I tell people I am unemployed. This is not because I am not working, but because it is much simpler to tell people the former, rather than explain to them that I actually have four or five jobs which provide little to no income. Some people don’t even understand that being a musician actually CAN pay a living wage. Almost every musician I know has had the “Oh you play an instrument? That’s so nice! What do you do for work?” conversation at least once. It’s a wonder there aren’t more violent musician vs. uneducated non-musician interactions.
Over the years I have been quite lucky with the “day jobs” I have found myself in. I’ve worked mostly in retail – I could probably sell you your own toe if I wanted to. Sadly, the amazing job track record did come to an end with something worse than I anticipated. After a coworker who appeared to have a really bad case of oral herpes (think Ronald McDonald) gave me a staph infection and my neo-Nazi supervisor (Ronald McDonald's boyfriend) informed me that, “It’s scientifically proven that white people are smarter than black people,” I started to believe that Hell was an actual mappable place with coordinates set in the Natick Mall. You know you’ve hit a low point when you go home and Google “What to do when your boss is a racist.” For the record, Google was incredibly unhelpful. I was hoping for directions on how to mow him down into roadkill while hidden in some sort of Star Trek-style cloaking device to avoid arrest, and all I got was that I should quit.
Eventually that’s what I did. Now while I work very hard at being “unemployed” while the rest of you go to your maybe crappy jobs, or maybe great jobs with occasional crappy moments, I am here to offer you some twisted optimism. Things can ALWAYS be worse. I have been aware of this for a long while, but was reminded last week when I realized how much it must suck for the poor, poor, photo editor who was tasked with the job of Photoshopping Madonna’s crotch. I can think of a few other jobs that people probably didn’t sign on for that would be pretty awful. So, as you find yourself having rough moments this week, you can be quite happy that you do not have to do any of the following:
Be the kid who joined the circus with dreams of grandeur and got stuck being the person who cleaned up the elephant poop.
Work as a tattoo artist who was requested to tattoo Lawrence Welk on any part of an 85 year old (male or female) that should forever remain covered with clothes. Use your imagination.
Be a Mennonite nurse and be charged with caring for Hugh Heffner (I don’t know that it’s happened yet, but it could).
Detail cars… for the Gotti family.
Edit “fan fiction” erotica books about Harry Potter characters (Did you know random people were writing this kind of swill? It’s true. I wish it weren’t).
Babysit Justin Bieber. Or really do any job relating to Justin Bieber.