the schmooze
"G'VALD!" (Help!)

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

*The Yiddish word for crisis is "krizis"

My "shokhente" (female neighbor) has begun to "kvetsh" about her 23-year-old son, a recent "kaledzh" (college) graduate with $24,000 worth of student loans.  She calls him a "NEET"--a young person who isn't working, in school or in a training program.  [From the phrase Not in employment, education, or training.]

Neets is a British term referring to young teenagers and adults with nothing to do. American graduates suffering in the current job market also fit the description.

She also describes her son's predicament as a "quarterlife crisis"--feeling of confusion ("tsemishung"), anxiety ("umru"), and self-doubt experienced by some people in their twenties, especially after completing their education.  Many young people will embark on gap-year travels--not just schools and college leavers leaping off the academic hamster wheel, but a growing number of restless twenty-somethings suffering from "quarterlife crisis."

My neighbor says that her "zun" is sitting around at home in his Joe Boxer Yellow and black Two Faced Licky Lounge Pants. "When I left this morning, he was watching a tape of "Jersey Shore"--the reality show about the boozy entanglements of young pseudo-Italians who happen to be spending their summer vacation on the Jersey shore (Seaside Heights)."

She continues, "He complains about this transitional housing and is petrified of job interviews, calling it a 'religious experience': you go into the office full of faith and hope on the chance that they might show a little charity.

This mom has kept a diary of her son's job hunting schedule, and has agreed to share it with TheSchmooze readers:  

8:30 a.m. GE "zeyger" (clock) radio goes off.

8:31         Wakeup call from Mom; she's at
                her office since 8:15.  Suggests
                that son read an article titled,
                "Fun Employment--n. A period of
                joblessness that a person uses for
                leisure and other fun activities."

8:32         Dad calls and says, "Shlofn shpet
                brengt oremkayt."  (Sleeping late
                brings poverty.)

8:41         Read horoscope/horrorscope
                Libra - Sept. 3 - Oct. 22
                Best career moves:  bailiff in a
                kangaroo court, ambulance
                chaser, tightrope walker.

8:45         Enters Euro-style kitchen. Notices
                large box of Tic-Tac-Toe Cheerios.
                Plays tic-tac-toe on the cereal
                box's detachable game board.

8:55         Dresses.  Drives to Dunkin' Donuts
                for Egg Cheese Eng. Muffin (290
                calories, 9 grams of fat).  Check
                Newsday's Help Wanted ads.
                Circles one possibility:

                DISNEYLAND. Immed. opening for
                voice-animated character
                performers.  Extensive training
                and must following very detailed
                rules:  Visible tattoos are
                forbidden, sideburns may not pass
                the earlobes, and mustaches are
                allowed if they are no longer than
                the corner of the employee's
                mouth.  Male employees may
                NOW wear their hair in cornrows.
                Apply online....

9:00         Returns home.  Calls dad at his
                law firm to confirm that Walt
                Disney wore a mustache.  HE DID!
                Examines laser-printed resume.
                Calls college roommate and
                "frayndlekh" (friendly)
                proofreader, Jonathan.  Asks him
                to scrutinize resume and cover
                letter.  Inquire whether he's
                begun job hunting.

9:10         Shower....and shave mustache.
                While in the shower, does what
                Ray Ramono ("Everybody Loves
                Raymond") does:  Brings a
                checklist right into the shower:
                Turn on "kalt" (cold) water
                Turn on "heys" (hot) water
                Burn ("bren")
                Freeze ("farfroyrn vern")
                Burn, but a little less
                Wash ("vashn")
                Sing "Piano Man"
                Check for ticks

9:25         Jonathan arrives.  Checks resume
                and eliminates "Reason for leaving
                last job:  It had to do with the IRS,
                FBI, and SEC.  Hey, no problem."
                Corrects spelling error:  Work
                Experience:  Salesperson in a
                STATIONARY store.

10:00       Drives to Staples for #10
                envelopes.  Completes their job
                application while waiting on the
                cashier's line.

11:00       Calls airlines for an Account
                Summary of Frequent Flyer Bonus

ll:10         Takes one Valium for severe case
                of "Interviewphobia"--a Mollie
                Fermaglich term for "the fear that
                you'll be hired by someone young
                enough to think that Woodstock
                is Snoopy's bird-pal.

11:30       Tunes in to "The View."  Barbara
                Walters asks viewers to call in if
                they have "graduated from
                college just two weeks ago and
                their parents are on their case to
                get a hi-paying job WITH HEALTH
                INSURANCE BENEFITS."

12:30       Reads computerized list of
                "unusual" questions posed by
               applicants for white-collar jobs:
               1.  Does your health insurance
                    cover dog grooming?
               2.  What are the zodiac signs of all
                    the board members and their
               3.  Do I have to dress for the next
               4.  What is it that your people do
                    at this company?
               5.  Why am I here?

