Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A (Slightly) Dramatized Version of How I Joined the Ranks of the Unemployed

(Commenters: don't mention the names of any people or organizations mentioned herein. The shred of anonymity must remain intact. If you don't understand what I'm talking about, feel free to send me an e-mail.)

Me (after a long day at school): Well, it's only 12:30. I have a full seven hours until I need to get up again. Let me go to the office and spread truth and light throughout the land!

(Five minutes later, in front of my computer and a precariously balanced stack of books)
Me: What does she want to know? Jewish foot washing practices in the first century? Oy. I have no koach for this type of stuff. I'll get back to her later. Hmm, who's next on the list? This guy needs a comprehensive enumeration of all 248 limbs in the human body. Darn. No way I can do that tonight. OK. This next customer has already been waiting for a while for an explanation of Chabad's view of Reform and Conservative. (It's real simple, but the simple explanation is not for public consumption.) I'll tackle this one tonight.

(Three hours later) Yaaaaaaawwwwnnn I think I'll go to bed, but first I got to check my gmail.

(Two hours later) I think I'll go to bed, but first I got to check CrownHeights.info. Hmmm... business as usual. Shomrim is apprehending perps. NYPD is arresting public spirited individuals and and freeing said perps. A rabbinical rising star in Lubavitch is expressing profound and pertinent thoughts of Jewish import by means of the conduit of words which are humble, unostentatious, unpretentious, and simple. Yep, business as usual.

(The next day in school)
My funny math professor with a hilarious Caribbean accent: We are gonna haf da quiz now.
Me (beginning to feel separation anxiety as I put away my calculator): !!!

(That night)
Me: All those pure and innocent people are waiting for my pearls of wisdom. Of course I need to do 85 algebra problems, 23 calculus problems, read 40 pages of chem, and listen to 13 songs for music class. But first a quick trip to the office.

(Same computer, bigger and more precarious pile of books)
Oh No. That guy who wanted to know where to put the mezuzah on his octagonal-shaped doorway leading to his garage which occasionally serves as a guest house wrote back. And there's another OCD frummie who needs a lomdisheh explanation why Chabad is matir flushing the toilet on Shabbos. Then I got to explain why Daniel 9:13 is not referring to JC, plus help him find the verse which says something to the effect of "Jerusalem shall be a refuge." He's sure he's come across it somewhere, but he's not sure where. Well, neither am I! Then this other dude wants to know if the Talmud has anything to say about callouses and what is the precise definition of the Hebrew root "DBR." He's come across it in Leviticus a couple of times and doesn't trust those Christians that it really means "to say." Wouldn't it be a more accurate representation of the word of G-d to render it into English as "to relate, to express vocally, to transmit by means of speech, to verbalize"? Plus there's all those people whom I ignored last night. Yessiree, it's gonna be a long night. I'll just quickly check my e-mail before another grueling night of enlightening the masses...

As you can well imagine, the work was piling up. If the number of unanswered questions was plotted on a graph as a function of the time that had elapsed since I joined City College [Q(t)], it would look like a graceful exponential equation. Q(t) was actually beginning to resemble a vertical asymptote. I knew that if something didn't happen quick, I'd become undefined. So I did what I do best. I kratzed. Then I got a call from The Boss. He wanted an definition. So I defined it. In short, I told him the immortal words, "You can't fire me. I quit." To which he responded with the immortal words, "It's been nice knowing you. All the best in your future endeavors."

Now I am a free man, unfettered by work and responsibility. Of course I'm also heading towards poverty. If you plot my predicted finances as a function of time [$(t)], you'd get a mercilessly straight line, with a fearfully steep negative slope [$'(t) < 0]. And it won't settle into any horizontal asymptotes. It's gonna go straight into the fourth quadrant without flinching.

So please, O great and merciful G-d, Define $(t) piecwisely! May $(t) soon reach a point of discontinuity! May $(the very near future) < 0, and sharply concave upwards, with the finding of new employment, speedily in our days (in the first quadrant), amen kein yehi ratzon!

