Tuesday Musings: “Hunt” May Be the Wrong Word

Despite the fact that I have a wonderful, ultra-cool job, I have many friends on the prowl for jobs this summer. Just before college, money seems the ultimate necessity and increasingly hard to come by. They have set up stands in the trees, waiting in the forest from five in the morning till evening. Maybe a job might stumble into their cross-hairs, and maybe those friends will snag that job to metaphorically place its head on their walls (title on their resumes?)

But “job hunting” is a strange phrase which invokes the idea of using a gun or even bow and arrow. Well, if you carry either of those weapons into a job interview, you may not get the job. Actually, probably not. There is not much explanation that ties our economic needs to the primal acts of our ancestors. Each time we hunt animals, even with the intention of eating what we kill, we are taking part in a strange tradition we no longer need. Though tradition, traditionally, insists upon itself; it seems we do need it, cannot stop from practicing it. That alone makes hunting strange.

As an adolescent, from the age of 11 to 13, my brother asked me constantly to hunt with him until he inferred I held no interest to shiver thirty feet high in a tree, tackling boredom as we watched for deer. He still hunts with a bow, practicing nearly every day he is home in the backyard. Unless zombies rise from the earth or we experience nuclear fallout, I don’t see myself shooting any animals for the sport of doing so. Blood will never be smeared across my face as a ritual I’m not sure makes sense to anybody.

But when it comes to working, I believe that too is a ritual, especially not a useless one, though. Before we bagged groceries at Food Lion for money, we hunted for money. Therein lies the connection that inspires “job hunt,” perhaps. There is no passive waiting, but instead active looking. If a person simply sat in a tree, literally, to wait for a job to approach, he would be called crazy. The search for work is more desperate and deliberate than that.

I fortunately have a job to labor at, so I do not have to flood restaurants, grocery stores, and clothing shops with applications. Still, it is curious how traditional our needs are. As we begin college, we search for part-time jobs, partly out of necessity (gas to drive, food to eat), but again, out of tradition. If you’re currently hunting, like many Americans are, what are your thoughts on job searches?

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About Derek Berry

Derek Berry is a novelist and spoken word poet. Derek is the author of Heathens and Liars of Lickskillet County (PRA Publishing, 2016). He co-founded and organizes The Unspoken Word, a literary non-profit based out of Charleston, SC, which provides an intendent home for the poetic arts through regular readings, workshops, and community fundraisers. He is on the Executive Board of the Charleston Poetry Festival, the inaugural production of which will be Fall 2017. His work has appeared in The Southern Tablet, Cattywampus, Charleston Currents, Illuminations, RiverSedge, and other journals.He has performed in venues across the United States and Germany. He has worked as a photographer’s assistant, busboy, and bookseller. He currently works at a curation facility for Cold War History.

Posted on May 29, 2012, in musings, Teenagers, writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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