In a perfect world, I’d spend the rest of my life working for the maintenance crew at Barren River Lake State Resort Park.
I would sit in a lawn chair under the big tree, which stood next to the garage office we called the “barn.” On occasion I would mow something or pick up a can from a ditch, then I would reward myself with a two-hour lunch break and a trip to the beach-house to ogle bikini-clad girlies.
Such was the way I spent three summers of my late-high school and early-college years. And the closer I get to having to find a real job, the more I wish I could do it again.
After seven calendar years of college – for four years I worked full-time and schooled part-time, so keep the snide remarks to yourself – I’m teetering on the brink of graduation. Like many of you, I devote too much of my time to trolling the Internet for job postings. This is not because I’m anxious to finally trade my education and experience for a substantial paycheck, but because I feel guilty for constantly begging my parents for cash.
The job search horrifies me in several respects. Foremost is the looming move out of my apartment, where I’ve lived for more than three years and have accumulated enough stuff to fill a bulk freighter.
Beyond that, I’ve noticed a distinct lack of two-hour breaks in the postings for newspaper jobs. I’m the sort of reporter who requires that a generous portion of the workday be set aside for “mental pacification,” an intense process that involves the playing of Orbitz.com pop-up games and an aimless exploration of the newsroom.
I worry that it would be unwise to mention such concerns in an interview. This poses a serious problem, because I really have nothing else to say to a potential employer. There we would sit, blinking at each other across an uncomfortable silence, both wishing the other would spontaneously combust so we wouldn’t have to initiate the closing of the meeting.
The more I think about it, the less appealing the job search becomes, and the more I wonder if there’s still room for me at the state park.
Daniel Pike is the features editor for the Herald. His column normally runs on Thursdays. Reach him at [email protected]