“I’m looking at this resume and I can’t figure out what you want to do.”
That’s what the prospective employer told me.
You see I was out of work. I had been permanently laid off from a fairly good job (for that time in my life). Initially I had been a journalist, a newspaper reporter. But I had not gone far in that. Never broke out of the small time. I quit several of those jobs. And then I worked at other stuff.
And I was probably meant to be a journalist or maybe even a lawyer.
I was not meant to be someone who works with his hands or who does hard physical labor or who does something that requires mechanical skill, or even finger dexterity. Yeah, that last one. I took a job aptitude test at a state employment department (or unemployment department as most call it) when I was out of the army and had suffered through almost a year at a wood products manufacturing place, and the result was that among other things I flunked “finger dexterity”. It seems I could not put round and square pegs in a peg board fast enough (heck I knew that from that factory work). But then, what did I show an aptitude in?
That was the answer from the lady who gave me the test. She suggested I go to college. And I’m not being sarcastic or sardonic here (or maybe I am), she actually said that. I mean the message seemed to be that college was for those who are no good at anything.
Well with fits and starts I did over the course of many years. And I graduated from a state university in the top third of my class. But my major was political science. All I ever got from that was prospective employers either raising their eyebrows or laughing.
(And you might ask why I majored in poly sci. Well I was short on time and money and the subject matter in those classes came easy to me.)
But now that I am 65 and a half and have been working at long haul trucking for nearly two decades I have come to the conclusion that one certainly has his for her aptitudes and there are some things try as one might he or she will never excel in or even be able to do, on the other hand, with enough practice and with incentive, like you have to eat and pay the rent, most things one can do and do rather well — despite what others say along the way.
And to the people who shake their heads when I try to do something and have problems doing it. I say:
Oh, and to that employer who could not figure out what I wanted to do: at the time I just wanted a job.
I’m sure he did me a favor by turning me down.
Strangely though, it was a type of truck driving.
I think my late wife was a little disappointed when I flunked the written test for a city garbage truck driver position (that was before I became a long haul driver — but I would have flunked it anyway).