If I seem disagreeable, it’s because all I can afford to eat is Top Ramen and grapesJuly 22, 2010
“The people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities. I say “generally” because there are exceptions. But in general, as I survey the ranks of those who are unemployed, I see people who have overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a day’s work. They are people who create either little utility or negative utility on the job. Again, there are powerful exceptions and I know some, but when employers are looking to lay off, they lay off the least productive or the most negative. To assure that a worker is not one of them, he should learn how to work and how to get along — not always easy.” —Ben Stein
“You know, I’d work for less than minimum wage if my job was to repeatedly strike Ben Stein in the crotch with a bat,” says Mikka, going into his second month of being unemployed.
“So you would be working for tips then,” I say. “I’d go over 20 percent to watch you play Obliterate Ben Stein’s Groin.”
“I knew Ben Stein’s hook is that dry, flat way he talks,” says Mikka. “You know, Bueller? Bueller? But I thought that was an act, I didn’t know he was actually an emotionless unempathetic hollow facsimile of a human being.”
“Well, he is a conservative and he is an economist,” I say. “And a shitty economist at that because when everything was going to shit financially back in ’08, he was on the TV telling everyone that everything was super fine and nothing was wrong. Well everything was wrong, asshole, and if you had a sliver of decency you would have entered into a suicide pact with every other business talking head who was blowing sunshine up your viewers’ asses.”
“You don’t think this sort of vicious candor is what qualifies as a poor personality, do you?” says Mikka.
“Seeing bullshit and pointing at that bullshit and calling it bullshit in colorful but blunt terms is not a sign of a poor personality,” I say. “It’s a sign of being a fully-functional human fucking being. Besides, there are plenty of unpleasant assholes who not only keep their jobs but get promoted because of their assholery, while your pleasant people get shit on at their jobs and tossed away like a spent prophylactic. Look at Ben Stein. He’s a fucking cockstain, but he’s an employed cockstain.”
“So the fact that Ben Stein is employed invalidates his assumptions about the unemployed,” says Mikka.
“You learn quickly,” I say. “Now let’s go build a Ben Stein pinata and get some practice swings in. We want to be ready when that Smash Ben Stein’s Groin position opens up.”
Some unemployed people look for jobs that exist; we look to invent jobs no one else has even considered.