Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Wisconsin 101: On a mission from God

I have decided that another way to kick start my career, in addition to applying for jobs and taking civil service exams - by the way, I scored only 80 or so on the state test. What was wrong with me? I know that I got that "1/8 = 0.125" question right. And the cat/veterinarian one.

But they asked all these technical questions about Access. I don't know all the terms - objects, tables, primary keys - but I do know how to work a database. I need to find out how long before I can take the test again. I'll take a little online tutorial and study all the terminology because everyone knows it's the person who knows all the terminology who can do the best analysis, right?

I guess I never finished that first sentence. So the other way to kick start my career is to update my resume by volunteering.

Which is why I went to the basketball arena with a group from church to work at the brats and beer stand.

See, if I were Baptist, I couldn't do this.


My senior year of high school, my teacher was a chaplain who had been in the (I think) Korean war. He said that on Friday nights, after the soldiers had gotten their beer and cigarettes and the Baptist boys had traded their beer and cigarettes for whatever you trade beer and cigarettes for, the Catholics and the more liberal Protestants would be playing cards, drinking, and smoking. The Baptists would be doing whatever they would do - please don't take this as an assault on Baptists - I have known some lovely Baptists indeed, but eventually would make their way to the loud, smoky, party with the card-playing, beer-drinking Catholics. They might not have joined in the drinking or the smoking, but they still wanted to hang out.

The group gets to keep about 12 % of the total revenues from the beer, brat, nacho, soda, and pretzel sales. The arena benefits because they don't have to hire, fire, and manage a group of employees and the volunteer groups raise money for their organizations.

"That's why I hated it when we had to sell chili dogs that one time," one of the volunteers, who had a consultant/accounting feel to him. "It took so long to make those darn things. I wanted to sell beer. That's where the money is. But we had customers backed up, waiting for those darn chili dogs."

The guy who runs the group is an older gentleman with white hair and twinkling blue eyes. He flirted with every single woman who came to the counter. With almost every one, he asked for ID. It worked. That, plus he told them we were a church group. "Would you like a pretzel with that beer?" he would ask. "Oh yah sure!" they would say.

My job was to --

Wait. Before I tell you what my job was and how it relates to my re-entering the workforce, I have to tell you what the main benefit was.

The main benefit was the people watching.

The event was a concert. A Miranda Lambert concert. Almost all women, many of them wearing very short shorts, which is not something I think is a good idea even when it's warm out and certainly not when it is April in Milwaukee although and I'm going to be tacky here although I am certainly in no position to be throwing stones although I was not wearing shorts that were barely there so maybe I can toss a few pebbles, but it's not like these girls were going to be cold if you know what I mean.

Where was I? Oh. Lots of very short shorts. Lots of big hair. Piercings! And tattoos! At a country music concert! I didn't think tats and piercings had gone country!

Lots of all the way around the eye eyeliner. Which is not a good look. For anyone.

Several stunningly beautiful women whose beauty was not completely marred but severely undermined because they were smacking chewing gum. You guys - don't do it. It looks bad. It makes you look cheap.

And I know you don't come to me for fashion advice, but I almost ran out to a woman to do a long butt jeans intervention. It might have been the worst case I have ever seen. The bottom of the back pockets on her jeans ended, yes, ended! about three inches below her waist.

Bless her heart, it made her butt look about forty inches long. That woman needed help.

The other thing you don't come to me for is parenting advice and why would you? You are all already perfect parents. So I know you will all share my aghastness at the mother who had her second grader in high heels at this concert. I am going to give her a pass on having a kid out that late on a school night. Special occasions can happen. But I can't see any reason ever to have a second grader wearing high heels. I'm 48 and I avoid them as much as possible. Not so much because I don't like how they look but because they hurt.

Back to my resume-enhancing work.

I can see that volunteering is the way to go. Applying for jobs online has not been doing it for me. I need to get out there, update my skills, show the marketplace what I can do.

Which is why I think I have a new in. I spent three hours pouring fountain Pepsi, diet Pepsi, and Mountain Dew. And I cleaned the popcorn machine. Oh - and I refilled the ice. I am ready to ask, "Do you want fries with that?"


webb said...

I think you might do better volunteering somewhere that you will work with people who do the kind of work you might want to do. That is, can you do something at a hospital that might need an administrative person? "Do you know that nice volunteer Class Factotum? She does a really good job answering questions at the Info Desk. Maybe she would be good at ____."

Unless the beer and brat stand was operated by a group of business people, it probably wasn't a place where you could impress anyone with how efficient/skilled you are.

And, by the way ... there are two ways to pronounce "brats". I immediately assumed the other one, and thought that you were trying to volunteer as a nanny!

Something will pop up. And, you never know ... 80 might be a high score!

Joy said...

In Wisconsin, there is one way to pronounce brats.

Michael said...

You should try volunteering in a school's office - they (in Australia) love the help - plus it might be a bit more relevant ;)

But even still, don't forget that there are certain skills that can transfer - if the manager of any workplace (brat and beer stand included) says you work hard and show an initiative, you have an in anywhere!

Good luck!! I can't wait to read your articles about a workplace!

Class factotum said...

Ha! You couldn't pay me enough to be a nanny! It's too hard to set clocks ahead now and trick the kids into going to bed early!

Joy, you are correct.

Michael, there is a school two blocks from me. I wouldn't even have to drive.