Jobless Recovery

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Would You Dance for Chippendales?

Guest post by Joe Tremaine, a character from my novel, Jobless Recovery. Joe can scare you sometimes, but he's an okay guy. Sort of.

Thanks, L.C.  I'm going to start my post with a few questions. Probably going to end it that way, too.

So. What are you supposed to do when your country gets economically dismantled by a few greedy people at the top? Do you sit there and believe the lies about the jobless recovery? Not unless you want to starve. I'm going to tell you something--if it's jobless, it's not a recovery. I'll bet you know that already. Seems everybody except the people in Washington and the media know that. If you want to engineer your own recovery, you need a job.

Yeah, I know. That's what we all want. But how far do we go?

I've thought about that question every day since I heard that my neighbor Martha--a sixty-one-year old grandmother who goes to church twice a week--has finally found herself a job. Martha calls herself a phone actress. I don't need to explain what that is.

After I got dumped from my government job, I did handyman work for a while and now I'm an Internet psychic. Don't judge. It pays the bills and it's kind of fun. I don't believe there are any legal jobs I wouldn't do to keep myself alive. I'd even oil my body up and dance for Chippendales.

Man, I can see that. Middle-aged guy with a bum knee prancing around the stage at Vegas wearing a bow tie and not too much else. I'd do it--if I could get that job. It's not like I've been discovered by the Chippendale talent scouts.

How about you? Would you be willing, for example, to pick vegetables in the fields or work in a meat processing plant? That's assuming, of course, that they paid enough, so you wouldn't have to live in a one-room shack with a dozen other people.

Anybody care to weigh in? Where would you draw the line? Remember, we're talking legal jobs. 


  1. Well, Joe, that's quite a question. I once worked as an egg picker at a gigantic egg farm in Florida. That's why I buy free range eggs now. I've also worked standing for eight hours a day cutting sections out of oranges. That was another tough job. I've done cleaning work and didn't mind that at all. I think I'd draw the line at working in a slaughterhouse, but even then I don't know. If it keeps your family from starving, you do what you have to do.

  2. "I'd even oil my body up and dance for Chippendales."

    Hey, if it was good enough for Chris Farley, it's good enough for me!

    Seriously, though, I've considered this question before, and the answer is a resounding yes. I would do pretty much any legal thing they would pay me to do to feed my kids and keep a roof over their heads. I've been fortunate to always be able to find jobs that I liked better (and that paid better) than topless dancing or what have you, but if that was all I could get, you bet I'd do it!

  3. Me, too. I'd die for my kids. It incenses me when I hear people say there are jobs Americans won't do, as if Americans are a bunch of spoiled brats who won't get their hands dirty and who would rather starve than work. No, as long as the employer pays a decent living wage, Americans will do the jobs.