12:40      Stops at the post office to buy 100
               stamps to use during job search.

1 p.m.    Call from mom inquiring whether I
               mailed my resume to Owens-
               Corning.  Reminded that they
               DON'T make Corning Ware!

1:30        Mailed resume to Owens-Corning.

1:45        Called the College of Menominee
               Nation in Keshena, WI, for infor-
               mation abut their two-year
               program in Casino Gambling.

2:00        Answered ad for summer job as a
               food server at Hog Heaven Sports
               Bar & Food Emporium. Formerly
               Sandbar.  Job requirements:
               Inhaling and Exhaling.
2:20        Practiced the Latin expression,
               "Num isgta optima est?"
               (Is that your best offer?)

2:30        Read article in Wall Street Journal.
               The Children's Television
               Workshop will trim 47 jobs as part
               of what the company calls a
               "strategic refocus."

2:40        Check Staples catalog for cost of
               Ergo chair.  Check dictionary for
               meaning of "ergonomics."

2:50        Read the New School's Summer
               Catalog.  Consider enrolling in a
               course titled, "How to Open a
               Coffee Bar."

2:52        Enjoy a cup of Cafe Sarks Gourmet
               Coffee.  It's "batamt" (delicious).

2:55       Check mail.  "gornisht." (Nothing.)

2:58       Called Uncle Lou at his Miami Beach
              delicatessen to inquire whether he
              needs additional help this "vinter."

2:59       Practice John Crittenden's list of
              10 Yiddish words needed to
              understand the chatter in a Miami
              Beach deli:
              (1) Bialy, (2) Challah, (3) Borscht,
              (4) Gelt,  (5) Knish,     (6) Kuegel,
              (7) Latkes,  (8) Lox,  (9) Maven,
              (10) Zaftig.

3:00      Read the Monthly Labor Review to
              determine the turnover in
              American manufacturing industry.

3:10       Stopped into the public library to
              enlist the aid of the Reference
              Librarian in checking the OOH--
              the Occupational Outlook
              Feeling "opgelakevetg"--
              totally worn out.  "Di shvertsteh
              arbet iz arumtsugain laidik." 
              (The hardest work is to go idle.)

3:30       Read the Scope Series for the B'way show, "Enter Laughing."  The mother (Sylvia Sidney) says to David (Alan Arkin), who wants to attend acting school:

"David, you have a job.  Do a good job.  You're going to be a druggist.  You'll be a good druggist.  You'll get married.  Be a good husband, a good father.  A good tramp till four you don't have to be."

4:00      Read New York Magazine (Intelligencer/Posts):  "...a blogger announced that he was leaving his job and moving out of the city because HIS BOSS WOULD NOT ALLOW HIM A DAY OFF TO SEE LADY GAGA."

4:30      Hang college diploma in den.

4:40      Locate Benjamin Moore "Off White"
             paint.  Touch up wall.  Rehang
             diploma 2" lower.

5:00      Read N. Y. Times.  Note that Chock
             full o'Nuts Coffee Shops will be
             opening its first old style restaurant
             in decades.  They have plans to
             develop 50 restaurants across the
             city.  Imagine, whole-wheat donuts,
             nut-and-cheese sandwiches...and
             "heavenly coffee."  Makes note to
            contact Jim LaGanke, a vice
            president of the company.

             Thinks:  Can I use the abbreviation
             CFoN for Chock full o'Nuts?  Should
             I mention in my cover letter that I'm
             aware that the Chock Classic is still
             "datenut bread with cream cheese"
             and whole wheat donuts"--NOT
             DOUGHNUTS?  And will they be
             impressed that I'm aware that
             Jackie Robinson became vice-pres.
             of personnel for Chock Full o'Nuts
             in 1957?

5:30      Dinner.  Mom and dad ask about job search.  Resort to "Samalaman," n.  One who fills in the gaps in conversations by beaming genially at people and saying, "Well, well, well, here we all are then," a lot.

             Google myself to make sure nothing negative comes up.  Experiencing numbness and tingling in both hands and wrists.  Check recent issue of The John Hopkins Medical Letter, which discusses repetitive strain injuries, or RSI.

6:00     Heads to bedroom to read the book titled, "Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview" by Ellen Gordon Reeves.                      

6:45    Begins singing the jingle:
           'Chock full o'Nuts is that heavenly
           coffee.  Better coffee a millionaire's
           money can't buy."  (The word
           "millionaire's" was replaced by
           "billionaire's" in an updated version
           of the jingle.) 

           Heads for "der kompyuter" to get
           online with ",
           and check out Chock full o'Nuts
           franchise.  The Minimum Liquid
           Capital - $100,000.  Total  Investment:  $100,000 - $468,000.

9:00  Says goodnight to parents. 
         Thinks:  "Most of us have two
         chances of becoming wealthy:
         slim and none.


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N O P Q R S T U V W   Y Z
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

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