Summer in New York has been pretty COLD. Cold because things have frozen. Cold because life has been static. I am missing the fluidity of human life.
Job hunt for the summer has been a BIG chapter of my life. I am just one more added person in this 12 million population of the city. New York is a BIG place. Living in the city of Brooklyn, where do I go find a JOB? I have gone into almost all of the restaurants and fast food cafes of Brooklyn heights. I have left my phone number and name in some hundred places (literally). I burst into laughter when people ask for a couple of years of experience for a DISHWASHER position. I have more than 8 years of experience. I have been doing it since I started living away from home. Unfortunately, that doesn’t qualify me. There’s no reference. There’s no name of an owner associated. Sometimes, I am asked if I am legal. Unfortunately, I am not. Initially, when I went inside a restaurant, I would be puzzled when they asked me what position I was looking for. I don’t know any position except waiter, cause I can’t do the kitchen. Well, I can, but it’s a RESTAURANT. I will be IN, and everyone else will be OUT. Then I had to do some research over the internet, to know that there are bussers, and runners, and barista, and etc. positions to look for. The next time I go into a restaurant, I have a number of positions to look for. But they don’t want me IN, for some good reasons, but I need to work. Either there’s no manager, or they don’t need anyone now, or they just hired some guys few days back, or i should check back in a couple of days, or I don’t qualify, or if the best can happen, I should go and give a try if I can do the work. WOW!! That’s great. I would love to.
Well, I believe everyone can’t do every job. Thats why there are different fields, and specialized people for that. Anyway, even though not my kind, I started well with it, and was a kind of satisfied. It was going good with me, only to be called by the owner within next two weeks. I was FIRED. I didn’t ask a question, as I see no point in asking. Well, the quest begins once more. A hundred places to visit, leave my name and phone number and etc..
Roaming around the city, I see “HELP WANTED” on the doors. I have been used to with it now, I can go into any store or a cafe or a restaurant anytime and ‘irritate’ them asking if they are hiring. I would probably go mad if someone came in like that when I was so badly waiting for at least one customer for the evening. I like the way they tell me that they just hired someone a week ago. At times I come across advertisements for “FLYER GUY”. Its a position for distributing flyers in front of the store, and SHOUTING at public “Cell Phones Inside, Check them out”. “You have to be “REALLY LOUD”, says the owner. Well, this in not the job for me, it is better for one of those RAP guys roaming around here. I am better jobless. And few more hours on the Craigslist.com, mailing to tens of advertisments. Nothing works. I know I need a few more days of stroll around the town.
After a tiring day out, and with hundreds of ‘not positive’ responses, frustrated and exhausted, when I come back home, and I have my computer on my lap to play with, some place called hi5 to find people, places to pour down my brain, some friends online to talk to, few things to look at and be happy about, this one hour of the day is not just an hour but an added hour to the 24 we have in a day. I LIVE 25 HOURS A DAY EVERYDAY.
But to make it worse, there is this wonderful nuisance called the Microsoft Windows. This Vista thing they boast about asks for an update, only to leave my ‘pirated’ softwares unacceptable. Now, I can’t access my Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or Imageready. There’s no way I am going to buy it. Give me some time, and I will find a way out, and run a ‘pirated’ copy again, a free download over the internet. This is a challenge to Adobe, you can’t afford not to let a person like me use your products. Challege me, and I bear the capabilities of being in the Adobe development team someday. And there is yet another nuisance called the unsecured wireless internet. I really hate it when it disconnects at the most crucial time when I need it. But the best part is, this way or that, things work. The world keeps going. And I keep finding reasons to smile. Be it a beautiful picture over the network, an impressing profile that I bump into, a luring job advertisment in the Craigslist, or a hopeful assurance from a restaurant, or a wonderful joke in a forwarded mail, I come out of the stalemate.
Someone gives me a job. I do everything the BOSS asks me to. Remember, EVERYTHING. When I am polite with the customer, he thinks I am not confident. When I am loud enough, he thinks I am screaming at them. When I am cleaning the table, he thinks I should not leave the register, when I am waiting the register, he thinks I should not be standing still. I know, you are a BOSS, but you are a boss only because you are bossing around. You are not QUALIFIED. But it is OK for the next two months. I work for half a week, and he says “Your training is over tonight, you will be paid now onwards”. “So, what is my schedule for tomorrow?”. “Oh, tomorrow you are OFF”. What a joke. I didn’t come to New York to volunteer cleaning your dishes.
Summer as a student, the ultimate test of your indurance.
My next NEW job is starting this weekend. Its just yet another Busboy, Truckboy, or whatever boy job. (at least someone is still giving me a boy job…lol). Until then I am FREE. This free time is my time for some ‘creativity’ (few words sound better in Nepali though). Some time on the computer to live the best moments of life. Type down some Nepali articles written years ago. Attempt to sketch and paint using MS Paint. Read some beautiful stuff. Listen to music -Bob Dylan, Don Williams, Jagjit Singh. DREAM. Do something. Try to add fluidity to life.
I know “Pain and suffering is inevitable, being miserable is optional”.
“…..Khushi nai ho ki kya ho man ma bhaera aauchha,..chhin ma lahar anekaun man ma uthera aauchha,….Hazar Sapana haruko maya lagera aauchha…Bachne rahar jasto feri bhaera auchha……” …signing off with Bhaktaraj Acharya.
(Jun 14, 2007, NY)