the summer job search. it’s one of those painful, inevitable parts of life that lies somewhere between the inebriation following finals and the packing/moving of your crap preceding the fall semester. if you’re responsible and on top of things, you start in advance. for once in my life, i DID start very, very far in advance (almost immediately after arriving in ann arbor) – what to do this summer? i had some ideas, which fell apart, until my advisor and i finally worked out a somewhat do-able project for summer. but then there was that pesky question of “funding,” required for, you know, such pursuits as “paying rent,” and “not starving.” so we applied for a grant. oh, the grant application. what a stupid exercise in frivolous question answering and detail-providing. i know, i know. i’m a grad student. i’m going to write like, a million billion (trillion?) of these applications, and so on. however, the experience i have had in waiting for the holy grail of graduate life – a GRANT – has been frustrating, annoying, and downright irritating (i think those are all synonyms. i dont care. moving on…).

so what did i do? i started to look for a “real” job. not a real real job – like being an investment banker, a teacher, or a tortured muscian – but a job to pay my rent. here is just a SAMPLE of some of the positions for which i have applied, for purely entertainment value:

– Banana Republic: which actually HIRED me and seemed to have FIRED me before i even attended job training. they didn’t even wait to find out i’m a terrible employee before not returning my calls. awesome.

– Radiology lab technician: hey, under job requirements it said “willing to learn.” there was nothing mentioned of “expertise” or “previous experience.”

– Helping with an elementary school summer program: i love love children, but dealing with snot and knee scrapes every day for 16 weeks might have made me hate hate them.

– Research assistant: okay, i’ve applied to like 50 of these positions. i went to one interview where i found out i had to know alot about “databases.” they asked me, “what types of online databases do you use in your work?” to which i replied “Google Scholar.”
–in another interview for a research position, i realized i had no experience with any statistics programs, even though in the job description one of the requirements was “advanced knowledge of SAS.” oops.

– Receptionist at a hair salon: hey i actually wanted this job. free haircuts? are you kidding? awesome. but they never called me back.

– Caterer: i have never worked in a restaurant or catering in my entire life. i can barely make a sandwich, okay…

– American Apparel: i don’t think this store will hire me, because i don’t know if i’d be allowed to wear things with prints. and i certainly would not be allowed to eat. i tried on some clothes in there once, i don’t know if they make my size. size not zero?

– Urban Outfitters: they have sections on their application for “the last 3 CDs you bought” and “the last magazine you read.” in addition to experience and skills requirements, this place also has a “cool” requirement. don’t get me wrong, i love this store. but seriously…i am definitely not cool enough to work there.

this is just a small number of the jobs i have applied for, because they are more entertaining than the rest. i have a job interview tomorrow and one on friday (at J. Crew, which when they called me – i won’t lie, i almost passed out). let’s just hope these go better than my previous 10 or so flubs. or i might be living on the street in a month.