Back to Work By Larry Day I finally got a job. I work for my wife now. Clint, our new financial adviser, set it all up for us after I told him that as a retired person, I felt more like an employee than a spouse. “What do you mean?” he had asked. I told Clint that after I became a FIG (Fixed Income Geezer) I tried to supplement our income. I applied for half a dozen jobs for which I had tons of experience, and didn’t even get an interview. But, I told him, I didn’t have time to sit around feeling depressed. My wife, Emmaline saw to that. Her daddy was a preacher when she was younger. His favorite saying was “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Emmaline took that as gospel. So now that I’m home all the time, she sees that I my hands never get anywhere near Satan’s workshop. I told Clint my schedule: On Monday I vacuum and dust the whole house after I do the morning dishes. Then I polish the silver and re-arrange the knick-knack shelves. Tuesday I mow the lawn and trim the hedges, and pull weeds. One day a week is “fixit” day-the toaster, the humidifier, the aquarium tank, stuff like that. There’s one day for running errands, and taking stuff back to the stores, or filing out forms and sending stuff back to catalog companies. Then there are a couple of days Emmaline makes me available to do odd jobs for friends and neighbors. She says it’s good public relations. As I was telling this to Clint, he looked pained. I thought it was an expression of compassion and empathy. But Clint was thinking. For him, it’s a painful process. Suddenly the pain was replaced by a look of joy. “I’ve got it!” he shouted. “What have you got?” I asked “I’ve got you a job!” Great.” I said, “Where am I going to work?” “Right here,” he said. “Here at home?” I asked. “I don’t think I’d be good at phone sales.” “Not phone sales. You’ll be working full time for Emmaline,” he said excitedly. “I just told you I already work full time for Emmaline. That’s my problem,” I said. “But you don’t get paid,” he said. “That’s why I’m trying to find a job, dopey. We can’t afford to pay me. Emmaline and I are Fixed
Income Geezers. We can’t afford to hire me. “Look,” said Clint, “All we have to do is organize a corporation with Emmaline as CEO and you as the only employee. We take your pension check and your social security payments and convert them into company funds. Then we give the money back to you in the form of a pay check.” “What good will that do?” I asked. “We still have the same amount of money to live on, which isn’t enough to live on. THAT, I repeat, is why I’m looking for full time employment.” “I know,” said Clint, “but if you are a corporation, I can file forms GS477-332-1 and SWUS-336-557/2, and everything will be deductible. You won’t have to pay taxes. Then because the CEO, Emmaline, is a woman, the company will qualify as a WJ-4489/6 minority owned corporation. You’ll be eligible for a bunch small business loans.” “WHOA!” I said. “You’re supposed to be helping us get OUT of debt, not put us deeper in debt.” “But you won’t be deeper in debt because you won’t have to pay the loans back,” said Clint. “That’s the beauty of it. After you get loans to provide operating capital for your business, I’ll file a WH-666/6 form that gives you loan forgiveness because the corporation does seventy five percent of its business with senior citizens.” “Simpleton,” I shouted. “Emmaline and I would be the only customers.” “That’s even better,” said Clint. “That’s means your business qualifies for a $5,000 Service to the Senior Community Bonus because 100 percent of your endeavors are in behalf senior citizens.” “Geez,” I said, “That sounds as fishy as the term “compassionate conservatism.” “Now you’re thinking,” said Clint. “Now you’re getting the picture.” Then he said something that froze my gizzard. “Trust me,” said Clint. Whenever you hear a character in a soap opera say, “Trust me,” you know that the person to whom he says “trust me” to is going to wind up folded, stapled and spindled. “No way, Jose,” I told Clint. “No. Nyet. Nein.” But cooler heads prevailed, namely Clint’s and Emmaline’s. Clint put through the paper work. Emmaline sailed through several interviews with local, state and federal worker bees, all of whom had a vested interest in getting her application approved so they’d meet their quota. Good dedicated, hardworking folk, every one of them. So now I work for Emmaline, and our financial situation has improved greatly. I do all the housework and the yard work, the take-out-the-garbage-work, walk-the-dog-work. In short, I do all the things that fourth tier corporate managers do. As CEO Emmaline does the heavy lifting, corporationwise. She handles the budgets and oversees capital expenditures. She’s in charge of product acquisition (Dillard’s and the Jones Store, being major suppliers) and distribution (The Thrift Store and the Clothing Consignment Stores being primary distributees). She also guards against hostile takeovers. Emmaline works long hours–executive hours. She’s gone a lot. I’m usually asleep when she comes to bed. Things have been going well so far, but I keep my fingers crossed, since I found out that Clint used to work for a giant corporation that went bust after the government pointed out to its top management that they were supposed to be executives, not chefs.
But, like any good loyal employee, I leave those things to management. I keep my mouth shut and do my work. And I do have some fun. The other day I was out working in the front yard near the curb when a snazzy sports car cruised up. The driver rolled down his window. He looked like one of those thirty-something success stories you read about. He called to me. “Hey Pops,” he yelled, “How much do they pay you?” I looked up respectfully and said, “Oh sir, they don’t pay me anything. But the lady who lives in that house lets me sleep with her,