Monday, February 22, 2010

Mom & the friendly hooker


My mother spends about 10 hours a week working at a local temp agency. It’s her job to screen applicants and make snap judgements about their character.

It’s not an easy for a 76-year-old grandmother to have to be thrust into the work force and I wish she didn’t have to. I wish I could throw money at her to stay home and watch our kids, but I don’t have the scratch. Like the down-and-out who stop to see her seeking work, times are tough for me, too.

I give her what I can when I can and hope things improve.

She insists she enjoys getting out of the house and meeting interesting people, but some of her duties challenge her sweet innocence. She likes to believe that everyone she meets shares her values of candor and virtue.

She’s shocked to learn the world is full of desperate scoundrels. Another life lesson was imparted last week when a smartly dressed young woman marched in and gave her a bright, confident hello.

“Oh, she seemed like such a go-getter,” she said, shaking her head in recollection. “I gave her the application, looked over her answers and wrote down that she seemed like a very nice and hard-working young lady, a real opportunist.”

Mom was surprised to later learn that she was wrong on at least one count. They did a routine background check and found the woman was untruthful.

“Turns out she’d been arrested three times for prostitution.”

I’d argue that Mom deserves a raise because her assessment was right on the money.

Being a “hard” worker must fall into some aspect of every prostitute’s job description or they won’t be prostituting long enough to get busted three times. In fact, I think the woman’s only mistake was concealing her arrest record.

Think of the job skills this woman possesses.

She’s demonstrated great one-on-one people skills working in a competitive environment. She was responsible for finding and satisfying her own customers.

And I think she’d be appealing to today’s heartless corporate entities who are interested in a docile and uncomplaining workforce. She’s unlikely to ever complain about getting screwed.

Really, if we were at all honest about it, she’d probably be a better hire than most of the other applicants seeking to bounce back from being laid off from manufacturing or retail jobs.

She’s certainly motivated and her apparent willingness to turn her life around is exemplary.

When you think about it, Mom would be crazy to refer me, her own son, for any job over the friendly hooker.

What do I have to offer? My primary skill as a writer is that I tell distracting stories. Who needs a guy like that around the office?

Prostitutes get right down to business. No talk, no bull. They’re all about action.

If Mom and I were serious about earning real money, we’d concentrate on hiring a bunch of hookers to do things like clean houses or run a smart little coffee shop.

Mom told me the story as I was strapping the 3 year old into the car seat after a daylong frolic with Nana. I was heading home and she was heading out to meet friends for dinner.

I reached into my wallet and told Mom, hey, here take this. It’s on me.

She said, no, she just got paid. Things were fine, she said. Maybe some other time.

So I put the money back in my wallet, sheepishly relieved she’d said no.

Still just so she’d go back inside not thinking her son’s a total failure, I said, “Mom, you know you just turned down $1,000?”

She rushed back and said, “I’ll take it!”

We both laughed. She knew I was joking. Still, I was surprised at her eager about-face on my offer.

I guess there’s a little opportunistic go-getter in even the nicest people.

2 comments:

Suldog said...

Great little distracting story!

As I read your rationales for hiring the formerly fornicating, I found myself thinking, "Damn! I wish I'd thought of this..." Clever, and true. Nicely done.

Rodell said...

Hey, thanks, Suldog for the flattering comment. That's the kind I'd like to put on the refrigerator. Really, I hope that hooker does find a traditional job. Wouldn't that make a great story!