Posted by: Alice Inc. | August 24, 2009

Optimism, you are my bitch lover

Three days before I make the big move to DC, I’m still on my couch, applying to every position under God, under the sun, and under $35,000. In between copy and pasting “please x 1000,” and “just one chance” in my cover letters, I’m watching one of my top five unemployed post grad flicks, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. And the fact that Val Kilmer makes a brilliant snarky gay man is not the only realization dawning upon me at this exact moment.

At the beginning of the movie, Harry, played by the if-he-shat-on-my-rug-it’d-be-the-best-rug-shitting-performance-I’ve-seen-to-date Robert Downey Jr., discovers that the sultry wannabe actress Harmony, played by someone hungrier than I, is actually a childhood friend who fled the confines of their small Indiana town to seek fortune and fame in the big city of LA, carrying with her nothing but a dream, a smile, and, it seems, a nutrient-robbing tape worm.

Now, what could I possibly take from this relatively trite story of failed dream-following? Well, I’ll tell you.

In three days time, I’ll be packing up a car’s worth of my belongings — including pant suits, 50 hardcopies of various resumes and cover letters, and a sleeping bag — and driving down to a city in which I have no business living in, looking for housing I have no business renting, and applying for jobs I have no business aspiring to. And yet, I’m off to follow a dream of employment made fat from a diet of high calorie determination, meaty desperation, and oily naivity. I have no promised job and no promised housing. It’s simply me, my car, and whatever hope and optimism I’ve been able to coax out of hiding in the rundown ghetto of my soul.

It’s not that I haven’t put an ass-ton of thought into this move; I spent weeks considering its pros and cons: pro) DC has one of the only economies in the country still growing after the universal sucker-punch known as the economic downturn. Con) I watch CNN while I run at the gym. I’ve learned that DC people haven’t heard of “funny,” and I’m pretty sure they regurgitate humor-junkies like me to feed their young. Pro) Michael, the boyfriend, is nearish, along with tons of family and friends. Con) Like Harmony, my bank account has developed a tapeworm. Pro) I can finally reclaim the ability to make something happen for myself. I figure, if I’m there, they have to look me in the eye after witnessing my determination and firey spirit, and reading my stellar writing samples, and tell me they have no place for me. I figure, if I’m somewhere where there are plenty of opportunities, with my go-getter attitude and history of diligence, I’ll eventually bend one of those opportunities over and take advantage of it.

And finally, finally, finally. Con) what the hell am I talking about? What, in recent history, makes me think that potential employers won’t look me in the eye after witnessing my determination and firey spirit, after reading my stellar writing samples, and tell me they have no place for me? What makes me different from the thousands of wannabe actresses ebaying their doll collections to pay for their NetFlix and a bus ticket to LA? Where did I get the audacity to think that someone will hear me out, that someone will help me out? And when the hell did I start saying “go-getter attitude?”

So, is my pending move an act of optimism or stupidity? I know it’s what I want, but, I’ve been bitch slapped so many times by the job search, shouldn’t I have learned by now?

My whole life, I’ve been able to make things happen. Basketball, writing, school — it’s all taught me that hard work, intelligence, and talent trumps luck, fate, and probability. It’s the same reason I play blackjack instead of craps — regardless of the odds, I like to pretend I have a hand in my fate. So this move is my hand, bitch-slapping the job search and all logic in what could be one of the dumbest/most brilliant moves of my career.

It could be.


  1. I think you will bitch-slap the hell out of DC…and those potential non-hiring employers will have to look up to your eye-level and try and tell you they have no positions for you before you make them assume the position! Those little wimps don’t know what sorts of wit they will be missing. But Pro) nothing happens when you stay in one place. Moving to DC might be just the bang-bang your job hunt needs. so kiss-kiss, my dear!

    Also, I just saw “The Informant” and he went to Cornell…so really, the job possibilities are endless. Just ask Andy Bernard.

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