New York’s paper of record decided to tackle the economy in a new and thrilling way this weekend by profiling two unemployed Ohio transplants. Sadly for anyone looking forward to a legitimate story of our time, they are female twins. And blonde.
N.R. Kleinfield – who for some reason chose to describe their jobless perils in strange, half-poetic fragments (“Happy Hour at Dive 75, Kristy at the bar. Familiar faces trickled in, spat out orders.“) – tries to accurately represent the suicidal stress of job hunting.
We find out that Katie and Kristy Barry, 24, have applied for over 150 jobs, but continue to work as bartenders. We know that the recent Rutgers grads live with two other people in a 2 bdr apartment. We learn that they send Buckeyes, a chocolate-coated peanut-butter confection that is an Ohio specialty, to stand out to employers. Neither has health insurance. One has said that she wants to stab herself . Both worry about stumbling along Broadway in plastic shoes.
Unfortunately, we also find out how much rent they pay. And that their parents are divorced. And why their ex-boyfriends broke up with them. Before we even get a chance to sympathize with their plight, Kleinfeld includes every inane detail of their lives. And, sadly for future employers, every inane idea they come up with.
Their dream is to work together in sports reporting or have a TV show, but they are flexible. They talk of teaching piano, or inventing, say, a lipstick-case microphone. “If you’re in a bar you would hold it up and say, ‘This guy is creepy, get out of here,’ ” Kristy explained.
Hm. That definitely sounds like something we’d come up with when not sober. And definitely not when talking to a reporter. In fact, Kleinfeld has profiled them so thoroughly that the twins come across as cartoonish fame wannabes.
They had been chewing over ways to get noticed, inject some news into their lives. Mom always told them: “If you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be what you’ve always been.”
Kristy suggested hiring a helicopter to scatter her résumé over Manhattan.
They had a saxophone, so Katie thought of playing in the subway with a sign inviting job offers.
I am not one to hate on the fellow unemployed, but have either of these girls heard of an internship?