Saturday, 6 July 2013
It's about noon. The phone rings.
It's my sister, calling from the other half of the world. She asks for my mother, but there's time to chat for a minute or so. We discuss what's happened in Egypt, and after that, she asks the following:
"Has anyone called you up for an interview yet?"
"It's all about networking, you know."
I resist the urge to tell her how much I hate "networking", and essentially how pointless and fake it is, with no relation whatsoever to how well a job is done. I resist the urge to channel Cappy Cap at her.
I pass the phone to my mother, and go and get dressed. Time to spend the afternoon with my old navy friends.
Most of my navy friends, when I go out with them on our bimonthly trips, won't talk about whether they have jobs, either. At least, those who went to college, instead of those who entered the workforce immediately after leaving the armed forces.
"Have you got a job yet?" the guys ask one another.
"No, I haven't," is the uniform reply.
"Those damned mainland Chinese," someone says not quite under their breath.
End of conversation. No one wants to continue. They sip at their beer; I sip at my tea. A few commiserations are offered by those who didn't go to college, and are waved off with forced smiles. The conversation soon turns to girls and old navy days, two topics that're always safe. We finish our time together, and I down the customary half-mug of beer.
"See you in the morning," they say with a laugh.
I catch a train home, the beer settling uneasily in my gut. Walk the rest of the way to the door, and push it open to find my mother seated in front of the televitz.
"Have you found a job yet?"
"No," I say. "I'm still looking."
"You should find one anyway."
"I know," I reply. "If I don't find something in my field by August, I'll go get a small job. Something to start the money flowing before I can find something that I'm more suited to."
My mother nods and turns back to the talking heads on TV.