Career Fair

Ever since I started temping I've been thinking a lot about more permanent career options in the event the whole Big Deal Hollywood Screenwriter thing should fall through altogether. My Deeply Concerned Mother is convinced that landing myself a dream job should be a snap, given my big education, numerous skills and talents, and also how cute I am. Me, I can't exactly picture showing up at some San Fernando Valley employment agency trying to sell myself to another Warren R. Schmidt type watching the clock with sweat stains under his arms.

Schmidt: So what are your strengths and weaknesses?
Me: Well, I'm very good at making up stories and engendering conflict.
Schmidt: Let's try to keep this real, dear.
Me: Alright, so the dramatic tension tends to fall apart in my third act.
Schmidt: (as if to a deaf-mute) Are you proficient in Microsoft Office?
Me: No, but I have a B.A. in English and Theater and an M.F.A. in Film and Television.
Schmidt: Perfect. I've got a Fish Counter opening at Ralph's.
Me: Would you happen to keep a Lou Grant flask of whisky in your bottom drawer?
Schmidt: There's always Hometown Buffet.
Me: But I had so very many hopes and dreams, none of them involving glazed carrots.
Schmidt: They wouldn't want you near the food. Ex-cons and film school grads work the dirty dish room in raincoats and hip waders.
Me: Is there a retirement package?
Schmidt: Oh, you'll be dead long before you have to worry about that.
Me: Promise?
I decided to skip this unfortunate exchange and take one of the so-called "free" career tests on the Internet—only to discover that for just $39.99 I could order a set of six audio tapes guaranteed to help me find myself at home, in the car or just about anywhere out of earshot of my current soul-sucking place of employ! Then I came across a site that only required my name and home town—Madonna Ciccone, Detroit—in exchange for an endless barrage of philosophical questions. Do I prefer ideas over money, family and prestige? Do I work best alone or among a group? Do I tend to follow my head or my heart? Would I rather be a loving person or a millionaire? Ape or chimp? Boxers or briefs? Finally, after offering me penile enlargement, discounted dental work and surgical assistant training at the DeVry Institute, the merchant-sponsored site laser targeted toward your typical pigeon-toed trailer dweller gave up the following:

Madonna, your heart's desire is...Design and the Arts!

You have a number of attributes that make you an excellent candidate for a design or artistic-related career. You understand how important it is to express your feelings and do what you love, so it's likely you're already in a design-related field or have created a way to make your non-design-related job more artistic and expressive. If you're currently stuck in a job that does not allow you to throw your heart into your work, it's likely you're an unhappy soul and are not living your life's purpose. Until you get yourself back on track, the life you dream of may never arrive.
Pretty much any idiot sitting around Googling the search term "What To Do When Your Life Sucks" is unlikely to be a "happy soul." Once it occurred to me without even clicking my ruby slippers three times that I've known all along who I am, it wasn't much trouble to come up with a shortlist, whatever my future may hold.


5. L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy. Okay, so I'd have trouble on the psychological exam, since I'm angry and skittish, and also the physical test, since I'm lazy and fat—but it sure would be fun to walk around wearing the hat and the silver star, not to mention the big gun on my hip. I'd spend my days pulling over every last development executive who dared dismiss my work and my nights saving the hookers from the likes of Charlie Sheen.

4.Stay-At-Home Mom. Not only would I stay, I would never leave, not even during an outlying canyon fire threatening to destroy my view. Nor would I actually bear the children, but I'd happily hire people to watch, feed and bathe them while eating bon bons on my Pilates reformer and quietly despising my Smug Overpaid Sitcom Weenie of a husband.

3. Prison Matron. I'd be like Queen Latifa in Chicago, dealing privileges in dollar bills and cigarettes to anyone willing to call me "Mama," sing the occasional bluesy duet and iron my cavernous brassieres.

2. Crown Princess. They all bitch, but only because most every bony little Royal Highness looks so darn hungry. I'd rule Samoa, where I'd be revered for my heft, wear gauzy muu-muus and have a great catch phrase like,"Let them eat poi."

1. New York Times Film Critic. I believe this one speaks for itself.


  1. Anonymous7:46 PM

    I took one of those tests once, they deemed oyster farming to be my natural call...and now I shell out tiny pearls of wisdom

  2. I actually spent a week in Samoa last year on business. Be careful what you wish for.

    Great place, but you would have to get used to the local delicacy of the sea slug guts they squeeze out and sell in coke bottles at the side of the road......yes refrigeration is not an option on the side of the road.

    High number per capita of transvestites as well. I was lucky enough to be hit on by one that made Newman from Seinfeld(pre-diet) look anoxeric. Was quite amusing.

    Funny but I have not been back yet.


  3. That is hilarious. You'd think it would be tough to develop a weight problem living on roadside slugs. I guess it's the Taco Bell of the third world. Thanks for writing (and reading). Thanks also MQ for those tiny pearls of wisdom...JGTH

  4. Anonymous10:17 AM

    Hey Julie...

    Saw your comment on the latest post at "The Artful Writer." If you are a Dash and Lilly fan, I wanted to recommend to you trying to find "The Big Knockover," a collection of Hammett short stories that Lillian Hellman wrote a simply amazing introduction to...it's beautiful and wonderful and all about friendship and love and writing and...sigh. Anyway, worth checking out.

    Great blog. Hang in there...I know the feeling of talking to the Warren Schmidt's of the world all too well..."I know it's hard to believe that someone could major in drama AND English...yes, it is impressive, isn't it?....why, thank you!....yes, I can lift objects over fifty pounds....no, I've never considered a career in lumber..."