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Monday Update Part II: Week 9 on Stands, Week 8 (8 Simple Rules For Doing Something With Your Life) Right Here!

January 16, 2007

I had a chance to grab a print copy of this week’s Night Life today during work on my day off and it looks like I decided to run ‘Bizarro Acrophobia’, the inaugural essay from my upcoming humor collection If They Can’t Take a Joke.  It’s one of my favorite’s about the joys of being a tall man versus guys with Napoleanic complexes, so make sure to grab the print copy if you can.  Below you’ll find ‘8 Simple Rules For Doing Something With Your Life’, an incendiary soap box on how people who get checks on the first of the month can go about getting off their asses and finding a job.  My Time Warner post, in the mean time, has been drawing a lot of traffic, garnering over three dozen unique hits alone in the past two days!  Ha Ha!  Direct TV installed the dish today and I couldn’t be happier.  Just this afternoon I was enjoying the buddy cop goodness of ‘The Hard Way’. Props to the buddy cop films!   Anyhow, enjoy.  ‘8 Simple Rules…’ rounded out the tail end of Slapstick & Superego, which you all won’t see in book format for at least another fourteen months.  Have a great week and I’ll give a shout back to all of you next Monday,

Tom Waters

8 Simple Rules For Doing Something With Your Life

My girlfriend and I went to the reservation to get cigarettes on Sunday (like we do every two weeks after payday) and it was a mob scene. We usually go early in the morning before ten or eleven so we can beat the rush, and there were three cashiers and the line was twenty people deep. I was in a sociable mood, so I asked the cashier, ‘Are people loading up before the Bills game?’ She looked at me with a deep seated disgust and said, ‘Nope. First of the month.’ It’s interesting how the bulk of our unemployed can’t get off their asses to find a job, yet they can drive for an hour and a half on a Sunday morning to pick up smokes. This is what our taxes support, with or without our consent.

I know the job market sucks just a little bit in Buffalo, but c’mon. There are too many two-parent families sitting on the couch, smoking pot, screwing off, or working the system. I went on unemployment once when I was 24 and although I objected to it ethically, I was in a tough spot. It wasn’t the first time I’d been without a job and I had some large bills after getting laid off from a temp job by an evil, soulless cell phone company that rhymes with horizon. As a man, I had a problem with letting someone else pick up my tab even though I’ve been paying into the system since I got my working papers and went to work at a restaurant at the tender age of fourteen. I don’t understand how fathers can coast for years on unemployment not for, but thanks to the children they brought into the world.

And make no mistake, I am not racially profiling here. I’ve seen unemployed people on every end of the rainbow. We went grocery shopping out in Cheektowaga on the first of the month once and it was like a field day. The store looked like a studio audience from the price is right, and if I had a nickel for every tattered flannel shirt and unwashed head of hair, my groceries would have been free that day. I can understand if you get laid off and two-thirds of your union check go a longer way than any help wanted job you can pick up on the fly, but after awhile, it’s time to get on your feet and back into the work force. My main beef is with families who spawn children for the higher tax return and the endless meal ticket. Generations that teach further generations to milk hard working people out of tax dollars that they bleed, sweat and bust their hump over. I know it’s tough to turn the tv off, put on your shoes and look for work, but make an effort. Don’t fill out applications and take references just so you can turn those names in to the department of labor for another dozen paydays. Get off your lazy ass and get a job!

In an effort to do my part for the issue, I’m offering some free advice. I work a full time job, write full time (which pays sometimes), and spend months actively promoting my books when they’re out. A lot of my money has gone into blocks of government cheese. Here, absolutely free of charge, are some handy tools for finding and maintaining active employment in the work force. The only prerequisite is that you’re capable of reading above a fourth grade level. If you’re not, your stupid ass probably hasn’t gotten this far without a brain embolism anyway. Here goes:

1. You Must Leave Your House To Get A Job: While smoking bales of pot, drinking gallons of Red Dog or beating up on your spouse may have it’s charms, you need to exit the door of your home to seek employment. This step is crucial, so you don’t want to miss it. Jobs are often past your driveway and occasionally require you to drive, take the bus or walk a mile or two. I know it’s tough, but give it a shot.

