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My Alternate Universe Perfect Careers

In alternate universes, I have alternate careers where I think about the job I have now.

With the announcement on July 4th that the mysterious Higgs-Boson had finally been discovered at CERN in Switzerland after spending $4.4 billion to build it (cool stuff usually costs more, like an iPhone vs. a BlackBerry), astrophysicist Michio Kaku stated that this discovery could be used to prove that there are parallel universes out there, or a multiverse.

Somewhere in there is the reason that I can imagine what other me’s are doing right now.

Since I will be starting a job (temp/part-time to full) on Monday (yes, I am returning to the writing field), I thought I’d look into those alternate universes to see what has happened to me after following my heart onto these alternate career paths. Among them are: race car driver, international playboy, explorer, chef and cult leader.

To be fair to the “me” in THIS universe, I really think that I would be good in these careers HERE. It’s just, for one reason or another, I was told or asked politely to NOT continue down these paths. That I am alive today is proof that some of this advice was good advice.

Jobs that I would have been good at (sure, it’s bad grammar, but in alternate universes, I DON’T need good grammar for these positions)

Subconsciously, there IS a reason I bought this car…

Race car driver – “I’m a really good driver.

I’ve always been a good driver. Discounting for a minute that I crashed my father’s pristine 1976 Ford LTD station wagon into a telephone pole within my first year of having a license, the 97 MPH speeding ticket on the way to Vegas in 1999 (in my defense, the CHP WAS tailgating me for miles) and a little run-in with a beer or two and a short drive to Taco Bell, I AM an excellent driver, especially at high speeds. Name another person who can handle a 2000 lb 1969 MGC at 132 mph when you’re late for a golf match in high school! (sorry, dad, I didn’t hit a bump and the speedometer needle did NOT get stuck at 132, it just never came back down from that top speed). I feel most free when cruising at a high rate of speed, the wind in my hair and people in my dust. The only reason that I haven’t achieved race car driver status in THIS universe is that mom and dad always drove Ford Tauruses or cars that didn’t list speeds over 85 mph. Well, that and the convertible race car circuit has yet to be created.

Senator/representative/president – who can’t be?

You know my thoughts on this one. Turn on the news and you’ll see why in another universe, I am ALREADY one of these three. And, across all the multiverse just like in this one, I come with intelligence, free thought and logic. I imagine that in debating other candidates, I’d remain calm and logical and would orate circles around them. The reasons that I haven’t achieved such a position here? 1. I’d have to go to Washington (yuck) and 2. I have principles that I’d like to maintain.

Actor

Don’t get me wrong, acting (good acting, anyway) is probably hard. But, I’ve seen enough made for SyFy movies to know that I CAN be an actor. In another universe, I am probably well known enough to get some serious ladies and accolades. Hell, I probably even have a catch phrase that people yell at me on the street or while I’m at dinner with friends or on dates. Then I’d beat the paparazzi to death with their own cameras for taking pictures… Now I know how Alec Baldwin feels. **There is still time for me to achieve this career here. I plan on writing myself into my projects going forward**

Weatherman

I LOVE the weather. The Weather Channel is my third favorite website behind this one and ESPN. There are two times of the year in which I love this country’s weather: hurricane season and spring thunderstorms. I can watch the weather all day when there is a disaster happening (maybe I should be a natural disaster reporter). I can tell you at what millibar pressure a Category 3 Hurricane becomes official, which way winds blow around a high or low pressure area and what a ‘bow echo’ looks like. In an alternate universe, I am Chicago’s leading “Weathercaster,” with fun jokes, weather knowledge and fantastic live reporting skills. This may or may not have something to do with my acting ability. In this universe? Way too much math.

International playboy/explorer

Traveling the world dressed in my tux? Not a problem!

My friend Barb sent me a link for a program that hires ‘gentlemen hosts’ for its cruises in and around Europe so that the old, single ladies have someone to dance with. The drawback is that you need to have dance experience. So, while I am a few short years away from mastering the Cha-Cha, the Waltz and the Tango, in some other universe I am jet-setting the world, sipping expensive, rare champagnes, sharing deep conversations with both world leaders and the haunted geniuses living on the streets, all the time leaving the ladies behind in every city, longing for me to return. Then I don a pair of dungarees, hiking boots, a leather jacket and a wide brimmed hat in order to find lost treasures and civilizations. (There does seem to be a running theme of travel and constant movement in my alternate careers.)

