Monday, March 02, 2009

Life in the Foodchain

Twenty years of schooling and they put you on the day shift
-- Bob Dylan, "Subterranean Homesick Blues"

That sounds about right. And right now I'd probably settle for the day shift. Searching, the world's largest database of job openings, shows that precisely fourteen positions have been posted nationwide for technical writers in the past month. The closest are in Alexandria, Virginia and Beloit, Wisconsin., the for techies, shows precisely zero technical writer openings in Ohio. My guess, extrapolating from the roughly 20 technical writers I know who are currently unemployed in Columbus, is that there are hundreds of applicants for each position.

Q: What are the odds?
A: Not very good.

I learned that in one of the numerous classes I took during the twenty years of schooling.

Well your mother was there to protect you
Your papa was there to provide
So how in the world did the excellent baby
Wind up in this hotel so broken inside?
You lie on your bed in the midnight darkly
Listening to every sound
Watching the shadows for anything moving
And hoping they don't come around

'Cause it's dog eat dog
And it's cat and mouse
It's watch your step and cross yourself
And get back in the house
And it's do or die
It's push and shove
Because everybody's hungry
And there isn't quite enough

That's right, we're talkin' about the good life
In the foodchain
Love among the ruins
I guess that you've finally got to accept
That there's nothing you can do about it
It's kind of like carving the turkey
It's kind of like mowing the lawn:
Everything gets to this certain dimension
Winds up on a customer's plate and then gone
-- Tonio K., "Life in the Foodchain"


Living the Biblios said...

Feeling your pain and praying for God's provision

Anonymous said...

Sorry that you have to go through with all of this. Definitely in my thoughts and prayers and hoping something opens up for you. Also, Beloit WI isn't a bad town to live in.

Anonymous said...

I would check out the jobs in Beloit and Alexandria. Both are probably an 8 or 9 hour drive from you, which would enable you to come home most weekends. Remember Jim.

Pilgrim said...

I hope you're doing ok, Andy. At least the weather's getting better.

Andy Whitman said...

Thanks, Julana. I'm doing okay. I go through waves of depression, but I'm dealing with that by praying, which is better than how I've sometimes dealt with waves of depression.

I have an interview this afternoon at 2:00 EST. It's for a job here in Columbus, one in which I certainly meet all the qualifications. A friend and former/co-worker has gone to bat for me, and apparently convinced her manager that they really do need another technical writer. That's my best (okay, my only) shot for the foreseeable future, so I'd appreciate your prayers, and everyone else's as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,

My name is Ryan, and I work at a Theater Venue in Minnesota that will be hosting a show featuring Nico Muhly and Son Lux later this Spring. I've heard that you're a fan, and was wondering if there's an email address or a way that I can get in contact with you to talk about this show further with you? Feel free to contact me at

P.S. Good luck with the job hunt. Hope the interview went well.

Anonymous said...

We're praying Andy.