Summer; where student loans leave me hanging and my current job barely covers my monthly dog expenses, never mind my own. I tend to frantically send out resumes in hopes of scraping by. And every year, I seem to have very little return.
Sometimes I wonder why that happens. Then I was answering an e-mail that I received today, and it dawned on me that, maybe I face these issues because I am homeless:
“Have you looked into housing in the area yet?”
Umm, no? I have a perfectly good house here in Lethbridge, why on Earth would I look for a house on the coast? That’s too much hassle, I’ll just live in my van. Or if that doesn’t start up by the end of the week, I’ll camp out on the beach. And really, I know people everywhere- or at least know someone who knows someone- that I’m not overly concerned with my living situation.
But is that really a reasonable answer to tell an employer you’ve never met? Someone you’ve never had an interview with? From a place you’ve never been?
Instead, I am often forced to come up with some fancy way of saying that, “my living circumstances will be satisfied.” More so, I change my phrase depending on the type of job I am applying for and, based on our three sentences of communication, the kind of person I am dealing with.
I think these replies have a tendency to portray a flaky, uncommitted individual. I mean, if I read such an answer (if I wasn’t me of course), I’d question who this person was. Are they legitimate? Are they real? Is this a scam?
My professional-paper-self becomes so questionable when I reside nowhere and work everywhere, no matter how I phrase that I am a homeless wanderer.
Basically, I can’t have a job without a residence; but I can’t have a residence without a job. How does that even make sense?
I have to lie about where I live so I can have car insurance. But I usually have to live somewhere different to have a job. And then I try to fall into a contemporary lifestyle and go to school, but I need to live where I was born so that I can get access to student loans. My paper-life is a big lie!
In real life though, I help people who need it. I volunteer when I can and I work hard when I need to. But I don’t always put it on paper. Nor can I recall every person I’ve interacted with, so I rarely have new references to vouch for what I am saying.
My preferred spot to wake up is on the ocean, and I take that million dollar view when I can. Sometimes I’ll settle for driving at night and pulling over in the pitch black so that I can wake up to a surprise surrounding, because that’s pretty cool too. But I am not often grounded to one place, so I am flaky.
I like to go rock climbing, spontaneously decide to climb a mountain (and sometimes get reported as a missing person because of it. Sorry Mom!) Suddenly I wake up and I am a student again.
But then I decide to drive to Nevada to jump out of an aeroplane, and fly to Ontario to hang out with my niece. Oh, there she goes again! Somewhere here, somewhere there. Doing this, but doing that. She’s not settled enough to bother employing.
There are a handful of us out there. Most of you will never hire us; because well, we are flaky, unsettled, and nothing about our lives really makes sense.
But you know, we’ll probably actually be your best employees. Working hard is something we are used to; because even though it may not seem like it, it’s hard work to make a life without a job or a home.
We don’t have time to learn people, they filtrate through our lives too quickly. So we’ve become proficient at reading them rather accurately, quite instantly. And because we are constantly being tossed about to new places, learning in general becomes an integral part of who we are.
You see, we can be a people person if you need us to. Yet we are quite content in solo situations if that’s what you prefer as well. We have no problem getting dirty or breaking a sweat, but we can be quite presentable and can clean up nicely in a moments notice too.
So long as we can roam to meet new people, try new things, and grow as individuals, we’re pretty content.
We like to go with the flow. So when you screw up the schedule, we probably won’t get mad. Or when you forgot to order a certain part that the last person needed to finish the job, we can probably make something up with what we have. And when you need that person to do an odd job in a moments notice, it’ll probably be us who replies.
Really, we are just practical people in an impractical world. But because home is a state of being and not a physical place, we aren’t really the employable type.