When Things Get Better

I read a comic strip today that described my feelings. Perhaps you’ve seen Sherman’s Lagoon where a lobster is handing a piece of paper to a turtle.

“What’s this?” the turtle asks.

“A Power of Attorney,” the lobster answers. “I want you to handle all of my affairs while I’m gone.”

“Where are you going?” the turtle asks.

“I’m having myself cryogenically frozen,” answers the lobster. “I’ve left instructions to thaw me out when things get better.”

Wouldn’t that be nice? Just thaw me out when things get better.

I applied to more jobs for Paul: the total count has reached 52. I know of other job searchers out there whose applications are in the hundreds. Today, while standing up and rubbing my neck from squinting at the computer too long, I considered what we did before the Internet. Pounded the pavement. Knocked on doors. I vaguely remembered walking in and out of businesses with paper applications in my hand. The rejections hurt more. To be tossed aside by a busy manager and dismissed without a glance was demoralizing. Sometimes, acceptances were just as bad. I remember attempting to get a waitress job. After the manager looked me up and down and all over, I was given it. Disgusting!

And then there was your ability to get from place to place — the driving, the walking in, the waiting to talk to the right person. Yet, sometimes, I wonder if the face-to-face gave an edge. It was one more thing to get you noticed — your looks, your smile, your intelligent conversation. If you could talk with someone, they could make a judgment that your resume was authentic. Now, I fire off five or six applications in a sitting without any guarantee they will be even be glanced at. Frustrating.

And it seems like there are so many more people looking for work. And there are so many more people more qualified looking for work. How will the lucky occurence strike us?

Which brings me back to the lobster. Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up and have it all over?

When things get better.

So the turtle presses on, “What things?”

“Just things in general,” says the lobster.

“What if it doesn’t get better? What if it gets worse?”

“Leave me frozen.” The lobster looks exasperated. “Look,” he says, “It’s real simple. If things are better, thaw me. If they’re not, don’t. Got it?”

The turtle looks blank. “What if it’s better because you’re frozen?” he asks.

The lobster answers, “That’s a dilemma.”


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