Back in November, like many fellow Yalies, I began the potentially-life-changing junior year summer job search. Like many fellow Yalies, I just want to rule the world.
(Unlike many fellow Yalies, I don’t actually think I rule the world.)
The search began on the eRecruiting Web site, where I wasted countless hours searching for any job that sounded cool. Then, I contacted any adult I knew that had a job anywhere in the real world — I think that’s known as networking.
I convinced myself that a job in New York City would be awesome, even if 90 percent of Yale will be in New York City this summer, and even if said job is unpaid, 60 hours per week, requires that I wear a tie everyday, and has no Internet access for interns.
If I couldn’t find a cool job in New York City, I could always resort to a lame job in New York City — aka a Wall Street job. But, because I don’t play a sport, am not in a fraternity, don’t dabble in what kids refer to as “coke,” and don’t enjoy selling my soul to the devil, I didn’t even waste my time looking at those jobs.
Not to mention I am convinced the stock market is the biggest conspiracy since the “deaths” of Biggie and Tupac.
Why is there even an application process for Wall Street? The entire procedure should consist of two questions: “Do you like being around loud dudes? Oh, you do? Great. One more question. Have you ever been in a fight at Toad’s? Five? Excellent. Welcome to Wall Street. Come over here so I can give you a firm slap on the ass.”
Isn’t it scary that these are the dudes handling the finances of our nation? Yet people try to blame our economic woes on our presidents. So naive.
Those of us who haven’t brawled at Toad’s must resort to this thing called a resume. Some of you may be familiar with the term. They tell me that in order to create an effective resume, you must use “action words” — which I think is just the fifth grade phrase for “verbs.” You also use a lot of italics, bullet points, bold type, and sentence fragments — in other words, go find your check-plus-plus fifth grade book report that your mom once displayed on the fridge and employ every technique from that on your resume.
Now, you may think this single sheet of paper with fancy bullet points and fonts and lies displays a large bulk of your invented personality. But some greedy companies still want more! Geez, does it ever stop?
In come the sixth grade English skills. Yep, letter writing. More action words and lies. But this time sentence fragments are a no-no. You talk about why you want the certain job, including lofty ideals like motivation, creativity, determination and job experience. This is the business version of lip-syncing — it’s the best you’re ever gonna sound.
Supposedly, after this step there is something known as the interview process, but I didn’t get that far. I’m not sure what it entails.
Are they training us to be interview coaches for athletes and musicians? Are they showing us how to survive an interview by Michael Moore? Do they want us to learn how to hold a microphone? Until I have one of these “interview tests” I’ll just have to keep wondering why so many jobs care about interview skills, just as I wonder why Congress actually wasted time talking to Sammy Sosa.
Now, you would think that because you go to Yale, you have at some time in your life acquired not only the tools necessary for succeeding in the application process, but also the tools necessary for success beyond the job search. You’ve seen people in the real world. And you think you could hack it, might actually obtain a job at one of the 102 places you applied to, and may even be good at it.
I mean, you go to Yale, these are things you are capable of doing, right?
Apparently, these are incorrect assumptions. Which makes me wonder: if it’s not helping me get a sweet job, why am I at Yale? Does the University of Hawaii accept junior transfers?
That Yale education, those life skills: it’s all window dressing, it’s the leaf of parsley on the steak. All you need are the ability to write at a sixth grade level, powerful connections, and maybe some cleavage.
I only have one of those, and I’ll give you a hint, it isn’t powerful connections. Looks like breast implants may be the answer since all I have to offer is the ability to write at a sixth grade level. (Although that is in question after rereading this column.)
So now, it’s April, and all the searching, schmoozing, writing, interviewing, phone calling, bull-sh*tting, e-mailing, and begging is over. What do I have to show for it? An empty ink cartridge in my printer, an obscene cell phone bill, 16 rejection letters, and a raging case of herpes. All of my efforts ended up being as useful as a camera phone.
But maybe I shouldn’t be that surprised. Yes, I go to Yale, which makes me kind of a big deal. But I’m 20 years old, I have no meaningful job experience beyond “law firm bitch,” I can barely figure out public transportation, I laugh when people drop their trays in the cafeteria, I think high school will forever be a disappointment because of the high standards set by Zack Morris, I enjoy the robust flavor of Olde English, I appreciate the comic genius of “Journey” music videos, and I try to emulate post-hypnotism Peter Gibbons from “Office Space.”
If I were a Lunchable, I wouldn’t be the cool one with the pizza, Jello and Capri Sun, I’d be the one with crackers, baloney and apple juice.
But with a year under my belt, at least I’ll be prepared for my next job hunt. All I have to do is start a fight at Toad’s, get new friends with powerful parents, learn to lie, and then I can rule the world.
And if I fail, I could just pitch my “CSI: The College Years” idea to CBS. Those crime dramas are so hot right now.
Carl Williott refuses to sell his soul to the devil … unless the job is really good.