelly and I picked some lovely sea oats as souveniers and packed them in our suitcase – only to learn that there were signs EVERYWHERE indicating that this was, indeed, a crime. In my mind, we wore Bogie hats and trench coats for a day as a disguise. Not true, but really amps up the memories.
These two boys, whose names have disappeared in the fog of years, approached us (read: Shelly) on the beach. There was a taller, thinner dark-haired boy, we will call Jake and another, rounder, red-headed boy, we will call Roy. I called him Mike, not his name, whatever it was, because he reminded me of this kid, Mike, from Zoom. Remember on Zoon, they’d play an intro video where they would say “I’m so-and-so” and do something clever? Mike played the picture, catcher and batter in his intro. Clever. Oh, and he was short, round and freckled. I digress.
We came up with some non-plan Plan to meet up later.
Here’s where things went wrong. Turns out both boys liked Shelly. I’m not sure they’d worked out their alpha male status before we met, so we had to witness some embarrassing, stunted jockeying when they arrived on the beach. Though not true, how I envision it is the two boys at Shelly’s feet and me lounging sullenly on a chair close by with Shelly shouting over to me to keep me engaged in the conversation. Yes, folks, I was the chubbyfunnysidekick here.
Jake eventually won alpha status and at some point he and Shelly decided to take a walk. Remember, this was before crazy people, so there were no red flags. “Sure, go ahead,” I said through my teeth. “Leave me with this freckled, rotund guy,” I said through my head. Guess what? She did leave me.
It all went further downhill after that. Roy was ticked. I was horribly shy and awkward. In a moment, I too was ticked. Roy talked incessantly about Shelly. Asking questions about Shelly. Making observations about Shelly. And then he just flat out said it. He went there “I wish I was with Shelly, right now. She’s so much prettier”.
I was dumbfounded. Then I was steaming mad. Suddenly, someone’s nearby radio starts playing The Devil Went Down To Georgia. Roy suddenly got animated and seemed to forget his rude comments. “I love this song. Don’t you?” He literally jumped up and started clogging in the sand. Really? And *I* am not worthy. Frickin’ Beach-Hill-Jack. He was singing at the top of his lungs. I was cringing. During the heavy fast instrumental portion, when he was air-fiddling with eyes closed, I sulked away quietly, punching the air, spitting and so sad. I ended up riding up and down in the elevator for an hour since I couldn’t go back to the room and Shelly’s mom without Shelly. Remember, this was pre-cellphone, so I just had to wait. This was also clearly an age when riding an elevator was entertainment.
Shelly returned with a smile and freshly kissed lips. “Soooo, how did it go for you,” she asked expectantly. “Oh me? Well, me and the Devil, well we apparently took our fiddles and went to Georgia.”