originally published as "Who do you call to get a better job?" Bristol Press, Middletown Press and New Britain Herald, December 28, 2008
The other night I tried selling my soul to Satan in exchange for a secure, fulfilling job offering a decent salary and opportunities for advancement (yes, America, that is what it takes nowadays).
Unfortunately, the growing world economic crisis has even hurt the soul market. With so many souls offered for sale, prices are dropping even faster than the real estate and stock markets combined. Forget about making a profit on any sales; you’ll be lucky if you get enough to cancel out your losses.
“I’m cutting back on personal spending these days,” the Devil said to me. “Who isn’t? If you’re selling your soul for a job, the most I can afford to offer right now is a temp gig warming office seats for big-industry CEOs while they fly to Congress to collect their bailout checks. Pays 20 bucks an hour plus travel costs. No bennies.”
I’m not desperate enough to even consider such an insulting offer. Yet. “Come back in a few months,” I told him. “Maybe I should see how the new year and new president work out, before committing to anything drastic.”
“Suit yourself,” Satan said. “The longer you wait to sell, the less you’ll get when you do. And that’s not even counting what inflation will do to the value of the dollar. C’mon. I can have you on a plane flying to Detroit tomorrow. Just sign here.”
But I shook my head, in lieu of saying “No,” and Lucifer vanished in a sulfurous puff of smoke.
The moral of this story is: Don’t try selling your soul to Satan, because whatever he offers won’t be worth it. And yet, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea.
The idea of leading a major company, I mean. I don’t suppose anyone reading this belongs to the board of directors of some huge corporation looking to hire a high-ranking executive officer? If so, look no further than me.
Granted, I have no idea how to run such a business. If you put me at the helm of your company, I’ll probably drive it into the ground, flush its stock value down the toilet and add most of its work force to the unemployment rolls.
What everyone else is doing, in other words. So why hire me instead of them?
Most corporate executives who trash their companies charge hundreds of millions of dollars each year for their services. I’m willing to trash your company for a mere half-million, plus health and dental.
This enormous salary differential could shore up your stock value. Preserve hundreds of jobs. Or fund your next round of executive bonuses and corporate retreats in Maui.
Also: I am a woman who was raised in the South. This means I know how to shed realistic-looking tears on demand. Maybe I can use this skill to finagle an extra few hundred billion out of the (mostly male) members of Congress when I visit Washington and tell them why the taxpayers need to pay for my company’s bailout.
Of course, “Trashing the economy and using taxpayer money to do it” is the sort of job you can’t take unless you sell your soul first. I’ll call Satan again tomorrow morning.