The Be Your Own Boss Kit

We all need to feel useful, don’t we? One of the things that validates us is having a good job and that’s why being unemployed is so stressful, even if finances are not an immediate concern. If you know someone who’s out of work and want to really stick it to them and don’t mind hitting below the belt, start talking about their employment situation. I know how devastating it can be because I was once on the receiving end of the dreaded “Job Talk”.

It happened years ago when I relocated to another province. I had been looking for work for about six months but could find nothing in my field (pewter denturology) and was beginning to feel about as wanted, vocationally speaking, as a porterhouse steak at a vegan rally. A statutory holiday was just around the bend and I was really looking forward to an upcoming family BBQ (and liver Olympics) to get my mind off things.

When the day of the big BBQ rolled around my older brother, Hoai de Sade, was there to offer his special brand of support and encouragement.

HdS: So, did you find work yet?
HP: Not yet.
HdS: Are you looking?
HP: Yes, every day.
HdS: I don’t think so. If you were looking, you would have found work already.
HP: What?
HdS: If you want a job you have to look.
HP: I have been looking… there’s nothing much out there.
HdS: I don’t think so. McDonald’s is always hiring… you should apply there.

So ten minutes and not even a full drink into the party and Hoai de Sade made me feel like a total crumb. He is, after all, The Master Button Pusher. About six weeks later I got a not-in-my-field job at less money than I was earning before I moved but, hey, a job is a job, right?

The bad news is that I still have that lousy job and the really, really bad news is that poor Hoai de Sade got fired from his job sometime around last Christmas. Apparently prospective employers aren’t biting what he’s got on the hook because he’s still out of work. And this is not the first job he’s lost since I got my less than ideal job. Supposedly, he’s feeling pretty down in the dumps. I imagine that he’s hoping that the family BBQ this weekend — August Fool’s Day Weekend — will lift his spirits. I know that’s what I’m hoping.

I wouldn’t even think of taking advantage of the situation to make him feel worse about himself — that just wouldn’t be the brotherly thing to do. I’m all about lifting spirits and pointing out silver linings, so that’s why I’ve come up with a special gift for ol’ Hoai de Sade, “The Be Your Own Boss Kit”.

This really should get him out of his rut because it will make him realize that he himself can take control of his financial future instead of placing his destiny in the hands of some company’s HR lackey. “The Be Your Own Boss Kit” has everything Hoai de Sade needs to go into business for himself and to aim for the stars. Perhaps one day Hoai de Sade will pull himself up by the bootstraps and shine among the greats of the business world like, for example, Mike Smith, Executive Chairman of IMO, the largest company of its kind on the planet.

Keep plugin’, Bro!


The Be Your Own Boss Kit. Just add water.


Bonus Trivia Factoid

I just heard on the radio about a study saying that one-third of pedestrians killed by vehicles were drunk at the time of the accident. This means that sober people are twice as likely to die just walking around outdoors so drink up and be safe!

About HoaiPhai

I'm up late digging up the dirt. View all posts by HoaiPhai

17 responses to “The Be Your Own Boss Kit

  • Mark Petruska

    I’ve been on the receiving end of the Job Talk twice in my life, and I know firsthand that you can “look for a job” to your heart’s content without actually finding one! I did that for 20 months this last time. It’s not an experience I wish to have again anytime soon.

  • acuriousgal

    I’ve been there too, nothing ruins an evening more than when a relative brings up the job talk!! I might have to borrow that kit in the future, do you have any loaners?

    • HoaiPhai

      If you can get it back to me in time for the Labour Day Weekend, I can loan you that one. Hoai de Sade questioned me as to why my wife was “conspicuously absent” from the family get-together, insisting that she simply didn’t want to go. When I told him that she was at work as we spoke, he gave me that “you’re a liar” smirk and rephrased his question. So looks like I’m going to have to print up a label and stuff the squeegee into a box for a Labour Day presentation.

  • List of X

    On the plus side, if you are already employed at even a crummy job, it’s much easier to find another job than when you are unemployed. Companies today are so picky that they only want to poach those who are already employed.

  • HoaiPhai

    That’s a good point… I really should get off my rump and look for something better, or at least different. I have a whole bunch of “exit strategies” that I’m just itching to try out.

  • Redneckprincess

    You are so evil…and awesome. Just awesome.

    • HoaiPhai

      Some families produce various flavours of artists, some seem to produce nothing but successful doctors or lawyers, my family produces candy coated fiends. I was thinking of offering my special retaliatory talents to the blogospheric citizens. Do you think that people would avail themselves to such an advice column?

      • HoaiPhai

        Consider it done. Be on the lookout for a post on Thursday. I will be having either a root canal or extraction first thing in the morning so I should be in fine form for something of this nature. I’ll also have that picture I mentioned on your post. Thanks for the inspiration and support — it won’t come back to bite you!

  • Snoring Dog Studio

    Don’t enable him too much. Let him make his own sign – I think it would say something like this: Need a Job To Get My Bro Off My Back. Love your turnabout is fair play idea. But I still feel sorry for him!

  • HoaiPhai

    Even The Bible seems to think turnabout is fair play… “An eye for an eye, …”, but even becoming “born again” hasn’t altered his dishonesty or cruelty, mild as they are. He’s not always a bad guy but even this weekend he implied I was lying about something I would have no reason to lie about and refused to accept my word at face value. He has until Labour Day and then he gets The Talk and, if he’s not a good boy, I’ll break out The Kit. All I need is a good sized pizza box and a half hour for the label and I’m, or should I say, “he’s” in business!

  • Carl D'Agostino

    The unemployment rate in USA is so vastly underestimated. Probably closer to 20% and more in some areas. Because the demand for jobs is high and the supply low it has become no union, no medical, no pension, so sick days, no paid vacation or paid holidays, $10 an hour for skilled – take it or leave it. The leadership of this country thinks being unemployed is an “inconvenience” and have no clue the desperation under which millions of families endure today.

  • HoaiPhai

    It’s pretty much the same way up here. Employers who once paid a decent wage are offering minimum wage to new employees and are demanding higher qualifications, assigning a greater workload, and not giving full-time work so the employee cannot get benefits. Meanwhile, the government pays contractors to supply services and are effectively paying daily what most chomeurs would happy to take home in a week. It’s shameful.

    • Carl D'Agostino

      One of the causes of the Great Depression mostly overlooked is that manufacturers did not pay enough wages for workers to become consumers of the products they made for the haves. Same today. Don’t megacorps get it ? Spread the wealth creates more profit rather than exploiting the workers and extracting wealth.

  • The Hook

    I like your style, kid.

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