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Job Hunting / Body Re-Building Not for The Faint of Heart

by Jon Kaufman

Available immediately; one highly motivated, salesperson/writer, familiar with the Roanoke market and recently released into the wild.  Hardworking and brimming with experience, this shining example of efficiency is available to discuss employment opportunities at your convenience.  Don’t wait! Operators are standing by!

Last week my former employer launched a tsunami of nationwide lay-offs which swept away my livelihood, my health insurance, and my reason for waking up before noon.  Undaunted by this sticky predicament, I have launched myself upon the job market, hoping to find employment before my separation package heads out to sea as well. As many of you already know, it’s pretty scary out there in the unemployment abyss, and this sudden departure has left me a bit unprepared.

First, my resume needed some updating.  Nearly thirty years of work is difficult to encapsulate into a single piece of paper.  Names and dates need to be accurate, duties and responsibilities described in short detail and references have to be contacted.  Some of my former employers are out of business, yet others have somehow managed to carry on without me.  Every job site on the Internet wants to offer me advice on my resume.  How nice of them.  I have just been deposited into the street and these angels of recapitulation have flown to my aid.  Despite this generous offer, I have opted to soldier on and keep what little money I have left.

In an effort to change a negative into a positive, I have decided to join a gym.  This is a big step for a person who retires his recliner every couple of years.  My son Will, an amazingly fit young man, emailed me a workout schedule to provide me with a guideline for success. Upon reviewing this well meant document, I realized that Will was either trying to put me out of my misery or that his months away at college have somehow addled his memory. Considering my present situation, a substantial death benefit cannot possibly be a motive. The truth is that I am not in very good shape.  The only person that might be attracted to me at this time would be an indiscriminate, famished cannibal with plenty of freezer space.

Setting aside the weight lifting portion of Will’s program, which seemed painful, my baby steps began on the treadmill.  Regardless of outward appearances, I can walk and did so for ten minutes, glancing occasionally at the person next to me who had been sprinting on this apparatus since I entered the building.  Maybe that could be me someday? Next, I rode a stationary bicycle and watched “Regis & Kelly” on a television stationed in front of my motionless vehicle. No sweat.  Finally, I spied a contraption which simulates the actions of a cross country skier, called an Elliptical. Many of my new gym mates were using this piece of equipment and not one of them appeared to be near death.  I climbed on.

Before me was a bank of flashing red lights coming from the data board of the elliptical. I should have taken this sign as a warning, but didn’t.  Programming the device for “Weight Loss,” I began my workout.  I found my first thirty seconds were quite invigorating when, without warning, the upper part of my legs staged a revolt.  As my calves continued to truck, everything north of my knees unconditionally surrendered.  Stepping off the machinery I stumbled and spun like Trevor Berbick the night he lost his title to Mike Tyson.  Had it not been for a helpful bystander, I would have plummeted to the carpet for a ten count.

Steering clear of devices unknown to me, I continue to frequent the gym in hopes of dulling my jobless misery.  My job hunt has yielded few prospects. Still, I remain positive that somewhere, someone can benefit from the diversity of my skills and experience.  Operators are still standing by, please save me from the gym before it is too late.

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