Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Summer of Recovery

Dear Joe,

I need a job. 

As you are in charge of the Summer of Recovery, it seems logical to tap you for help. Although we haven't met, I rely upon your empathy. Like you, I am the grandson of a coal miner. I never met him, but I do have his carbide miner's lamp. My father was a barefoot schoolboy who learned to read by the light of a kerosene lamp. Like your boss, I was law review, although I bailed after one semester. The free beer in the law review offices was nice, but not worth the price - becoming PC.  By the way, could I have a Summer of Recovery pin to go with the "WIN" pin Jerry Ford gave me?

Hope and changed reached me more than a year ago.  I lost a job that I loved. I thought  perhaps it was time for public service. After all, six figure private sector jobs are over rated. The State Department, I thought. A chance to see the world and serve my nation. After all, who really wants to be able to support their elderly parents? I understand that I did not contribute enough to your campaign to qualify for an ambassadorship, but I presumed I could more than handle an administrative post in some remote and unpopular embassy. I passed for Foreign Service exam, and heard nothing more. I wrote to Secretary Clinton as a follow up, and heard nothing. Perhaps she knew more of my health than I did. The heart surgery a year ago certainly took me by surprise. To add insult to injury, the heartless capitalists who formerly employed me bent some rules and opened their purse to ensure that I had health coverage throughout the ordeal. Doubtless ObamaCare will prevent such travesties in the future.

Yet I remain confident of the future. Even though the Stimulus, Cash for Clunkers the weatherization and mortgage assistance programs have all passed us by, I've made many new friends at the flea markets and farmers' markets. Mind you,the competition between unemployed professionals selling craft items and personal effects is getting stiff. By the way, you might tell Michelle that there really is no market for used sneakers, no matter their original price or what famous feet have sweated in them. 

Barack would probably say that we don't need all those things, that we already have too much. Still, it would be nice to to treat my Mrs. to a date night on Broadway now and then, or even the occasional vacation. Mindful of Barack's admonition that we need to learn to do with less, I'd settle for a nice three star resort. After all, a working class product like me probably wouldn't know how to behave in a five star joint. When will you start handing those out and where do I sign up?

In the meantime, where are the jobs? The private sector lacks the customers, capital or confidence to hire, which leaves the government. But no one joins the nomenclatura without a sponsor. Which is where you come in. Looking after the embassy in Mongolia remains attractive, but I have been off work for a year and my mortgage company would like to be paid. Maybe you could shovel some of the stimulus slush my way? Or maybe a job as a Predator Drone pilot. You'd also have to kick in flight training, which would be a bonus for me, although I would never admit it. 

I'm reluctant to ask for a position in the White House proper. As you have doubtless discovered, it is not wise to be smarter than your boss. Still, a tsar-ship is intriguing. Recent events indicate a clear a need for a strong leader to coordinate the work of all the tsars. The tsar of all tsars, you might say. Or, in Chicago-speak, the capo di tutti capi. Can you swing it? Alternatively, we could borrow from the Romans and I could become the person who accompanies Barack everywhere and whispers to him: “Remember, thou art mortal.”

I'm sure you'll need a day or two to finagle the funding and grease the appointment. Around mid-September I'll be expecting word that you've completed this assignment. 

Until then, bite me.

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