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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Resume Padding

It's that time of year again when I get the itch to find a new job. It's also the best time to look because all of the schools have their final budgets ready and they know how many people they can hire to replace those they just laid off! So that means a healthy round of printing out resumes, letters of reference, and addressing envelopes. It also means filling out countless online applications and criminal background checks (just please, no one call the state of Virginia...).

I have been working retail since this past December, thanks to the untimely demise of my job at the Charter School of Satan. While retail is fairly simple and routinized, of course I feel like I should be doing so much more. My resume looks mighty weak when I look at it and realize I've done very little lately. However, I had a rather enlightening experience at work the other day that has given me a brand new, very handy skill.

Chipmunk Wrangling.

You heard me. We have a chipmunk (creatively named Chipper by our manager) who likes to do a kamikazee run into the store, then head for the sale racks. He's a savvy shopper after all. Not too long ago though I got a call at 5am from our alarm company telling me that the alarm had gone off. Twice. I called the manager to find out what the hell was going on and lo and behold we had managed to overlook Chipper at closing time the night before and locked him in. He of course, being a chipmunk did what all good chipmunks do, and ran for the front door at the crack of dawn and set off the motion detectors. Then a few days later I look up from helping an elderly customer only to find that Chipper had not only snuck in but had also brought a friend! Figuring this could be bad, the assistant manager and I tried shooing him out of the store but Chipper was too wily for us. He managed to slide behind one of the giant wardrobes that happens to be bolted into the floor, leading us to worry that he might, you know, die behind there. So we waited for him to show his furry little face, scared him out of there, and proceeded to chase him around the store with a metal hook. I had blocked his hiding place with a shelf and when he ran for it, he wound up flying smack into the shelf. We finally herded him out the door and closed it behind him. 

The assistant manager looks up from bending over, laughing hysterically and says, "Now that's something to put on your resume. Chipmunk Wrangling!"

I kid you not.

I did however have an interview with the education director at the local prison. Honestly it was by far the most entertaining interview I've had since the day I met the principal at the DarkSide. I got there a little early since I'm already familiar with security procedures at medium security prisons. The education director was on his way to run an errand and said he'd be back for me. I sat and listened to the wonderful symphony of metal doors clanging shut and guards yelling at wayward convicts. Ah, what a sweet sound! Anyway, the ed director comes to get me and we start walking out to his office when he promptly starts asking me what I thought of the movie Shutter Island. It turns out he has a doctorate in psychology and is fascinated by Leo DiCaprio's portrayal of paranoid schizophrenic delusions. As he's going on and on about Hollywood's take on crazy, I'm trying my best not to look up at the jail itself. I can hear that the inmates are out on the basketball courts that are stacked, three on top of each other at the end of each wing of the prison. Of course all sounds related to basketball suddenly cease and I hear, "LOOK LOOK LOOK!" I can also hear the clanging of chain link and I look up to see them all hanging like Rhesus monkeys from the fence. Excellent.

Inside the education building we pass open classrooms where one inmate damned near falls off his chair while saying, "" Listen ladies, if you ever need an ego boost of epic proportions, interview for a job at a prison. You could throw a bag over your head and wear a burlap sack and they'd still get excited.

Other than the possibility of finding a new man (I only have to wait 2 to 5 years. It was just an assault charge he said), I'm really hoping the funding comes through in the fall so I can teach full time with this particular program. It's probably as close to my DarkSide experience as I'll ever get. In fact I'll probably run into some of my former students!


  1. Ooh, I hope you get it so that you can tell us funny stories!

    I'm totally calling the State of Virginia, though. Just out of curiosity.

  2. I hope you get it, if it's what you want! It probably wouldn't be easy, but it would have to be meaningful!

  3. Go for it Kid!!!

    I know how much you hate retail, but honestly if you're going to pad your resume with "Chipmunk Wrangling", then I think maybe a circus act is in your future!

  4. You're trying to go from a nut house to the insane asylum. What doesn't this surprise me? ;-P