Job wanted; will work for horse feed.

Last week’s house cleaning escapade scared me straight. If I don’t find gainful employment soon, scrubbing floors and chasing children might become more than just a hobby.

Last week I realized it was time to stop flitting around these job listing sites. It was time to hunker down, get serious and step up my job searching big time.

When I first got laid off, I trolled around for the perfect job. You know, “trendy magazine seeks staff writer to interview hip people, write cool stories, and set her own deadlines. Travel to exotic destinations required; obscenely generous compensation; time off permitted to ride horse, meet farrier and schedule vet appointments.

Then I returned to reality, noted the lack of opportunities and began looking for: “writer needed, paid position.”

What I discovered is that there are plenty of jobs out there. But few that I’m qualified to do.

Only a smattering of jobs are listed on sites dedicated to journalism and they’re not exactly suited for me: press maintenance mechanic, electrician, letter sorter…

Most openings on big websites involve technical writing, and would be right up my alley if I had 10 years of government experience, top security clearance, a background in aviation, or electronic engineering, or IT integration, or software development. Or if I were fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

I also found a couple of jobs for those who can dish about finance and banking (note: “must be a positive person”), and a few for those with a degree in social work, or extensive experience working with the EPA.

One website listed a slew of full-time writing opportunities with the Navy and their posts sucked me in…. great benefits, full medical coverage, discounted travel… Then I read the fine print….”all this with the pride and purpose and satisfaction of serving your country...”

Yikes, enlistment required. Minor setback, I thought, until I read the even finer print and discovered I’m too old for the Navy. The cutoff age is 34. Dammit! Those jobs were mine!

So far, my favorite job listing is for a “media sanitation specialist.”

What the hell is that? A person who writes about garbage??

Actually, the job requires top secret security clearance, a polygraph and 10 years experience so “personnel shall destroy or degauss* (had to look that one up) material as appropriate when directed by the sponsor using sponsor-approved methods.” Whoa, heavy.

Bottom line, I’m not qualified to shred documents or do much else other than write this blog.

Maybe it’s time to start paying myself.

I wonder how long I should wait before I ask myself for a raise….

*degauss: to remove or neutralize the magnetic field