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Davis

Davis, California

Monday, August 2, 2021

Column: The bums lost

I haven’t always been the millionaire playboy that I am today. No, there was a time when I was young, broke and bored to tears with only eight dollars to my name. That was last summer.

I spent that summer sitting around and sweating my balls off. Not because I was doing anything to inspire perspiration, but because it gets really hot here during the summer and I was too poor to run the AC. I remember being a kid in high school and thinking that nothing was better than three months in a row with nothing to do. That was the whole point of summer.

If you spend a summer in Davis with nothing to do, however, that act gets old real quick. There’s no one around, nothing to do on campus and like I mentioned before, it’s really fucking hot. That summer I got cabin fever like that Eli Roth movie Cabin Fever. Except for me there was no flesh-eating virus. (So I guess it was nothing like that movie.)

Anyway, what saved me from going completely insane was getting a job. I began working full-time, spending my days sweating outside so that when I came home and had a few beers, I could say that I earned them – both literally and figuratively.

I work two jobs now. (I’d have three if you count this unpaid column. I simply work for your love.) Having a steady paycheck is pretty great, but I think the most valuable aspect of having two jobs is being able to get out of the house and spend my time actually doing something.

One of the reasons I bring all this up is to try to speak some wisdom. If you’re going to be around in Davis this summer, and you’re thinking about supporting your drinking habits on your own, you need to start looking for a job now. The funny thing about a college town is that it empties like a keg at a frat party when there aren’t any students around. No students means less business, which means no one is going to be hiring come June.

Trust me, I learned this the hard way. I got real lucky with my summer job. I had spent a few weeks pounding the pavement passing out resumes and filing out applications only to be treated like an idiot pretty much everywhere I applied.

Me: “Hi, are you hiring?”

Them: “Hmm, you know, I don’t really know.”

I’d spend a few moments waiting for some helpful information.

Me: “Is … there anyone working who would know?”

Them: “Yeah, I’ll get the manager.”

I’d wait for a few minutes for a more helpful person.

Boss: “So you’re looking for work.”

Me: “I sure am.”

Boss: “Well, we’re always accepting applications.”

Me: “Wow, that’s amazing.”

If you’ve never heard that phrase, let me translate for you. “Always accepting applications” means “No, we’re not hiring, but I’d love to instill some false hope in you that all your efforts have not been in vain.”

The rule of thumb for job applications is to call them back every now and again to check the status of your application. Usually you’ll be told the schedule guy isn’t around. Or the moons of Saturn are out of alignment – something so they won’t be able to give you a straight answer. Call back in a week to check in about those moons. It’s a total drag. If you play that game, you’ll be strapped into a straight jacket taking sedatives before you get a job.

That’s why I’m here today, my friends. My last column was about learning from your mistakes. Maybe this week you’ll be able to learn from one of mine. Don’t wait until the last minute to get a summer job, because the closer the calendar gets to summer vacation, the drier the job market in Davis will get.

The wise man Notorious B.I.G. told us that mo money means mo problems. Maybe that only applies to having Biggie Smalls kind of money, because I’ll tell you this first hand: Having eight bucks in your bank account is fucking awful.

WILL LONG should practice what he preaches and start looking for something to do in L.A. for this coming summer. If you are Ridley Scott or Quentin Tarantino, hit him up with a job at wclong@ucdavis.edu.

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