A Walk Down Misery Street

“I see, I see.” She looked at me both pensively and sympathetically.

I felt that she saw me as a hopeless romantic and philosopher who had no idea what he was getting himself into.



I was accepted to the school. It was a good step, but how to make ends meet and how to pay for this education?

Already having a prior unsuccessful attempt to get a job as a grocery stock boy, I started thinking about where I would be hired. What if I tried to be a security guard?

This time I hit the bull’s eye. It turned out that it was very easy to land the job of a security guard. All you needed was a high school diploma or a GED, plus a few lectures for a hundred dollars. Also, you needed to have a clean record, not dirtied by criminal affairs. I had all this. In a few days, having listened to the lectures and paying a hundred bucks, I received the certificate of a security guard and was ready to stand guard in the capital of the world, adding to the army of thousands of security guards, with whom New York is teeming like cockroaches.

I quickly put together a resume, where I wrote that until recently I had worked as a traffic police officer in Russia.

The next day in the tabloid’s “help wanted” section I chose the first “security guard wanted” listing with “no experience or references required.” I called there and was invited for an interview right away at a large company which supplies contract guards in various city locations.

The interviewer, glancing briefly at my resume, inquired why I needed this job. I lied that I was a traffic police officer in Russia and it was my cherished dream to become a cop in New York. However, as I said, I was not yet ready to be a cop in New York, because I had lived here for a short while and this job had many requirements which would take me a long time to meet. But I have to pay my bills now, and this is why I am here, looking for a job as a security guard.

Apparently, the boss liked my guileless, honest explanation. After all, I could not convince him that I dreamed of working as a security guard all my life!