2. Tuck In Your Shirt And Show Up On Time For A Job Interview: It may be acceptable to hang out with your friends in a food-stained t-shirt and jeans from the Clinton administration, but maybe you should find the pair of clothes you wore the last time you were standing up in a courthouse, dust them off, iron them if possible, and put your best foot forward. And it doesn’t hurt to show up within three hours of the designated time that the interview is scheduled. Have you seen that tonged instrument in your bathroom? That’s a comb. If you wave it like a wand through your hair, it will give your prospective employer the impression that you’re groomed. And don’t bring your girlfriend or significant other in with you to hang out while the interview process is taking place. It’s tacky.

3. Try Not To Have A Criminal Record: Sure, that guy looked at you funny in the bar and that dude shouldn’t be throwing it into your ex, but this is known as civilization, so repress the rage and go through life with a modicum of civility. Believe it or not, but prior arrests and restraining orders will make a bit of a ding when someone runs a background check on your Burger King application. They don’t like when you apply for tractor trailer school after jackknifing your Saab off of an expressway after five lines of coke and a fifth of Crown Royal. Shooting or stabbing someone is sometimes frowned upon when a possible boss is considering you as a co-worker. For some reason, people don’t like to be stabbed, and they especially don’t like being stabbed repeatedly. Go figure. Show some restraint and it will show up in your paycheck some day.

4. It’s Easier To Get A Job When You’re Not Repopulating The County: If you keep your pants on for more than 24 hours, you can report to a place of business. If you can master this step, you can get monies to purchase things like condoms, diaphragms and forms of con-tra-cep-tion, or don’t-get-knocked-up stuff. I know your wife or girlfriend looks hot when you’re drunk and she’s battered her face with rouge, but give it a rest. Babies cost money, and it would be nice if it wasn’t my money.

5. If You Get a Job, You Can Live Comfortably For The Entire Month Instead Of The First Seven Days Or When You Piss Up My Money, Whichever Comes First: People who have jobs maintain what’s known as a budget. That’s where they have money, but don’t fritter it away on drive through food, various smokeables, or fancy sneakers. They take some of their money to spend and save the rest in buildings that take care of it and give them more money. These buildings are also known as banks. You can trust them. Sometimes you can get a job with them.

6. Diplomas Are Applauded: If you’re confused with this rule, I apologize. Be it a G.E.D., a community college certificate purchased with box tops, or a business degree from an accredited university, time spent studying something other than videogames, doggy style, or slasher flicks translates into the job market. One of the nice side bonuses of having a diploma is that you can read the Help Wanted section in your local newspaper. It’s not in the Sports section, but every week they advertise jobs that are available for people. Look into it.

7. Crack Cocaine Is Frowned Upon: Although smoking crack is a good way to lose thirty pounds in a month, your teeth, your sanity, virginity in your mouth and buttocks, and your furniture at the nearest pawn shop. It’s what’s known as a conflict of interest if you spend all your time fishing through your carpet looking for crack nuggets instead of a job.

8. You May Have To Get Up Before 12 PM And The Weekend Is, In Actuality, Only Two And A Half Days: Some people who work for a living get up at six, seven, and eight in the morning not because they choose to, but because it’s a part of their job. A good number of interview sessions and job fairs take place at nine and ten a.m. A.M. means in the morning, or after midnight. Something like that. You’d be surprised at how much you can accomplish with your day if you get up before the first block of Jerry Springer. Morning people also drink a beverage quite different from alcoholic and malt beverages referred to as ‘coffee’. It wakes you up when you aren’t naturally used to being up and lends to the physical attributes of being productive. This comes in handy when you have a job. And here’s a multiple choice question for you: The weekend is a)Thursday to Wednesday, b)the beginning of the Sabres game to the end of the NBA playoffs, c)free time you’re allowed after a full work week that may or may not be Monday through Friday, d)Friday night, Saturday and Sunday or e)Time I spent in the holding center until her black eye stopped throbbing and I got bailed out. Pens, pencils and crayons down after five minutes.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Don’t even get me started on the fifteenth of the month, better known as the first of the month, part two. There are a lot of genuinely around-the-bend batshit people drooling, shuffling, raving and placing tinfoil in their homes throughout the Buffalo area, but I’d be willing to be that fifty percent of them are faking it just enough to get a free payday and good psychotropic drugs. Go out and get a frigging job. You just might find some self respect for yourself as a man if you do. It’s certainly not lost in the couch fibers, so after two years, you can get off the couch and call off the search. If I sound jaded, it’s because I’m sick of supporting a bankrupt social system that rewards laziness and senseless reproduction. Long term welfare is for losers. Pass it on.

Enjoying multiple kinds of cheese,

Tom ’pepper jack’ Waters

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