Delightfully Tacky, Yet Unrefined: Finding a Hometown Gig

16 Mar

I arrived at my parents’ house in Lakeland, Fl six weeks ago, and like many recent graduates, decided to look for a local job to kill the time as I continued my real job hunt in other, more urban areas (like Boston, NY, DC, the moon, just anywhere but Florida). Today, I finally received my first interview invitation.  Exciting, right?

Great big jugs.

Keep reading.

“Hello, is this Sarah?  This is Stacy from Lakeland Parks and Recreations, and I’d like to invite you to interview for the position of Camp Counselor.  Are you available tomorrow afternoon?”

“… Oh riiiiiight. Yes. Umsureyeahok.”

“Great! So, we’re located right behind the Hooters on Imperial Blvd.  Do you know where that is?”

“Stacy, I can honestly say I don’t know where the Hooters is in town.”

So.  Hooters.  Who looked behind that “delightfully tacky yet unrefined” establishment, known for its trifecta of boobs, wings, and beer, and thought, “this would be a great place for kids to play!”  Was it someone inside the restaurant who had overindulged on the goodies offered there, looked out the window, saw the grassy field, and was struck by divine inspiration?  And what about the kids who go to this camp?  I bet they didn’t expect to receive a dose of sex-ed when they go out to play kickball.

Here’s the thing about looking for a local job.  I believe you have to find the right balance between “killing the time” and “building your resume.”  I don’t think employers will be impressed by “Lakeland Parks and Recreations” when I’m competing against kids who’ve held internships at both JP Morgan and Lehman Bros.  Sure, this is something to do, and it is paid, but it seems like a step down to have a Bachelors and then go back to a summer gig I held three years ago.  I can’t help but think it would be better to do something that’s reflective of your personality and allows for potential leadership growth: stage manage a show, volunteer on a campaign…start a blog about unemployment, whatever!  You just have to be sure to step back and think, “How will this opportunity help me in the long run?”

I probably won’t take the camp counselor job.  It doesn’t start til June, and besides, I am ill-equipped to answer the question, “What are hooters?”  Because you know they’ll ask.


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