the schmooze

*In Yiddish, a "shtele" is a job

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister, listed his "fakh" (occupation) as "farmer." Ann Miller listed her occupation on her passport as "star."

Perhaps you've got a "thresholder" in your" heym" (home). A "thresholder" is a young person on the threshold of adulthood, especially one who is anxious or depressed about leaving home or taking on adult responsibilities. These "young adults" (ages 18-24), appear as a hybrid--neither teenager nor grown-up, yet both, according to social psychologist, Terri Apter.

Here's the job-hunting schedule of one "thresholder," a recent "universitet" (college) grad:

8:00 a.m. GE FM/AM "Vek-Zeyger" (alarm clock) goes off.

8:03 a.m. Hits snooze button "tsvey mol" (twice).

8:09 a.m. Reads Mom's Post-it note: "Haynt" (Today) is a good day to look for a job."

8:30 a.m. Stops into Starbucks for a cup of Vanilla hazelnut skim no foam latte. Read The Jewish Press and Long Island Jewish World. Circles ads for a "Mezuzah Examiner," "expert sheitel macher," (wig maker), and "wardrobe consultant." (Just when you thought Teal was dead, the colorists resuscitate it and rename it "Raintree.") Cross out ad for "der zikherkeyt-hiter" (security guard) at a B'klyn synagogue.

Barrista says, "Hey, President Staton ("American Dreamz"), what's with all the newspapers? New puppy?"

9:30 a.m. Mom calls to discuss the latte factor--seemingly insignificant daily purchases that add up to a significant amount of money over time. (The term was coined by investment guru, David Bach)

10 a.m. Use "di telekopirke" (fax machine) to forward resume to "Four Paws, Inc." a dog-walking and pet-sitting company.

10:30 Send Katie Couric an e-mail wishing her a "mazl-tov" on her soon-to-be nightly news anchor job.

11 a.m. Check on availability of tickets to see "A Jew Grows in Brooklyn" and "Bush Is Bad: The Musical Cure for the Blue-State Blues." (The songs include, "How Can 59 Million People Be So Dumb," "Good Conservative Values," "New Hope for the Fabulously Wealthy," and Robert Schumann's "Das Busch ist Schlecht.")

11:l5 Received a call from the Virgin Megastore in Union Square in Manhattan. My resume is on the top of the stack.

11:30 Mom calls from her office. She says that when Chaim Potok told HIS mother of his desire to be a writer, she replied, "You want to write stories, daling? That's very nice. You'll be a brain surgeon. On the side you'll write stories."

11:40 Google "careerhelp," with its 2,331 web sites.

12 noon Dad calls. Tactfully suggests that I think outside the box...and update my resume. Reminds me that "it takes an employer about 15 to 30 seconds to size up a resume.

12:15 Added 3 or 4 meaty reasons why I'm the best.

12:30 "Panik" (panic) attack. "schoogled" the "profesor" from YU, dormitory roommate, and Camp Director at Camp Ramah.

1 p.m. Read Chapter 1 of "Nice Job - The Guide to Cool, Odd, Risky, and Gruesome Ways to Make a Living." (Jobs include mall Santa, wedding cake chef, and body part model!)

l:30 Lunch. Tuna on rye. Would really have liked the new "Jerry Springer sandwich from the Carnegie Deli. According to Sandy Levine, it has 2 1/2 lbs. of bologne, tongue, corned beef, bread, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing and costs $20.95.

2:00 Check "di post" (the mail). A letter from the Personnel Dept. at Gelt Finances, Inc.: Dear Job Applicant: While going through our job applications, yours was folded into a "paper aeroplan" (airplane) and was accidentally sailed out of the "fentster" (window). Please fill out the enclosed replacement application and mail it back to us in the shape of Air Force One Boeing 747-200B.

2:15 Contact Chief Supt. Steve Bloomfield of London's Metrop. Police. They're looking to beef up the number of special constables it has and is encouraging members of the Jewish community to get involved.

2:30 Stop ito Office Max for Post-it notes.

3:00 E-mail Manatel Shalom, Chief of Marketing, Mirs Communications, Ltd., an Israeli subsidiary of Motorola, Inc. re: their "kosher" cell phone. The phones carry the seal of approval from Israel's rabbinical authorities. There's no text messaging, no Internet access, no video options, no cameras.

3:15 Read the website of Stanley Bing: "We live in a vicious, highly competitive environment, and things aren't getting any better. Jobs are few and far between, and people aren't any nicer now than they were when Ghengis Khan ran around in big furs killing people in unfriendly acquisitions."

Order Bing's new book, "100 BullShit Jobs...And How to Get Them."

4:00 Received call from "Shleppers Moving and Storage. They've got my resume and are faxing info. on "shlep-ology": Ten reasons why it's easier to hire Shleppers:

1. You've just had a manicure and couldn't possibly lift a thing.

2. Your idea of a workout is not blindly carrying a sofa on your head up five flights of stairs while your significant other screams directions.

3. Counseling is far more expensive.

4. Between monumental back cracks, your chiropractor drones on about the dangers of lifting - like you need to hear it again.

5. One more parking fine and you're likely to collapse in a heap at the foot of an annoyingly obstinate meter-person and beg for money.

6. Your friends have suddenly acquired mysterious ailments and are not available on the day of your move. Some have fled the country.

8. Your rental truck will inevitably breakdown at the lights on Lexington during rush hour, overheat, run over nails or be a manual shift "shock horror."

4;15 Called El Al Airlines to see if they're hiring "Heft assizers"--a Peter Metrinko term for airline employees who determine if you have to buy two airline tickets for yourself.

4:30 Read my "horrorscope" (A horrorscope tells you the very worst of what could conceivibly--or inconceivibly--happen to you).

LEO (July 23 to Aug. 22) This month looks very prosperous for you. You will "lesof" (finally) land that dream job of yours. Don't tell any of your friends you work at KFC though.

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is a retired business education teacher and free-lance writer.


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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

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