Despite the recent news that an illegal immigrant housekeeper found 1 billion dollars under the Governor’s mattress this week, the Great State of Redneckia is still expected to experience a massive budget shortfall this year. It has also been made perfectly clear that the one program we can afford to cut is education.
The reasoning for this is perfectly sound. After all, kids learn everything they need to know from TV and the internet anyway, so public school is really just another government make-work program whose time for reform has finally arrived.
What has many teachers really freaked out here in the Cave of Comedy is that they have foolishly spent their entire adult lives in pursuit of the art of education. The upcoming budget cuts almost certainly mean that most of us will be fired and forced into getting a “real job.” This is terrifying to teachers because avoiding a “real job” is exactly why we got into teaching in the first place!
In fact several of my esteemed colleagues are already kicking around a couple of “Plan B” options. The problem of course is that teachers have a fairly limited skill set: we can bullshit nearly everyone, we’re very comfortable in front of groups of nearly any size, intelligence, or fragrance, and we’re exceedingly good at making people feel small for using “who” instead of “whom.” In terms of accomplishing actual work such as would normally be required at a “real job” however, we’re thinking that teachers might come up a little short.
In fact I’ve been compiling a short list of “real jobs” that we might possibly try after we’re fired and was wondering if anyone had any feedback on the subject.
1. Waterbed Salesman – These people are quite possibly the creepiest individuals to ever walk the planet (and I’m including John McCain in that list!). Seriously, they give off a vibe that make the 20-somethings at Chuck E Cheeses look wholesome. So it seems to me that this profession could use an infusion of dynamic, patient, and cheerful people and who better fits that bill than bitter, disillusioned, recently canned teachers?
2. Dog Walkers – Normally this is a job performed by someone whose parents refuse to give them money unless they have a “job.” Dog walkers must learn to control small groups of noisy animals with only limited control of their bladders. The only real difference between that and teaching is the fact that dog walkers normally work outdoors.
3. School Board Member – The only apparent requirement for being elected to the school board is that all candidates must possess a deep-seated contempt for everyone too stupid to get a real job and must therefore stoop to teaching. Somehow I don’t imagine that this will be all that difficult.
4. Insurance Claims Adjuster – No one is actually sure what these people do, except that when they do it to you it totally ruins your day. Since nothing helps a bad mood like spreading it around (wisdom gleaned from Calvin and Hobbes), this seems like a natural choice for erstwhile teachers. As a bonus you’ll get to carry around a clipboard and write mysterious notes on it!
My last suggestion for a Plan B isn’t as serious, but I think it might have the most potential. I think that “we who are about to be fired” should band together and form a rap group. I’ve seen several famous rap groups in action and apparently no musical or lyrical talent is involved. The only thing we need to be famous is a decent producer and a willingness to swear inventively. Again somehow I don’t imagine that we’ll find that last part all that difficult.
If any of you have any Plan B suggestions of your own, we’d love to hear them! Remember that we used to be teachers, so there isn’t a job out there that wouldn’t pay enough.