Or, as it has been popularly titled by the girlfriend, Phase 2!, Phase 1 being the 21 months she spent here surveying and building an infrastructure and training the locals to do as would be deemed worthy in a Joe+ society. And for this great city, and for this somewhat decent guy, D-Day arrived, some seventeen sunrises ago.
What has transpired since is a litany of job search engines, strategic bar infiltration, and sloth the likes of which this town hasn’t seen since the halcyon days of Big Bill Thompson and Great Depression Illinois. This guy landed with dreams of reinventing himself as some weird chimera composed of big city gumption and old World Scranton alcoholism. What has happened since is atypical for the man in question, if you have any knowledge of history, or can manage metaphorical references to Woodstock ’94, the Edsel, New Coke, or the discoveries in Al Capone’s vault.
The phenomenon of me added to Chicago began with that classic experience of Americana in the 21st century – unpacking. And a riveting ordeal it was, fraught with broken lamps, too many sweatshirts, ill-fated attempts to nail into brick, and the girlfriend leaving her car unlocked, which resulted in the loss of some loose change, and an unholy mess of glove compartment items which apparently is being left in the back seat as a reminder to never forget again the lessons of that tragic day.
After compendious vomiting on day three, the relocator kicked off the following as he would the next many mornings and afternoons. You know, Career Builder is a bunch of fairly well laid out rot, that much is a given. But once you start applying, you can’t stop. It’s addicting. Zesty Taco Doritos addicting. And this is compounded by the maniacally increasing notion that no one out there is paying any attention. You start to think that you are playing tennis with a stone wall. I got so punchy with it that I debated changing my resume to say that I’d spent some time in the circus mucking out donkey cages, but thought this may attract the wrong sort of attention, namely union work.
I did, however, apply to things outside of what could be easily identified as my comfort zone. Sure, I didn’t go to school to be an assistant phlebotomist, but that wasn’t about to stop me from throwing my hat in the ring and prepare myself to roll up my sleeves and get with the phlebotomizing. Sure, I’m not Episcopalian, but I still sent a lovely cover letter explaining that while I’m totally unfamiliar with whatever manner of beliefs they’re peddling, I was the man to fill their writer/storyteller position, the aim of which, if I read correctly, was to get the little ones on the path to heaven or paradise or Xanadu, to spend time with their Episcopalian god, a god I’m not even sure I could pick out of a police lineup.
This isn’t to infer that the god of the Episcopals would’ve gotten picked up for some petty larceny or other crime; I just don’t know the dude. Are you there, Episcopalian god? It’s me, Joe (hopeful to be in your employ soon, O mighty one!).
Considering my background, and my immediate need of cash money, most job openings I sought were in the basic medical claims processing/office work/serialized pseudo-fictional cyborg prose area. As far as reinventing one’s self, this isn’t what you’d call a textbook blueprint for success. But with the price of Total Raisin Bran being what it is, I needed some bucks in the old pocket, and some new stitching there as well. So at the first solid lead I got, a call from a temp agency with a real highfalutin name, I responded with an enthusiasm for medical claims that would shock to massive coronary most if not all of my previous co-workers.
In the next episode of The Great Chicago Experiment, I will relive for you all the horrid details of a night I like to subtitle, from the mouth of the Rusakiewicz, “I did not sign up for this, crazy old lady!” That, temp agency interviewing, and my battle with Chester, all coming soon!