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In search of the right signs

Jeffrey Preis: Entry level requested, above snoball purveyance

Jeffrey Preis: Entry level requested, above snoball purveyance

A couple of weeks back, I was leaving an interview for a doorman position at a notorious New Orleans music venue located in the French Quarter. Why there is an interview for a job that involves a small monetary exchange and a smile is beyond me. And why I wasn’t awarded the job is an even greater mystery (full disclosure: There were three open positions).

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it's that if the interviewer says, “We’ll be in touch either way,” you can kiss that job goodbye.

But after leaving the interview — which I thought went pretty well — I stopped at a red light and noticed a man with a cardboard sign that read “Anything helps.” In the past, I have rolled down my window and given people in similar situations a dollar or any food I could scrounge up in my car.

But now, with what seems like an influx of homeless men and women with their own personally crafted cardboard signs scattered around many of the street corners in the city, I find that it’s hard to hand over that dollar bill … especially when you’re scrounging for cash yourself (perks of unemployment). Now I find myself looking away or staring blankly as these men and women walk past my car, cardboard in hand.

And then it hit me. Aside from the luxuries I’m granted every day (not limited to air conditioning and soap), not much separates me from these panhandlers. Ok, that’s a stretch, but in the end, we are all just trying to turn a buck in this environment of unproductivity and humidity.

Maybe they’re doing it the right way, and what I’m missing for my job interviews is a big cardboard sign. Obviously, mine would read, “Hire me." And perhaps be written in blood as some sort of sacrifice to an unknown job deity.

I would certainly stand out in any interview, and isn’t the idea for the employer to remember you above all the other candidates? And I’d be able to strike when hot if I were awarded the opportunity of a second interview — a “redo” button on life.

And I think the homeless would agree, too.