So, I'm a little rusty on my good old Dante, but does anyone recall which Circle of Hell is reserved for tedious, tiresome, soul-sucking, demoralizing tasks? You know, stuff like "mucking out the stables" (not that I would know, personally, but it seems like it belongs in that category)..."creating the Taj Majal out of toothpicks for a class project"...or, well, my own version of Hades right now: Job Hunting.
This has become the routine: every Monday morning I sit down with my coffee and my laptop, and troll the websites for all of the universities in the area. Then I hit up the various job boards. And believe me, you can find a TON of options out there...if you'd enjoy something in retail (thanks, no), sales (um, not even a little bit), or food-related industries (as in "cook/hostess/waitress/cashier"...and let's just say "not a snowball's chance in, well, you get the picture...") Then there are the many, many listings for medical professionals--lemme tell ya, if I were a nurse or an occupational or physical therapist, I could pick and choose among dozens of opportunities. (Sigh...)
In addition, this being an area saturated with science and technology in both the education and business sectors, there are always openings for Research Associates--for which I'm not qualified in the slightest, but which I find fascinating to read, nonetheless. One example that caught my eye (and continues to crack me up) comes from NC State University, advertising for a Technician to do the following: "assist the sweetpotato breeding and genetics program. The employee will assist with the management of our greenhouse-based breeding activities. Occasional support of our field- and laboratory-based breeding activities will also be expected. Primary duties will include: the propagation and maintenance of plant material in the greenhouse; the establishment, trellising, pollination, and harvest of seed from sweetpotato plants grown for breeding and crossing purposes; entry of data into the computer for record keeping and data analysis; and routine interaction with greenhouse, field, and laboratory personnel to ensure that all plant materials are watered, fertilized, and pest control measures are applied as needed. Additional laboratory-based activities will include assisting an existing Research Technician with pathology disease screen work. Field activities will include assisting with sweetpotato planting and harvest, and harvesting seed from breeding nurseries located off-campus." That's right, we're talking...Yam Assistance...y'all! LOVE. IT!
There are always a few that I run across that cause me to shudder and think, "No freakin' way, not in a million years, they couldn't possibly pay me enough to do that...nonsense." For example (NOT making this up): "lice removal specialist". What the WHAT? I just...have nothing else to say about this topic (except...I'm itchy...). Which is why you can imagine my boundless delight when I stumbled onto a listing for...a Full Time...Cheese Consultant. (That's right, a....Dairy Queen, if you will--of course you can understand why I was intrigued...amused...whatever...) Clearly, this was waaaay too good not to share with Husband, so I interrupted his actual workday to relay my virtual discovery. Surprisingly (not) he greeted my enthusiastic presentation with...a mixture of skepticism and bemusement.
Here's how the conversation went:
H: "What exactly IS that?"
Me: (airily) "Well, you assist customers at Harris Teeter with their...cheese...related...issues."
H: "Really? What would those be?"
Me: "Well, such matters as 'what's the best wine pairing for this' or 'how much would you recommend I buy for my party' or 'what the heck does that kind taste like?'"
H: (still gamely playing along) "And how are you qualified for this?"
Me: (in a tone of strongly-implied DUH) "Um...I like cheese!" When he continued to gaze at me doubtfully, I asserted, "I like cheese A LOT. I eat it every day...sometimes more than once!"
To me, this seemed so glaringly obvious as to be self-explanatory, but Husband by this point had (wisely) decided to give up and, dropping his head into his hands, conceded defeat in the face of my...overwhelming logic.
Yeah...I don't reeeaaaally aspire to the lofty ambition of becoming a Cheese Consultant. But I was possibly becoming a wee bit loopy from the chore of reading, processing, and evaluating such an enormous amount of information--even if most of it was useless to me in the end. I do continue to hold onto the belief that "something will turn up"...and it will absolutely NOT involve processed milk products...or minuscule parasites! Fingers crossed, anyway...