Livelihoods: A history |

Livelihoods: A history

Barry Smith

So far I’ve managed to skate through life without ever having to submit a résumé to a prospective employer. Each time I found myself at a job interview I would lean forward and say, in a mildly threatening voice, “Of course, you know who my father is, don’t you?” Were the interviewers not so intimidated (I do this thing with my eyebrows that many find very threatening) and actually bothered to check, they would find that as a result of a bizarre string of artificial insemination mishaps and poorly filed paperwork, I am, technically, my own father. Long story … but so far I’ve always been hired without the need for documentation.Someday, though, I may have to get a real job, one that actually requires a résumé. I’ve decided to put one together now, to avoid any last-minute oversights. OBJECTIVE: Seeking a position in which my complete and utter lack of focus, ambition, dependability, balance, common sense, table manners, hygiene, ability to correctly use an apostrophe, trustworthiness and organizational, mechanical, verbal and emotional skills can best be put to use in a relaxed, creative environment teeming with coffee breaks and immediate paid vacation time.SALARY REQUESTED: How much you got?EDUCATION: 1973-76: Vacation Bible School – Graduated with honors in “Begats” and “Old Testament Plagues.” 1984-90: Community College of Southern California – Indecision Major, with minors in Procrastination and Crystal Healing. Came really close to graduating on several occasions. Transcripts unavailable due to isolated shredding incident.WORK EXPERIENCE: Crayola Crayon Manufacturing Facility – Responsibilities included quality control of “Blue-Green” and “Periwinkle.” Later promoted to manager of the Built-In Sharpener Department.Chevrolet Motor Co. – Research and Development Assistant. Single-handedly responsible for the massive recall of the Pinto. Dismissed shortly thereafter, once it was discovered that the Pinto was built by Ford.Ford Motor Co. – No actual job description, they were just so happy that I managed to dump all those Pintos on Chevrolet that they put me on the payroll for a while. Responsibilities included staying out of the way so the people who knew what they were doing could get some work done. Also assistant coach of the volleyball team.LANGUAGES: Fluent in several languages spoken only by myself and a few close friends after serious alcohol consumption.SPECIAL SKILLS: A people person. A self-starter. A problem solver. A go-getter. A real humdinger. Detail oriented. Light typing.AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS: 1994 Olympic Games, Lillehammer, Norway – Received a Styrofoam medal in the briefly televised Synchronized Sarcasm event.1990 Olympic Games, (can’t recall where held – you can probably find it on the Internet, though) – Crepe medal in Synchronized Whining.1988 Declared “Best Poet Of Our Century” by some guy at a bar who was trying to convince me to stop reading my poems to him.1982 Publishers Clearing House announced that I may “… already be a winner.”SPECIAL NEEDS: Due to an as yet undiagnosed illness, it may be necessary to spend my working hours doing whatever I damn well please for as long as I see fit. Should this be a determining factor in your hiring decision, just remember – discrimination is an ugly word, with even uglier legal implications.HOBBIES: Loitering, contradiction, collecting office supplies, bad food combining, defenestration, piracy (have own costume), vanity, gourmet deep-frying, sloth, loud throat clearing, mockery, living outside of my means, electro-shock therapy, false accusation.OTHER: I have a ladder.References available for a small handling fee. Barry Smith’s column runs in The Aspen Times on Mondays. His e-mail address is, and his very own Web page is at

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