Employment and Everything After

Orange Rhymes WithSo my never-ending quest to find employment has finally ended, and my status as a mangy, unemployed hobo has finally been revoked. Well I mean, I’m still living on a couch and “mangy” is probably the most apt word for whatever my beard is doing these days, but at least someone is paying me real American currency for my labor.

After submitting upward of 25 applications, applying at REI no less than a dozen times and seriously considering working the street corners to make ends meet, I’ve finally been hired on as a landscaper. What that means is that I work 50-hour weeks and return home (well, couch) covered with the remains of the land I’ve scaped and hating all things green. All in all it’s been a good experience, given that I’ve already been paid and have yet to lose any significant body parts to heavy machinery.

Unfortunately, the 50-hour weeks have severely limited the time I have available to even contemplate working on my summer class, and any hopes of sleeping in have been temporarily dashed. There’s also the matter of my newfound inability to pass even the smallest weed without pulling it, and my overly judgmental views on the proper manner in which to maintain a hedge.

It’s like I’ve stepped into stepped into an alternate reality where I’m in the work camp from “Of Mice and Men.” I keep walking by coworkers talking about rumors of “work out in the Dakotas” or explaining that they only need three more years pay to build that house they’ve always wanted. It’s been entertaining so far, but if I see one of the bigger guys petting rabbits then I’m hitting the road immediately.

I’ve noticed lately that unless you work a job that an 8-year-old child would aspire to do (police officer, fireman or non-Somali pirate) then no one actually wants to hear about what happened at work.

One of my best friends does building maintenance, I do landscaping and everyone else I know works for the same pizza joint. Outside of extenuating circumstances none of us actually give a damn to ask about what happened that on any given day. For us the answers will invariably consist of “cleaned rooms,” “cut grass” and “sold pizzas or something.”

So in the interest of not writing an entire column about watching grass grow (and then cutting it), let me end on a high note with the last glimmers of summer that I’ll be unceremoniously squashing into my remaining weekends.

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The next big adventure is a friend’s birthday party/Independence Day voyage across Lake Louise to a small cabin for a long weekend. Granted, we’re not currently sure how to get 15 of us across the lake (or to the lake for that matter) but we are planning on ringing in the New Year with festive cheer and good beer.

At some point before the impending doom of senior year hits, I’m still trying to put together an expedition to do Crow Creek Pass from Girdwood to Eagle River. Let me be the first to say that I am in no way prepared for a hike of that magnitude and have probably around half of the gear necessary to complete the trip. In light of this I’ve met with my group of advisers (or idiot friends if you’re picky), and they tell me it’s in my best interests to make a trip as soon as possible and “just figure it out, man.”

As always, the worst case scenario for these trips is that I accumulate new column material (alongside considerable hospital expenses) so I’m fairly excited about my remaining summer plans. Though my weeks consist of clawing my way out of piles of grass, gasping for air and cursing my decision to maintain yards, my weekends will be filled with hiking, adventuring and the occasional class assignment.

Not too bad for a mangy hobo.