In the last seven months, I have applied for over 30 jobs. They range from full time, part time, on site, telecommute, contract, temporary, legitimate, under-the-table, and whatever else defines American employment these days.
I was the verge of finding employment—then I lost it again, again and again.
The following jobs were lost because of membership in the Registry of Sexual Offense. None of this is made up.
Grant writer for a church
GED instructor for adults
Grant writer for faith-based homeless shelter
Communications coordinator for a hospital
Patient referral specialist for a hospital
Grant writer for tree conservation non profit
Grant writer/development assistant for land trust non profit
Grant writer/development assistant for environmental education center
Job coach for mentally disabled adults
Job coach for adults with mental illness
Academic adviser for older adults attending community college
Recreational assistant for residential care center for adults with mental illness
Driver for mentally disabled adults
Ghostwriter for an online dating site
Curriculum designer for online education provider
Grant writer/development assistant for hospital
Editorial content provider for chain of pot shops
It has become obvious to me in recent months that unless a miracle of humanity occurs, I will not be able to find a job commensurate with my education level, that utilizes my abilities, draws upon my wealth of experiences, or that enables me to help people or the planet.
And that would be for the rest of my working life. How I will survive financially is a complete unknown, a lost world of terrifying uncertainty.
This blog is not the proper forum for an exploration of my total economic marginalization in American society.
That forum will come later. I’m still considering its design. A broadsheet is possible. Maybe a TED TALK. Now that would be the pariah gig of a lifetime.
I did find one job. Custodian. I worked one night alongside a janitorial Zen master who unlocked some fascinating portals for observing behaviors generally unseen in American life. Believe me, I took advantage of this opportunity and observed. There is a book or television show in these observations, yes, make it a show. We need a good custodian show. Make him a writer, too, the writer who’s writing a book while working as a custodian. It turned out well for Raymond Carver and Stephen King.
As I said, I worked one night. Then I quit. An epiphany occurred during my one night stand as a custodian. A new special creative power originated within me. I was vacuuming at the time. Or was it cleaning toilets in the secret complex of one of our nation’s great corporate destroyers of worldwide watersheds?
An exploration of that moment is coming later, too.