I went into the employment office last week.
Not to get a job, just to look at listings.
You know the place. It’s that local grey brick building with long waiting lines, take a number and bureaucrats.
I know that making contacts and online resumes is the way to go.
But I also wanted to speak to another human.
“I’m just looking to try something new. Get some different experience,” I told the elderly lady at the front counter.
“I’ve never met an out of work writer before,” she said, looking me up and down with suspicion.
“I’m not out of work, I just want to see what’s available.”
“This is not the ‘Let’s see what’s open’ line. Are you a vet?”
“Then take a seat. We will call you.”
An hour later the interviewer looked at me “I’ve never met an out of work writer before.”
This time I laughed.
I started to ask him if he ever met Hemingway or Dickens but I remembered the first law of dealing with bureaucrats, ‘ Nobody likes a smart butt.’
“Let’s get some information first. Name?”
Really? It’s all on the sheet in front of you.
“This is for my records.”
Ah. A meticulous bureaucrat. This man excelled at paperwork generation.
His cubicle was surrounded by awards for outstanding service, meritorious service to his country.
Even a plaque signed by the governor for twenty years helping the unemployed.
My tax dollars hard at work.
“I write a little,” he said looking down at his desk.
Oh no. Here it comes. The ‘I write novels in my spare time, can you look at mine for me?” question.
I left my seat and walked out of the building.