(OK. I admit it. I threw that in all this math junk because I was jealous of the chemists who were discussing beautiful acids.)

57 comments:

le7 said...

E. You just tricked me into momentarily liking Calculus! Kol hakavod!

The Real Shliach said...

Very nice. Of course, coming as it does right after my latest masterpiece...but the person who was supposed to read that did so, which is what counts.

e said...

LE7, yes!!!!! If only you could trick into liking chem....

Mottel said...

Very well put. We were all worried that you wouldn't come home one night and we'd find you in the Hudson or the like . . . Perhaps now that the stress is off and you're poor ignorant and unemployed like the rest of us, you'll smile again.

e said...

don't you know that unemployed people are always the most depressed?

Mottel said...

1. I'm unemployed and happy.
2. Don't write responses to my comments on my computer when I'm sitting in front of it and you're standing next to me

e said...

1. whatever
2. I'm now on shloimie's mini computer. Is this good with you?

e said...

hello! Imagine how happy you would be if you would be employed...

sarabonne said...

Or you could just employ yourself. After reading this post, I feel quite at peace with 2 1/2 hour commutes.

EndOfWorld said...

some of do work, you know. dont make us feel like the inferior ones.

e said...

I thinking those who work are superior. I think a big part of the shidduch crisis is that bochurim don't work, so they have no responsibility, so they don't mature, so a 20-year-old girl needs to marry a 23-year-old boy, so there's too many girls and not enough boys.

said the rabbis of old, "nice is torah study with work, for the exertion of both of them causes sin to be forgotten."

EndOfWorld said...

if we would raise our children to be expected to be mature earlier, maybe they would be. our system is set up that (typically developing) bochurim arent expected to consider marriage earlier...in other societies, 18 year olds are getting married. while their maturity may be up for debate, and whether its right blah blah blah etc, there is no denying the fact that they are more prepared than 18 year olds from our system.

Crawling Axe said...

e, now you can fulfill your dream and go debate the missionaries. Probably won’t pay much, though.

Crawling Axe said...

Re: maturity. Things could always be worse. (Generally speaking, that’s a good thing to keep in mind. Russian optimism.)

Cheerio said...

e. has a point. by nineteen, a girl can be living on her own (in her own place), supporting herself, going to school, dating... while a bochur is in yeshiva getting ready to go on shlichus.
congrats on quitting, and good luck finding another job.

Dovid said...

What a brilliant post. May the slope of your derivative be strongly positive.

Anonymous said...

1. I used to work in construction and all i can say is that i left because i could feel my own maturity leaving byproxy.

2. Now i work for a delightful non-profit (Which means i am now also non-profit) and i feel like I have matured quite a bit.

work can make you mature, but i think neccessity can as well. there should be some kind of work release program for bochurim.

of course girls are automatically mature.

J

The Real Shliach said...

Of course (snort!)

Menachem said...

we'll miss you little bro. kind of the end of the era...

btw you left ur library boox in the office, and it is very hard to type w kid in one hand.

le7 said...

Really though, this is excellent. Made me laugh on a second read!

e said...

Menachem, aawwww, that's so sweet. typing while holding junior.

Shalmo said...

If you don't even believe in God then why follow Jewish law and write it as G-d?

Crawling Axe said...

It’s like that story with the Karliner Rebbe. “And here, I live in Moscow, and I have everything in my life that I want. All my desires and all my pleasures are fulfilled. But sometimes I sit late at night, and the voice of the Karliner Rebbe is pounding in my head: ‘Young man! Young man! Maybe after all, there is G-d in the world?’”

e said...

the dog has sniffed my trail and followed me home.

The Real Shliach said...

Maybe if you didn't leave your urine everywhere...

Shalmo said...

Is this a blog for Jews who have left Judaism?

And e do you have msn?

e said...

shlomo, the answers are no and no.

le7 said...

Actually Shalmo most of the people on here are super frummy so there.

Crawling Axe said...

(Despite the appearances?)

le7 said...

