There's certainly not much good news on the job front, these days, but Oscar Mayer's hiring.
They're looking for a dozen - the number of hot dogs in a package? - "ambassadors" to drive their Weinermobiles around, and competition for the positions is generally dog eat dog.
According to the article I saw in last week's Boston Globe, the company usually receives 1,000 applications for those 12 Hotdogger jobs, and one can only imagine that this year the odds against landing one them will be even greater.
I can't exactly say that I've ever thought about driving a a Weinermobile, but I have always enjoyed seeing one tootling down the road. I've had that always unexpected, always delightful pleasure several times over the years, and well remember that first exciting sighting when I was nothing more than a little Oscar Mayer hot dog eating kid. And, yes, Oscar Mayer was the house brand at our house.
(Haven't spotted the old Weinermobile yourself? Well you clearly haven't spent enough time on America's highways and byways. Here's shot, from the Globe article, showing a meeting between a fake hotdog and a fake steer. Despite all of our troubles, is this not a great country or what? Although I must say I'm just as happy that I don't live in the way-too-flat and entirely too godforsaken part of this great country shown in the picture.)
Just to see whether I could metaphorically cut the mustard for this job, I moseyed on over to the spot for Hotdoggers: their combo blog/website.
Well, my first impression when I saw the current class of Weinermobilers is that I am way too old.
And, once I read what they were looking for, I knew, alas, that I was right.
If you're an outgoing, creative, friendly, enthusiastic, graduating college senior with a big appetite for adventure send your resume...
And it's not just that I'm not a graduating college senior.
I will give myself reasonably high marks for creativity. And for an introvert, I'm exceedingly well compensated - so well compensated that many people mistake me for an extrovert.
I am as friendly as a native New Englander introvert can be, which I suspect is not quite enough for the folks at Oscar Mayer. I have been known to show enthusiasm, but tend to hold back and reserve enthusiasm for something that it truly enthusiasm worthy. Would handing out weiner whistles qualify? Probably not.
As for appetite for adventure, I do like to travel, but mostly to places where I know there will be clean, indoor plumbing and a clean, comfy bed. So I must ask whether there's a toilet in the Weinermobile, and at what sorts of motels/hotels the drivers get put up in. (Or are there bunks in the WM?)
Elsewhere, under job information, Oscar Mayer also uses the dreaded term "people person."
All I can say to that one is, some of my best friends are people.
And just the fact that I use the word "dreaded" in conjunction with the term "people person" likely disqualifies me, even if age and other factors didn't.
While I might not qualify, it does sound like a great career starter for someone looking for a job in consumer product marketing or advertising.
If you're chosen, you'll represent Oscar Mayer as a goodwill ambassador through appearances on radio and television stations; newspaper interviews; and visits to grocery stores and charity functions. You'll work with professionals in the fields of consumer promotion, marketing and sales; help organize promotions and even pitch TV, radio and print media.
You'll also learn how to drive the 27 foot long WM. In itself, this may not have great career extensibility, but it's never a bad idea to have a few "conversation starters" on your résumé. I was quite disappointed when my job as a combat boot polisher in a shoe factory fell off of mine.
If you are chosen a Hotdogger,
...you'll attend Hot Dog High at Oscar Mayer headquarters in beautiful Madison, Wisconsin. At Hot Dog High, the work is fun, the meals are delicious and the subjects are always "meaty." You'll learn all about Oscar Mayer history and our wide variety of products, how to run your very own traveling public relations firm, and even how to maneuver your buns in the worst kinds of traffic!
Maybe you actually do get to find out just what goes into a hot dog.
Of course, the deal breaker for me is that you have to take an oath once you graduate.
As official Hotdogger of the celebrated Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, I salami swear to uphold the dogma set forth here, and I promise to:
Encourage wiener lovers nationwide to relish the delicacy, ketchup on the great taste of hot dogs, and give in to the craving once it's mustard. Be frank and furthermore, to be upstanding in a line for hot dogs at ball parks, barbecues, buffets, and other bashes. Journey into the streets, dachs, und ports of my community, wish well to all comers, plump and lean — and leave them with a wiener to roast about. As once I wished I were, now I am — an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile Hotdogger.
I'm not that bid on solemn oaths. And it took me a while to figure out just what "dachs" was. Here I was thinking "dachas", and trying to make sense out of that, when I realized that it was short for dachshund - ho, ho - which really only works if you pronounce the word "dock" as in "dachshund", rather the way you pronounce the work "dock" if you're a native New Englander (introvert or otherwise).
Ah, well. Another brilliant career tree it's too late in life for me to go barking up!
I only feel a little badly for myself, however.
Frankly, I'm mostly thinking about all the aging Baby Boomers who'd be perfect for this sort of job.
They've lost their real jobs, and all that's left is Walmart greeter. Their kids are all out of the house, and they're facing foreclosure because of all those home equity loans they took to finance their kids' educations. They're friendly, extroverted, people person kind of people, who are old enough to be past caring how dorky they'll look wearing outfits provided by Oscar Mayer. (The alternative is the vest or whatever else that Walmart issues to its greeters these days.)
More to the point, they're the last generation who grew up eating hot dogs without wondering about whether they were terrible for their health. We grew up without natural food snobbery, with nothing organically grown (including the humongous zucchinis mom grew in the backyard, thanks to that 50 pound bag of earth-destroyer chemical fertilizer cum pesticide), and without ever having set eyes on a vegetarian - let alone ever having heard of a vegan.
I definitely think Oscar Mayer should open up its search for Hotdoggers.
I may not be one of them, but I'm pretty sure there are plenty of Baby Boomer hot dog lovers out there, just waiting to be grilled about why they should be chosen to roam the land as ambassadors for Oscar Mayer.