Chef

Look, I can cook. Not as well as my friend’s wife, Kim. She’s insanely good. Creations that will astound and wow you, yet are simple and elegant at the same time. I always appreciate the invites over to have dinner and will one day walk into her restaurant and say, “I remember when we had this while watching “True Blood” that one night…”

But, I can cook as well. Saddled with a heavy load of impatience, I like my food quick, so rarely do my meals take more than a half hour to make. But, feta-stuffed baked salmon and pulled-pork mac-and-cheese are becoming staples. Of course, I can also make a great goat cheese/shrimp pizza, a mean grilled prosciutto and provolone sandwich as well as some great cold chicken pesto penne. Ladies, if you’re reading this and you like a man who can cook, then, you know…

Cult leader

With THIS world ending on December 21st of this year, I have yet to tap into my natural leadership ability and unending charisma to build my cult of followers. Somewhere out there in the vast universes, I am leading a group of “easily led” people to my compound in the mountains, lock the doors, tell everyone to meditate until I tell them not to anymore and then quietly sneak out of there and go back and join society, which will then thank me for removing them from the general population.

So, as I head back to the working world, ready to write again and help others with their voices, I will try not to let my alternate career paths affect this one.

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“Stuck in the Middle With You (My fellow ‘experientially-balanced’ unemployed)”

(Whatever, it’s that kind of day already…)

I received a call this morning. Normally, I don’t pick up the phone unless the caller ID displays a name in my phone book, and even then I give it a 50/50 chance I’ll ACTUALLY pick up the phone (this is how depressing not having a paying job is – I won’t pick up the phone unless it says “(xxx) xxx-xxxx, recruiter offering you A job. Answer now!” Unfortunately, I haven’t learned how to program THAT into my phone yet…).

But, the call this morning came from a 323 area code, meaning that it was from 1. a job that I had applied to, or B. a recruiter, even C. a temp agency.

If you picked “C,” then you know where a man with my experience is going to take you in this particular post today.

(What you need to know about me and my resume, is that although I display a certain high degree of creativity with possibly a lower degree of drive is that my career path has taken me on an adventure of Paulo Coelho-ian proportions. If you have read “The Alchemist,” then picture my career jumping out of the gate as quickly as Santiago’s pursuit of his dream with a great opportunity and experience at Paramount Studios as a studio page, PA, writers’ and show runner’s assistant, then bogged down in my own little “crystal shop” for seven years as a supervisor for an electronics reseller. My dream deferred for some time, I was lucky enough to continue my career in entertainment, working in the field of product placement and brand integrations, which I thoroughly enjoyed and was, by all accounts, pretty goddamned good at it. Now, it appears that I have to “learn how to make the wind blow in the desert.” But, I digress…)

I answered the phone. It was “Jane,”* the woman from “Acme Temp Agency”* calling to ask me more information on my resume. I have had this call before and knew that she was going to tell me that they didn’t place people like me who have “so much experience.” I told her that I am looking for ways to get back into positions that I have held in the past and was not opposed to performing “admin” work. Yes, this is how bad it’s gotten out there, why do you think I write this blog everyday – I have nowhere else to vent my frustrations with society!

After throwing myself at the mercy of Jane, she agreed to let me come in and talk about what I really will accept as work with her tomorrow. She suggested that I bring in a hard copy of my resume so that we can “dumb it down.”

I have a feeling that this is where a lot of candidates out there are finding themselves. We are NOT “not looking.” We are NOT opposed to taking job “below us.” We are NOT afraid of doing “something different.” We are perfect candidates who are perfectly unemployable. Age non-withstanding, as I am neither a recent grad nor a “seasoned vet” with VP, or EVP experience, I find myself equally “too experienced” and equally “inexperienced.” Yet, I have skills that are broad and easily adaptable. But, with so many others out there seeking the same positions, their keywords are probably better than mine.

And that’s why I am stuck in the middle with many millions of others. It’s not a matter of having the experience, it’s just not being picked up by Mr. Algorithm in H.R.

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