If you were ever a Cub Scout or Boy Scout, or participated in an overnight summer camp, grown up in the southern United States, or have ever watched TV, or known someone who has done any of these things, then you are likely aware of Snipe hunting. What is a Snipe? I can’t say for sure, I’ve never actually seen one. I have never been on a Snipe hunt myself, but I’m aware of the concept of Snipe hunting by way of hearsay, making me a virtual authority on the subject. As an authority I’ve been contemplating the similarity between Snipe hunting and the current job market in the U.S.
A few days ago my BFF, Markus, asked me how my job hunt is going. I completed a Master’s degree in January and have been seeking employment worthy of a Master of Science (that’s what the diploma calls me) ever since, but to no avail. I replied to the question by asking if he had ever been on a Snipe hunt. You see, Snipe hunting is a game made up by adults to mess with children on camping trips. Snipes are make believe creatures that inhabit North American woodlands and Boy Scout leaders everywhere think it a great prank to send children armed with flashlights, nets, and an imagined sense of alarm off into the dark woods. All the while the leader sits in his SUV and watches Adam Sandler movies on the in-dash Blu-ray player.
It wasn’t difficult to match up the similarity between Snipe hunting and job hunting. I have come to realize that jobs, especially the ones that pay well and lead to satisfying work experiences, are make believe. These jobs don’t exist, the idea of them having been created by adults to serve as the carrot dangling in front of the donkey while he pulls a wagon load of rocks across the desert. A better analogy for public school I’ve never heard. More accurately, the lure of “good jobs” was made up to encourage university attendance and student loan debt. I haven’t figured out why this was wanted for the children in this country, but given the prevalence of it (student loan debt, I mean) somebody either wanted it or everyone really messed things up.
I don’t know if Snipes actually exist, just like I don’t know if good jobs actually exist. They must, but they certainly aren’t hanging out where I’ve been hunting. There’s no moral to this story, there’s barely even a point to it. In fact, I should have just posted the comic and not said anything else, but we are well past that now. I may not have a job in the traditional sense, including things like going to an office, working set hours, and receiving monetary compensation (I miss this one the most), but I do keep myself employed with my writing endeavors. For now I’ll have to pretend that pursuing a freelance writing career is akin to actually catching a Snipe.
I just realized I never actually spelled out the claim I made in the post title. And now you are realizing that I’m not going to.