Saturday, December 12, 2009

I Try To Not Complain


John Ramsey Miller

I have been so very fortunate in my careers and my personal life that when I realize I’m complaining, I feel like crap. I have been lucky, and my hard work has paid off in spades. True I’m not a Dan Brown, but I’ve made a very good living from my writing, and in fact I have not had to work at a non-writing job since the middle eighties. That may no longer be the case, but I’ve got few complaints about that.

I’m seriously considering looking for a day job after two decades of writing. I shudder to think about jobs that I would be qualified for and businesses that would have me. Every time I’ve been to Walmart, I see they have the same greeter, and standing at the doorway and the thought of saying, “Welcome to Walmart” thousands of times a day makes my feet and my throat hurt.

Realistically speaking I’m a dead man when it comes to a job application. And can you imagine how “Contemplative Storyteller or Professional Fiction Author from 1994-2009” will read to the HR people at the local Piggly Wiggly? Even bagboys need better creds than that.

I never finished college. I suck at math. I can’t dance. I couldn’t sell ice water in the Mojave. Most of my clothes as of late are Levis, T-shirts and flannel shirts and I’m shy unless I’ve had a couple of shots. Even if sixty is the new fifty, I’m middle aged.

I’m good with guns, so I could be a night watchman, except that I am usually asleep by eight-thirty. I have some other ideas, but I’m still writing books thinking if I don’t write, I might have to actually get a real job. If I did spend my days saying, “Welcome to Walmart” I might could steer shoppers to my books in the paperback section of the Literary department.

God, I need a vacation.

8 comments:

  1. John, I've already got my eye on that greeter job. BTW, you made me think of yet one more hangup about writing for a living: buying things. It's hard to go finance a car or a house or a big TV when you're a writer. The first thing the credit manager says is, "You mean you only get paid twice a year, and you have no idea how much your check will be? What the hell kind of job is that?"

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  2. My SUV will be paid off next month, and I just hope it outlives me. I can't imagine walking or hitching 16 miles to town in the snow to buy groceries, although I'd be able to tell my grandchildren that story when they complained...

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  3. I'm not sure whether my husband believes me when I say I'm unemployable except as a writer, but it's true. I've made stabs at other careers, but writing is where I belong.

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  4. I've always thought the ideal day job is price checker at the Dollar Store.

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  5. I know my husband wishes I had another job. I think the 'mum' excuse only has about 5 more years in it before he starts hinting that the only way either of us will be able to afford to retire (ever) is if I go back to being a lawyer...can't wait for that day...

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  6. JOhn,
    Have you ever considered going to work in a securities firm? They make up stuff all day (CDSs, unsecured securities, etc) and convince people to pay for them. Sounds like the perfect job for a writer. I hear it pays well, too.

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  7. I'll light a candle for you at church this season, John.

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  8. Jon, there are guys here in Las Vegas who stand around on the street all day and all night passing out "Sexy blondes direct to your room!" flyers. Those jobs are all taken by illegals, but perhaps there's a spot for you writing the copy.

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