I'm tired of getting asked about the job market. I'm tired of people who know I'm on the market asking me how it's going. You know? The line that goes, "Hey, PGS, how are you doing? You're on the market this year, right? How's it going?"
When I say I'm tired of the question, I mean it actually makes me tired. It sort of deflates me a little, like it takes some of the air out of my lungs. What the fuck am I supposed to say? "Well, gosh, friend, it really fucking sucks. All the work I did this year made no fucking difference getting me closer to a job than I got last year, and I'm spending a lot of time trying to convince myself I'm not a complete fucking failure at the only thing I've ever really wanted to do with my life. How the fuck are you?"
Can't say that, can I? Wouldn't be polite. But as I've been getting more tired with the question, my answer's been changing a little. There's pressure to be upbeat about it all, to show you're keeping your spirits up. Actually admitting in public that you're getting the shit kicked out of you is sort of an unseemly embarrassment, like pissing your pants in public. And at first, when people asked me how I was doing, I'd clench my face up into my best happy-optimistic-simpleton smile and say, "Nothing happening so far! We'll see!" or some thing just as insipid. Then I'd keep the same idiotic expression on my face while me and whoever I was talking to went through some bullshit about how something was sure to come up or whatever.
But fuck it. Right now, the job market's not small talk for me, and I don't have it in me to pretend it is. So now when someone asks me about the market, they get a blank look from me and I tell them, "Nothing's happening." Then they figure out it's time to talk about something else.