John Phipps: Updating the Old Resume

March 13, 2018 10:42 AM
John Phipps

More than a few farmers are looking under couch cushions for extra cash. Meanwhile, more than a few lenders and accountants are casually including job website links in emails to farm customers. Call me paranormal, but these seem like hints it might be time for me to Get A Job.

A sturdy economy outside of ag beckons with chances to turn relatively low-value hours of verifying reception of all my 742 satellite channels into W-2 transfusions. To start, let’s dust off the old résumé.

Education: probably. Hmm, I have a problem with my education history. Every school I have attended no longer exists. To be fair, my college just changed its name, but from a recruiter perspective, it could seem fishy. Sadly, it was so long ago, I don’t trust my own memory.

I’ll put down I completed fourth grade and my sophomore year of high school. Each featured an academic fiasco that got blamed on me, burning them into my memory. The rest is a little vague. I think I have a BS in Medieval Engineering. To freshen this up, I’ll add I was schooled by the options market in 2012.

Language skills: r u kidding? This could be tricky. They might actually check with my Farm Journal editors, so I’ll only mention my magazine prose and not the cons. It will be obvious during any interview I speak fluent Midwestern, but to make my résumé stand out, I’ll also list Australian and a smattering of New Zealandish (thanks, Netflix!), and Klingon (mostly curse words). I can translate emoji, but only the written kind.

Work experience: unimpressed. All farmers remember working 36/9 on the farm when growing up. Luckily, I can point to the three years I spent one summer detasseling corn and discovering a burning desire to never do it again. The next summer I spent dismantling government grain bins, where I learned the shadowy art of government employment and, coincidentally, all about girls from my older (over 18) coworkers. Neither proved particularly accurate, but at least I was off the mean streets of rural Illinois.

Five years in the Navy on a submarine ought to add value. Of course, they were wooden back then, but I’ll stress how I learned to ignore the right paperwork and stay awake from 00 to 0400 hours. If I work “Matey” into the conversation a few times and avoid colorful nautical adjectives, it should highlight this important experience.

Computer skills: CTRL-ALT-DEL. Time to show off my cybertechnical skills, such as complete mastery of the Baskerville Font (I know how to make the ¢ sign, for example) and advanced acronyms such as tbh. Additionally, I possess an uncanny knack of picking the best bullet point in PowerPoint.

Social skills: alone is best. Now for the icing on the beefcake. One culinary talent is getting ice cream and fudge to come out even when preparing several portions. Hopefully, they will ask for a demonstration. My special gift is being able to pair the correct craft beer with any candy bar. My dancing is unforgettable (many have tried).

When we meet. I have read job interviews often include no-win questions such as, “What is your biggest weakness?” I’ve prepared a list for that one. Another tactic tests thinking on your feet. So, first, I’ll stand up. When asked a question such as “How many chicken wings do you estimate are consumed the day after the Super Bowl?” I’ll blurt out the first number that pops into my head. They don’t know the answer either, and speed might be misread as insight.

Finally, I will dazzle my interviewers with youthful vigor by not groaning when I stand or sit.

Alrighty—I think we’re talking six figures here. Counting the decimal places.

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Spell Check

Aberdeen, SD
3/12/2018 05:46 PM

  If things go reasonably well that should give john $1,000.00 for craft beer and candy bars! Can't wait till his dancing video's get posted on you tube.

bad axe, MI
3/12/2018 07:31 PM

  John all you have to do is email back how much they need to charge off your debt so you don't have to get a job. After all the US dollar is all fiat according to the IMF and the World Bank.


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