V.19 No.4 | 1/28/2010
Today: Get a Job
Is the economy improving, or isn't it? Numbers and predictions are being thrown around like aimless pebbles, and millions of Americans are still without jobs. To remedy the situation, the U.S. Census Beureau is holding a job fair at the John Marshall Center (1500 Walter SE) today from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. A variety of full- and part-time positions promise to be available to hundreds of thousands of people, boasting great pay and flexible scheduling. After all, those bills are doing a pretty crappy job of paying themselves. For more information, visit 2010censusjobs.gov or call 1-866-861-2010
Employment I Have Known
Since age 16 I’ve had many different jobs:
• First I worked at a small coffee shop.
• Then I worked at a pharmacy mailing pills to rural areas, and delivering them to mental institutions and old folks homes.
• During my freshman year of college I worked at the Fine Arts Library—at once the best and most difficult job I’ve had. The pros were that I got to look at rare books and check out records from their collection of more than 16,000 LPs. The con was that I had to shelve carts and carts of books and it was hard to stay focused and not look at them, especially when hidden in the stacks.
• Next I worked at a series of restaurants: a fry fest known as BG’s Old Tyme Deli in Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Cafe Broadway here in town; and, (shudder) The Olive Garden. Every night after working at the Olive Garden I would eat a kid’s portion of some crappy pasta, drink cheap red wine, listen to KUNM and hate myself.
• After being fired from the Olive Garden for insisting on going home for the holidays, I got a receptionist job at the Architecture school.
• Then I was employed as a receptionist at the Weekly Alibi. I was fired for reasons still beyond me.
• Accidentally, I got a job as a student reporter at KUNM where I spent almost three years, also working as a music assistant.
• Finally I fell back into the loving newspaper arms of the Alibi.
Sadly, I’ve never known retail.
Once I tried to get a job at Birdland but they wouldn’t hire me because I had no retail experience, and probably figured I was too dumb to learn how to sell pipes and black light posters. Another time I tried to get a job at Bow Wow Records. They had me fill out a questionnaire where you listed favorite and least favorite bands. I wrote that Skrewdriver was my least favorite band. They never called me back. Because I wasn’t cool enough, I assume.
I wonder what my next job will be. Snooty academic sounds cool, but I also sort of just want to make soup and draw toons. These days, though, I’m thankful I have a job. The U.S. unemployment and underemployment rate is currently at a lame 17 percent.
V.18 No.42 | 10/15/2009
The Hoot Smalley Report #2: Where have all the film jobs gone?
Coffee, three eggs over-medium and bacon; hangover recovery process is in full swing. Question: Where have all the film jobs gone? Answer: Michigan, Louisiana, Georgia, Iowa; and then, if we’re lucky, New Mexico.
Has it always been this way? Actually, no. Used to be outside of New York and L.A. the jobs were in Louisiana, Connecticut and New Mexico, and in that order too. No lie, I kid you not.
Is there light at this abysmally dark tunnel? Actually, yes. Iowa recently made the news when their Governor, Chet Culver, recently nixed the film incentive program there. Bringing New Mexico up to fourth outside of New York and L.A., A bitter sweet victory for us considering we used to be third and it took a whole lot of bungling and corruption by the Iowa Film Office (which is currently under investigation) to pull us out of fifth place.
How do I know this? Well, I called Chet Culver’s office and spoke with a very nice lady who sadly confirmed that their film office is under investigation and that the Iowa Film incentive program is temporarily suspended. Unfortunately she could not define how long temporarily meant. Bad news for them, good news for us; sadly, I feel for them. The Hollywood Machine is a daunting business for anyone to comprehend let alone deal with effectively.
Any other good news out there? Again the answer is yes. Michigan is looking at reducing their incentive program from a 42 percent refund to an undisclosed amount. A big deal considering in 2008 they had 28 films shot there, one of those films being Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino. Hella good movie by the way.
But who is the dark that is not making the news and why? Georgia is going strong and offering a combined 30 percent state income tax credit and also offering a pass on sales tax that saves the productions that go there up to 8 percent in addition.
Is Georgia truly that competitive with New Mexico? Sadly, yes. One of the biggest movies that is coming here is spreading its locations around and looks to only be here for a couple of weeks before packing up and heading off to Georgia for the remainder and the majority of its shooting schedule.
Is this good or bad? Answer, hard to say. If the production decides to keep the majority of its crew that it hires here and take them all to Georgia this could be great. If not, our boys and girls who so hard to do what they do will have to fend for themselves until they get another job. Thankfully, more than one movie is expected to head our way because of the fallout from Iowa.
So what is our overall prognosis as a state? Not so great but we’re getting better.
Reporting from the Sunshine Café, this is Hoot Smalley. See you all at the Marble Brewery; they open at 3 pm on the weekdays.
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