Searching For Bobby Fischer

My good (and also jobless) friend Matt and I were talking this morning, and he asked me how the job hunt was going. I told him the truth, that I had applied for a number of things, and was doing my best to follow up on them, but was mostly hitting dead ends, and as a result, I was waiting. He described it as such:

“It’s like playing chess with someone through the mail.”

And I thought, yes. Yes it is like playing chess with someone through the mail. Because I can make my moves as fast and efficiently as I can, and I can prod the other side until kingdom come, but once I submit the application, the ball’s in their court, and I’m stuck waiting.

If I were to count the number of jobs I’ve applied for in the past, say, two weeks, I’d have to use both hands. I don’t think I’m to the point where I’m taking my socks off, but it’s getting up there, and that’s a definite possibility in the next few days. And for each one of those, I like to follow it up a few days later with a call or an email that basically says, “Did you receive my information? Can I have the job? Can I can I can I pleasepleaseplease…?” Typically I word it less like a four year-old on Christmas Eve, but you get the gist. Most of the job openings I’m finding are ones I find online, in which case there’s not really a person I’m talking to as much as there’s a faceless email address that I’m sending my information to, hoping it’s not a scam to put me on the email list for penis enlargement pills or hot Russian babez that want 2 come home w/me 2night. And in those cases, who knows what’s happening. My resume and my follow up email may be floating around in cyberspace unread, and I’ll never know, because I’ll just be sitting around wondering where whoever it is I sent it to is going to move their bishop when they finally get back to me.

If there’s a name attached to it, and good grief, if there’s a phone number, then I consider myself pretty lucky. This has only been the case with two jobs, and both phone numbers have repeatedly led to nothing but a voicemail. That being the case, I leave a polite message that says essentially this:

“Hello sir/madam, this is miscellaneous job applicant #142. I was wondering about the position I applied for with my inadequate resume, specifically, whether it had been filled yet. If you could take some time out of your busy day of doing your own job to call me and the other 141 people that leave you messages about this job, I’d greatly appreciate it. My phone number is…”

It’s tricky business, that’s for sure. So I end up waiting, applying for more things, and hopefully improving my chances of striking gold with something. It’s like playing chess in the mail, but it’s worse than playing a bunch of games and losing them all, it’s starting a bunch of games and never finishing them because whoever it was you were playing with doesn’t have the time to write their move back. And when they do write back, they tell you they’ve decided to play with someone else.

Check. Mate.


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