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Feb. 25, 1999




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In case of skills failure, prepare to resort to plan B

By H.G. Miller
Kansan columnist

Well, well, it seems that graduation is beginning to get a little close, and I´m suddenly realizing that I will need to get some kind of job in order survive in the world outside of this collegiate learning environment.

This whole graduation bit seemed a lot easier after high school when all I had to do was go away to college and let a structured government entity run things for a while.

Oh well, I suppose it´s always a good idea to take an account of one's life when such momentous occasions loom near. A quick check of my savings account shows that the luxury penthouse suite will probably have to wait, as well as those golf clubs, the new TV, an oil change and any dental work.

Apparently, I´m expected to pay those loans back, too.

I also am beginning to notice that I haven't quite picked up what would be considered “marketable skills” during the last four years. I guess an accurate memorization of the vast array of Billy Joel´s musical compositions doesn´t automatically qualify you for much of anything.

Since I appear to be little short on the resume builders, I guess I´ll just have to hope that my life experiences will somehow translate into income-making assets.

Most employers seem to want somebody who is detail oriented, and I would like to point out that I can effectively distinguish between the flavor, viscosity and coloration of almost all of the world´s finer bourbons.

An ability to budget funds should be well received by a prospective employer. This is a skill honed to perfection by any poor college student who wants to enjoy simple pleasures like eating, as well as purchasing necessities such as smooth jazz CDs. I believe that the 73 cents left in my checking account at the end of each month shows just how thoroughly my money works for me.

While I may have taken a few liberties with my class schedule during the last couple of years, I think that my attendance record should stand up well under any employer´s scrutiny. Just remember, it´s all about perspective. The percentage of days I show up for class is phenomenal if you compare them to, say, somebody who doesn´t attend the University of Kansas. Yeah, just see how many times that person showed up to my classes, and I look like the Iron Man.

Of course, I can´t rest on my laurels alone. Once I´m in the door, I assume I´ll need more than my glowing personality and collection of obscene yet oddly humorous limericks to get by. I am fully prepared to act like I care about whatever job I may be offered.

“Yes, sir, I believe your company can provide me with the true calling I´ve always searched for in life. Namely, a calling that will enable me to eat something other than a pasta product every once in a while.”

Big smile. I´ll be sure to practice that look that says, “I don´t necessarily need this job, but it is the only thing between sustenance and hocking this suit for a few loaves of bread.”

I also am aware of the other options out there. Should some executive have a young daughter who is perhaps seeking a beau, I would be more than willing to worm my way into middle management by marrying her. I saw it in a movie once, so I´m sure that it will work.

Additionally, if there happen to be any women out there majoring in engineering, pharmacy, law or anything else that would actually lead to a lucrative career, I understand the amount of time needed to succeed at these jobs. The stress involved in starting outside relationships is just another unneeded obstacle, and I´m willing to help. I have no qualms about being a kept man.

Should all of my preparation still fail to land me a meaningful place in society´s social structure, I suppose I can do what any other truly enlightened individual would do and become a grad student.

We´ll see what the loan committee thinks about that, eh?

Miller is a Hutchinson senior in English.



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