Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Cheesemaker's apprentice

Aging, job hunt

About 80% of job hunting falls into the wild goose chase category. Yesterday I was lucky, finding two jobs I'd love and applying for them. One even came with a personal contact, the Holy Grail of job searching. So I was not surprised when today's search reverted to the norm.

It's all overhead honkers when the Monster Job Search Agent report shows up in my e-mail. Under the search category "editor-writer" come the following jobs, most of which seem to be in Florida and Texas:

  • Janitorial Day Help
  • Full Time Detailer/General Laborer
  • RN
  • GIS Coordinator
  • Paralegal

 If you're a software engineer looking for a job, contact Monster, please. They need big-time help with their search engines.

At the couple-months-out stage, where I am, job seekers get discouraged. Many just stop looking. I can't. But my mind drifts toward things I love and for which I have no qualifications, only romantic job fantasies.

Like making cheese.

Visualize striding gracefully through green fields of goats (preferably tended by handsome young goatherds because goats are devilish critters and about as much fun to try to manage as teenagers), your white muslin overalls immaculate. Enter the humble cheesehouse lined with stainless steel tubs and sinks and shelves of artisanal cheese disks that elves or farmers working extra hours have put there earlier. Reverently lift one and carry it to a secret cave on the foggy banks of the Mississippi. Roll it in the ashes of hundred year oak felled by natural causes, wrap it in leaves and bark, tie it with twine made from goat sinews, and lay it down to rest and dream. In a few years, sell it to an obscenely rich person, of whom there will be more though others resort to Velveeta. Retire to write oddly compelling romantic novels in the old cheesemaker's cave. There may or may not be occasional visits from the goatherds. . .

A quick Google search sets me straight. Wisconsin is like the Vatican or Mecca of cheese. To even enter a master cheesemaker apprenticeship program here requires ten years of experience making cheese. Five of those years have to have been making the cheese for which you want certification. And then you spend three more years in the apprenticeship program. For each cheese you want to master. This is no work for the drifty and flippant.

Hard to wrap a 21st century mind around the notion that skill and experience lead to mastery. This world is more about the churn of random change, the squeaky curds of the latest software program.

I wonder how to package my own long-developed journeyman skills. Not in leaves and ashes, but with a sense that proper aging adds value.

About those leaves. . . I think I'd better go rake a bit. I'm getting dotty. . .

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