so, this is what you do now.


right now at seattle u, there is a job fair happening. i never went to a single job fair when i was an undergrad. i didn't really see the point. i could barely talk to girls, so how was i gonna talk to a potential employer? maybe the former still is more difficult, no matter what the scenario is. i suppose that professors told us to go to these job fairs, but i never listened. as an english major, i was above all that. i was above making money and "selling out" to "the man." we were much braver then, weren't we?

the first and only time i went to a seattle u job fair was when i already had a job (if you can call it that) as a volunteer recruiter for the american red cross. the fact that they sent me as their sole representative should already speak volumes about their incompetency. actually, i didn't want to go alone, so i asked if jordan, another volunteer, could come with me. she didn't have anything going on that day anyway. together, we packed up the american red cross banner, some random brochures, and our nametags. yeah, that's how the red cross rolls.

having never been to a job fair, i wasn't even sure what i was supposed to wear. thus, i wore a pair of faded jeans and a super small, thrift store polo shirt. standing at the entrance to campion ballroom, i was shocked to see that almost everyone - job seekers and job recruiters alike - were all in suits. i wanted to go home and change, at least put on a tie for god's sake. jordan at least had on khaki pants and some button-down blouse. still, we looked like a couple of young un-professionals.

we set our shit up, and after many hours, very few people stopped by our table. the few who did approach us wanted to know what we were doing there. i didn't have much to tell them, as we weren't hiring (literally, that was human resources' job), and i only had a vague sense of what volunteers could actually do. so, i just started talking about hurricane katrina and my three-week stint in louisiana. usually, the non-interested student would feign interest, and then say something sympathetic like, "gosh, i can only imagine what it's like there right now."

two girls i knew from the writing center approached our table. "hey!" they called out. "hi," i said, rather unenthusiastically. i didn't know them well enough to hug them, so i just stood there, and then they stood there, too. "so, this is what you're doing now?" the girl with the black hair said, with an obvious air of condescension. i tried to act as though i was too stupid to notice her disapproving of my poor, post-graduation choice in life. "yes, it is," i said, "would you mind hanging up one of these in the writing center?" i handed her a flyer for some international red cross event at the u.w., an event i would be obligated to attend, but was pretty sure no one else would. she said, "sure" and took the flyer from me. i was confident that she would place the flyer in the recycle bin instead, and rightly so.

they moved onto other tables, tables manned by representatives from boeing, microsoft, insurance companies, real estate companies, any companies with real money that would say they needed english majors, when really, they didn't. the only table that could rival our low attendance was the navy. i told jordan this. "yeah, that is strange," she said. "well, it is a catholic, liberal school," i said. we watched the navy representative look around the room, and then we - well, i - didn't feel so bad. at least we had each other.

a little bit before we were scheduled to leave, i went to the bathroom. i looked in the mirror, and there was blood on my chin from where a zit must have popped. i had walked around most of the morning with dried blood on my chin, and no one had said a word. wonderful, i thought. with a wet paper towel, i cleaned the blood off and returned to the absurdity.

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