Monday, September 10, 2012

Help, I Need Somebody

As I have mentioned in the past, I don’t accept help easily, and I have little tolerance for people who are helpless … or shall I say hopeless. You know the type. No matter how much you try to help them, when all is said and done, you wonder how they cross the street without getting hit by a milk truck. That doesn’t stop me from continuing to try and help people.

There are two areas where I consider myself an expert. Self-pleasure and folding laundry. Oh wait a minute, this is not about me. Who am I kidding? It is all about me! All seriousness aside. The two areas are helping people find a job and matchmaking.

That’s right. The guy who is perpetually single and wouldn’t know a proper, age-appropriate mate if he landed on his face (now there is a visual) is one of the world’s best matchmakers. I have put together almost a dozen couples over the last quarter century, and all of them – did you hear me? – all of them are still together. I have signed more Ketubahs than Rabbi Shlomo Levine of Chicago. Funny, people still cannot read my Hebrew handwriting. It looks like Chinese. One couple invited me to their tenth anniversary party, and someone looked at their framed Ketubah and asked them why Chairman Mao signed their wedding contract along with an order for Hunan chicken.

I have had resistance to my skills over the years. The problem is many people are not open-minded. Of all the people I have matched up, only one couple was Gay. I introduced them after meeting one half of them for the first time and talking to him for five minutes during an Oneg Shabbat. I am that good! Straight people are so much easier when it comes to the marriage department. All these Gay people want to get married but don’t want to take my advice. Listen now, you tired old queens – quit looking for the next best thing and look where I point you! Still, I never follow my own advice.

When people try to match me up, it is usually with a middle-aged former pretty boy, who cannot accept the fact that he is no longer the hottest thing in the room (as if he ever was) and who is a sex addict or an alcoholic or a drug dealer. What is even more curious is that they are often fixing me up with psychiatrists. I dated one for a month, and I kept saying, “I’m seeing a psychiatrist,” and no one took the bait.

Dorothy: “Rose is seeing a psychiatrist.”

Sophia: “It’s about time.”

Funny thing about one of the psychiatrists. When he was introduced to me, he was wearing swimming trunks to Friday evening services. My friend Mindy asked me if he was retarded. What a weirdo he was. He wanted me to do a ten-day course of antibiotics before he would touch my hand. Ironically, his house was something out of Hoarders complete with the cat skeleton!

Enough about love. Now, when it comes to helping people find a job, that is another story. Let me start by saying no good deed goes unpunished. Actually, a friend of mine said that yesterday. The reason was he had been waiting for three hours for an unemployed friend of his to come over to work on his resume. The guy kept calling and saying he would be there in fifteen minutes until my friend told him to forget it.

I knew exactly how he felt. Over the years, I have tried to help more people write their resumes than George Michael has given blowjobs in a London park. That is a lot of resumes.

Strangely, with a few exceptions, this turns out to be a miserable experience. The few exceptions are still working at their jobs.
Take the example my friend went through. My immediate impression was this guy would be late or not show up at all for an interview. Then there is the embarrassment of recommending someone for a job, and they don’t follow through or screw the whole thing up.

I know there are a lot of people out of work for all kinds of reasons, and I have been laid off three times myself, but there are those whose employment status and their unwillingness to change it can only be blamed on themselves.

Here are the examples of what I encountered over the years.

I had a friend who was let go from three jobs in three years, due to his late night activities, which encroached on his daytime activities. In other words, show up hung-over three times in one week, and you are sure to be taking your coffee cup home by noon. Of course, that didn’t stop me from helping him fluff up his resume. We lost touch for almost twenty years, and guess what? He was still partying every night and jumping from job to job. He never grew up and thinks he is still hot, although his wrinkled face and Just for Men hair color belie his self-assessment.

There was my friend who decided to quit his job after a dozen years and pursue another path. The problem was he didn’t know what the path was. I told him to make a list of those things that bring him joy and those things of which he was passionate and another list of the things he enjoyed doing then call me and we would map out a plan for him. He was supposed to call me at 1:00 pm on a Sunday. That was three months ago. I am still waiting for the call. Update: He is still not working.

Add to this list all the jobs openings  I have forwarded to people who were out of work and qualified for the positions. Ask me how many applied. Go ahead, ask me. One. There are those whom I asked to forward me their resumes, so I could add them to the pool. Ask me how many did that. One. The worst part is these were all people who were begging for help finding a job.

The best one was the neighbor who asked me what I did for a living then asked me if I could help him find work. I worked on his resume, and he submitted it for a position with a company where a friend of mine was the hiring manager. He did everything he was supposed to do. I was impressed and felt for the first time in a long time that I wasn’t being made to look like a fool when I said to someone, “I know a guy who would be perfect for this job.”

He nailed his phone interview, too! There was great hope, and his in-person interview was scheduled for the following day.

After his interview, my friend called me. I was so excited because it had been too long since anyone followed through and landed the job. The conversation went like this:

She: “Milton, your friend came in for his interview.”

I: “He is just a neighbor. How did it go?”

She: “Was this a joke?”

I: “Oh God. What happened?”

She: “He wore a very nice suit.”

I: “And …”

She: “And, he was made up like a drag queen.”

I: “What?!?”

She: “He showed up in a man’s suit with full drag queen make-up and hair.”

I: “Did he get the job?”

She: Silence

I: “Well?”

She: “Yes. It turns out he is perfectly qualified for the position. He starts on Monday.”

So you see, I still have my touch.

What was the job? Territory supervisor for Estée Lauder Cosmetics.
Never doubt an expert.

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