Diego Trejo Bejarano Writing class 13/04/2014. How to get a job Money, right? That is the deal; that is the reason why you ended up embodied in an uncomfortable formal dress code; that is the reason why you used your polite vocabulary and correct manners when you were being interviewed by the monolithic myth of the man/woman behind a desk. After fighting your way through the awkwardness of adolescence, high school and college, you realize how hard it is to pay those little sheets of paper where numbers and letters judge the economic remuneration you have to pay in order to eat hot food, listen to the radio, take a shower and, probably the biggest difference between homelessness and the illusion of domesticity, sleep under a roof with four walls. For us, individuals with no artistic talent, intuition for business or simple luck, a job interview is just a light of hope in the dark tunnel of inexperience, where a friend’s couch or, worse, your parents’ house are the dusty steps we already left behind. Perhaps a sign of maturity is when you learn to erase every single trace of your inner thoughts and aesthetic inclinations that could be misinterpreted by your childishly stubborn choice of clothes. Like the great German poet Max Dauthenday once said to Robert Walser in rural Würzburg: “There is no sense in trying to look curious or smart, it is wrong and stupid. If you want to shine, you only need to show your intelligence through your capacities.” And this is exactly what you want to do when a stranger, a simple and common 9 to 5 man/woman, is judging whether you look ‘formal’ or ‘professional’ enough to work for whatever corporation, firm or institution he/she represents. Now, there are certain basic steps that every single man or woman should know before even daring to think about getting a job. Of course, there are millions of exceptions to the rule, but those are too particular, we are nailing the general. First, learn how to talk. I wonder how many blank individuals sharply dressed and with a good background, show every day to job interviews and are rejected because they cannot elaborate more than five words in a row. Those people represent exactly what the early Russian formalists were against: all form, no content. It has to be the whole package, form AND content. Second, a sober and modest choice of clothes: formal dress code. Yes, we all know you want to show the world how free, eccentric and open minded you are, but hey, you can do that at parties, your house or in the street. There are certain moments when you have to follow strict obnoxious rules, it is part of the lame process of growing up. I should add that formality has its limits, you have to find the ideal tone between homelessness and royalty: the eternal struggle of the opposites. That could be applied to every aspect of human life. And lastly, the big combo: confidence, eye contact, firm hand shake, good posture, no sudden movements, and control. This might be the most important of all, but without the first two it seems quite irrelevant. Imagine an intellectual vagrant asking for a job in raged clothes and all covered in unspeakable traces of deviant practices. The big combo is probably the secret weapon that could lead you near the final goal: a job. If all this seems too elaborate or too phony, you might as well go to a remote place, like Big Sur or Chacahua, where there are no interviewers, no formal dress codes, no lunch rooms and no jobs; a place whose only inhabitants are loneliness, freedom and you. Writing Class Diego Trejo Bejarano 13/04/2014. Twenty tiny fingers We got in. The place was packed, full of young people. The modern code of blankness was all over the place; a sort of wave that blended clothes, attitudes, colors, faces and voices into the same pattern of obliviousness. We were barely inside the joint when, suddenly, a couple stood up right in front of us and left a free table. I looked at her and waited politely for her first move. Nothing. I could hear bits and pieces of conversations; I could smell the booze, the cigarette smoke and the fleshy scent of the whole bar. Sensing no response, I automatically offered my hand and part of my arm as a gentle gesture of courtesy, but she remained anchored in the same spot. Nervously, I smiled and nodded towards the empty table. She laughed and finally sat down. I laughed too, as if everything was funny and under control. The light on top of us brightened her soft red lips and her brown eyes. My heart was as fast as a fawn running away from a howling wolf. The silence that grew between us was the soundtrack of my contemplative state of mind. “…So, how is…everything?” She finally asked. My mouth began to speak before I could think what I was saying. “Oh, fine. Just fine. You know, a little bit here, a little bit there; this and that.” I instantly blushed. I had read the exact same words in The Double a couple of days ago, and for some reason they had been jingling on my mind ready to come out one way or another. “…Okay, good,” she replied. A foggy pause followed. Loud laughter and bad music were inside my ears, eyes, mouth and soul. I could feel that her whole bored self was already scanning the people and furniture around us, as if looking for somebody or something that could aid her in this pointless one on one game. The fact that we were actually in a bar hit me quite violently and sank deeply in the bottom of my confusion. As the last resort of a desperate man, I stood up and went for something to drink, uhm-beers, without saying a word to my companion. I sensed her puzzled eyes on my neck and back trying to figure out my erratic behavior. At the bar counter I saw a man whose arms were probably the size of my torso. His face showed clear signs of joy and enthusiasm; he was obviously working there only to have a look at the girls. I envied his stupidity. “Hey, can I have two beers?” I shouted. His fake tan was shining grotesquely under the neon lights. I knew he knew I was there, but he made no reply. I shouted again. Slowly, his eyes turned to my spot. I could almost see his little brain trying to figure out my loathsome male presence. He probably had only two categories for everything that was worthwhile in life: breasted and none breasted entities; nothing else. What for? Reluctantly, he gave me the beers. My pockets were bleeding, but those were only a small portion of the whole unintended transfusion that my life was suffering at that time. I gave him my money and turned around trying to see if she was still there. I saw her staring inanely at her cellphone, probably looking for another date or something more exciting to do. The floor was sticky and slippery; the drunken voices echoed a thousand previous crowds were youth was the only thing to talk about: the same thing all over again; the endless game. I felt depressed and thought about the vacuity and deceptiveness of being young. I started to walk towards our table when my left foot got stuck in a tacky spot and my right foot skated in a tiny lagoon of a mixed liquid substance; I fell hard on my right elbow and crashed the two bottles of beer. People around me laughed, nobody offered a hand. I saw the exact moment when she got up, apparently ashamed and furious, and left the bar. I remained there for a couple of seconds, tasting the flavor of the evening. I finally stood up on my injured elbow and headed towards the exit. As soon as I was on the street it began to rain. I had no money. I laughed and started walking home.