Wednesday, August 26, 2009

All Better Now!

Hey, New Yorkers: just when you thought your crippling life problems were deserving of legitimate attention, guess what? PHPHPHLBPPHLBTHHHBBBBLBTTTT My, what was that apocalyptic armpit noise? Ah, yes. That was the sweet, sweet sound of Dr. Debbie. Caring.

I don't mean to leave out the rest of you urb- and 'burbanites here; only to recount this latest of gems from Time Out New York, the publication that, through thick and thin, has unerringly been there to provide me with biweekly late-breaking intelligence on which lesser-manicured bodily orifices may be waxed for under $58 at boutiques with names like "Sasha." You can't put a price on knowledge like that.*

Anyway, earlier this month, Time Out ventured into the field of career solicitude, introducing psychologist-person Dr. Debbie, an individual who bravely and single-handedly smashes the boundaries of a formerly staid profession by being pictured in a cartoon booth. As if that weren't enough to convince you of the magnitude of this courageous pioneer's gifts to society, let us consider a nugget of her advice to one of Manhattan's job-seeking, 22-year-old Samantha Ringstaff, determined to become a professional contemporary dancer but forestalled by the combination of toilet-bound economy and cutthroat industry.

Dr. Debbie will make it better!:

"Dr. Debbie says: It's important that Samantha stays positive and focused on her goal. She should create a vision board -- a place where she posts pictures of her goals (dance imagery) and encouraging words (I've made it to Broadway, etc.) -- and look at it every day. She can take ten minutes at different times during the day to recite positive affirmations in the form of 'I am...' (not 'I wish...,' 'I want...'); for example, 'I am a great dancer.'")

Listen up, all you jobless: it's high time you stopped all your wimpmeister whining just because the economy has left you without your weenie-butt "artistic fulfillment" and "intellectual stimulation" and "financial security" and "food." Wallowing time is over! Dr. Debbie commands that you get up off your "butt" (assuming that (a) you can dislodge yourself from the "cardboard box" you now call home and (b) you have not already pawned your "butt" to pay for one delicious, delicious meal of "Slim Jims") and create yourself a "vision board" from whatever materials** happen to be available to you! Then, and only then, will you achieve the goal of each and every job-seeker in these troubled times: namely, you will have a vision board.

ASK DR. SNARK

Q. Well, okay, but what if I can't feed myself?
A. We suggest developing motor skills.

Q. But I sold mine to pay for medication for my small ailing child, Braner.***
A. We feel your pain.

Q. Really?
A. Mmm, nah.

Q. Will reciting positive affirmations really help me achieve job security?
A. It depends.

Q. On what?
A. On whether you are a LITTLE PINK CAAAAARE BEEEEEAR WITH A RAAAAAINBOW ON ITS CHE-E-E-E-E-EST FROM THE MAAAAAGICAL LAAAND OF CAAAAAARE-A-LOT COPYRIGHT THE EIGHTIES, THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY, UNDER POTENTIAL THREAT OF WHOM I SWE-E-E-EAR I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF ANYTHING CALLED A "CARE BEAR," SIGNED, DR. SNARK.

Q. What?
A. We said you should look into the exciting field of new media.

Q. What is "new media?"
A. It is media that is not as old as "old media." As opposed to old media, it is comparatively new.

Q. May I recite positive affirmations about it; for example, "I am a great dancer?"
A. Not near Dr. Snark.

Q. But what if I'm not actually a great dancer?
A. Then the Care Bears, who do not tolerate lies, will have you killed. (DR. SNARK HAS NEVER HEARD OF THE CARE BEARS. DR. SNARK HAS NEVER HEARD OF ANY ENTITY ASSOCIATED WITH THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY, ESPECIALLY NOT THE GREAT FESTERING PIECE OF SNOT KNOWN AS "BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE BROADWAY MUSICAL," SO PLEASE DON'T HURT ME.)

Q. But what about Braner?
A. You again?


That is all for today's informative edition of "Ask Dr. Snark." If we have helped but one job-seeker today, we will be very surprised. Not that we will let this get us down or anything, because we are a great dancer.