Exactly. We may all look like frei bums but we're not. (Besides for e).

e said...

frum, except for the area of ta'aruvos, vd"l.

(If y'all are wondering how this character landed here, I tried to clear some homophobic cobwebs out of his mind on a different blog. He's an Arab-loving fanatic who advocates stoning gays, as Yahweh has commanded.)

Crawling Axe said...

Why did you think we were wondering?

e said...

is he the first non-bber to comment here?

e said...

If a guest walked into your basement, wouldn't you introduce him?

Crawling Axe said...

Depends on the guest. Some people don’t like to touch tumah.

e said...

woah! Be careful with whom you make enemies! This guy might be your friend. I assume you're also against gay marriage. (Although I hear that Chabad of Boston has some pro-gay leanings.)

Crawling Axe said...

I don’t really care about gays. There is a word in Russian called brezglivost’ (брезгливость). It’s a uniquely Jewish characteristic in the lands of the former Soviet Union.

Where did you hear that? That’s very weird. If anything, there is a bit too much fraternization between opposite genders going on here.

e said...

a certain president of a certain chabad shul....

Crawling Axe said...

It has a president? Like a student president? When your former boss came, some guy introduced him, whom I’ve never seen.

e said...

not on campus. One of hte chabad shuls. This caused two shluchim to get into a fight. It's a big deal. You gottan know about it.

Crawling Axe said...

I don’t get involved in politics. I just daven, learn Chassidus by myself and with people and talk to friends.

You mean, Chabad of Boston in general? I only go to the same shull (plus one near me).

e said...

n'nu

le7 said...

True I agree that's the main issue here. But at the same time, most of the people on here would never sit down and fraternize in person.

The Real Shliach said...

Really? I think most of them would.

le7 said...

Um if the motogs were Jewish I would at least feel extremely guilty.I can think of a few who hold the same.

e said...

wait a minute. what's the main issue?

The Real Shliach said...

Yes, I suppose you're right. I think about 3/4 would have no problem, would even welcome it, and the other 1/4 not so much.

e said...

oh. you're talking about ta'aruvos. I thought you're talking about gays.

The Real Shliach said...

What's wrong with gays?

le7 said...

Yeah at least they're happy.

e said...

umm, the lord almighty says it's an abomination?

le7 said...

Since when did that bother you e.?

Crawling Axe said...

Abomination? So is baseball. Or Western Ukraine.

As I said, brezglivost’.

Shalmo said...

Arab loving?

LOL I'm not even arab, just somebody who likes playing devil's advocate

for the record I am not homophobic, I simply asked you to prove why gay marriage should be legitimized.

nice blog btw!

Crawling Axe said...

The question of gay marriage is a bit like the question: “Should a husband be allowed to beat his wife whenever he wishes, or only when she really provoked him?”

Both opinions are disgusting (and I don’t care to think which one is more so), the whole framework of the question is disgusting, and the fact that someone spends time thinking about this and debating it with others is... yep, disgusting.

Cheerio said...

gay marriage is nothing more than a demand for us to legitimize their behavior.
if you choose to have a homosexual relationship, that's your choice, and you have to deal with G-d. its not my place to punish you or hate you for it.
but to ask me to tell you i think it's okay and the same as my marriage to a man? not gonna do it.

Crawling Axe said...

That’s why it is disgusting to condone it. On the other hand, the practice of government promoting certain religious beliefs is also a bad precedent. In certain European countries, shchita and bris are either outlawed or being considered to be outlawed, because of cultural and religious feelings of many people.

This is what I meant that both points of view are wrong.

But the whole question is wrong in general. It is not government’s business to give out marriage licenses. Marriage is a religious concept, and it is not the job of the government, whose salary I pay, by the way, to ALLOW ME (or anyone else) to have a religious union. As to the legal aspects of it — there are civil unions for that, whose legal consequences can be expanded to that of marriage.

And if they want to have marriage within boundaries of some fake religion, let them go to Reform Judaism.

Which is what I meant that the whole question is messed up, and both conservatives and liberals who are on both sides of the question are not thinking properly about it.