* Actually, you can: $47.50 at "Sasha."
** Such as, for example, maggot hide. What, does Dr. Debbie have to think of everything FOR YOU???
*** DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that small ailing children are not funny. Unless they are named "Braner."



©2009 Nicola McEldowney
The Snark Ascending

3 comments:

The Old Wolf said...

Snarkette, you really need to write a book at some point. I know a superb illustrator...

(Geez, some people have all the luck).

For what it's worth, dream boards serve a good purpose, if they motivate you to get out there and work your south 40 off...

Yet Another Steve said...

The Weekly World News used to have a great advice columnist named Dear Dottie, who was one hard broad. Someone wrote (well, if anyone actually DID write those things) that, based on her photo, he'd like to get an eyeful of her in a bikini. She replied that the only eyeful he'd get from her would be an eyeful of knuckles. She would also answer plaintive cries for help (?) by telling the querent that he/she is a sleazebag and and lucky that Dottie didn't have his/her address or she'd sic the police on 'em. Now that's tough love.

Matt Campbell said...

Parents and colleges in general do kids a huge disservice by not telling them they can’t afford to major in a field that is not in demand in the real world.

Colleges allow people to major in things like Dance, Art, English, Political Science, History, etc., all wonderful topics, but not in any significant market demand. Platitudes are forthcoming as follows from Ph.D.s in these topics as well as the colleges' "academic advisors":

1) "It'll teach you how to learn!"

Answer: Fair enough. But can you also major in something that will get me a job and teach me to learn at the same time? Why, yes, you can. If you're lucky you will have someone explain the Facts of Work Life to you before you get into hock $100k+ all so you can say you have a B.A. in English. These are as follows: That English degree and another one in engineering + actual experience will (may) get you a decent job. You can live on less, sure, but not in the Big Apple. Not at the moment, anyway. You could live out in Doorknob for real cheap but there aren't as many jobs out there, are there?

2) "It will make you well-rounded"

Answer: If I have no marketable skills, how well-rounded are you, really?

3) "Education is its own reward"

Answer: It's also $100k of debt that you will not be able to get out from under any time soon. The rewards of education are in practice greatly overshadowed by the punishments of 6-figure personal debt. Nothing like being 23 and filing your first bankruptcy papers.

Universities pay professors and T.A.s in fields such as English, etc. a pittance. They have to pay the technical/science fields’ faculty members a lot more, often more than double what the highest-earning profs in the liberal arts fields make. This is supply and demand in action.

A Ph.D. in English makes maybe $55k at a lot of colleges. A B.S. in Comp. Sci will make that much his or her second year out of college. You simply cannot argue with the math on this. It makes a lot more economic sense for the college to let you major in something that costs them half of what it costs to service an engineering student, all while charging you both the same, or nearly the same, tuition and fees. In essence, you are subsidizing the engineering/sciences students as well as the very lavish retirement, health, and pension benefits of staff and faculty.

Really, if people only knew how much in benefits college staff and faculty get, they'd be utterly shocked. The best retirement and health care, incl. health care after retirement, I have ever seen is found in academe. This is a classic case of the older feeding off the younger. You’re the fawn, the college is the lion. It’s a racket.

Now that the scales are (I hope) off her eyes, I want to offer advice: Learn to do something that fast that will make you money. Seems obvious but a lot of people just don't get that part. We will assume she is not going to go down the “masseuse road”, so I’ll keep it above-board.

Instead, she needs to identify fast what sorts of jobs require some amount of training and that are in short supply for people near where she lives or wants to live (or has to live). She may not like these jobs, but you know what, too bad. It sucks to be young.

Once ID'd, find out what to do to qualify for those jobs. Then find out how you can get trained. Education is great but as she has learned the hard way, an educated mind is as unemployable as an uneducated one.

Next get trained and get to work. Some jobs requiring training (but not years of college) here in the US that are under-supplied are: nursing assistants, computer technicians, computer and IT support specialists, HVAC install and repair, computer programmers, teachers, teaching assistants (I mean grade schools here, not colleges), etc. She can check out the Dept. of Labor Occupational Outlook handbook on line for ideas.

And with that... time to go now. Good luck to your friend, and of course, to you.