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A Tie That Binds


By Eric Pulier

"MY, how nicely many of my classmates are dressing these days!" I remarked to no one in particular.

"They are going to the Office of Career Services," said a passerby disparagingly. "They are seniors getting jobs, and that's more than I can say for you. Nahhh!"

"Geez! How rude," I thought, but deep inside I knew she was right-I am a senior and so I must get a job quickly so I won't be unhappy when I graduate, or worse--poor. I found out where the Office of Career Services is and went there.

As I entered the building, a large pimple appeared on my forehead, and I screamed out in pain. Undaunted, I approached the figure behind the main desk.

"Hi, I'm a senior and I'm here for my job. Please make it quick because I'm already late for class."

"Sure, come right in," a smiling face greeted me, "OXY 10? Clearasil?"

"Clearasil's fine, thank you." I took the bottle and applied a healthy glob to my forehead, "now about my job..."

"You've come to the right place, we'll fix you right up. What'll it be?"

"Well, I was thinking of something in terms of CEO of a multi-national corporation."

"Allrighty...IBM? EXXON? CITICORP?..." he said, going down his checklist of still available jobs.

"IBM is fine," I said, preparing to leave.

"Allrighty, IBM it is. You start in September. The job entails wearing a tie seven days a week while you work ridiculously long hours. The unrelentless pressure of handling millions of dollars every day mandates an ulcer and a wife who will leave you, because you are rarely home. But oooohhhh, whatta great yacht! Here's your contract."

I couldn't believe my ears. "A tie? Are you sure?"

"Yes, you must wear a tie...just sign here, and..."

"Uh, how about something else..."

"Okeedokee, we have a few vice-presidency positions open. Let's see, still long hours and unbearable pressure...your wife doesn't leave you, but she does have an affair with the president of the company...oh, and your children all despise you for being such a 'yes' man while you work your employees like slaves. Otherwise the job description is pretty similiar..."

"You mean..." I didn't like the way this was going.

"Yes, ties are required."

My pimple swelled.

"O.k, buddy, this is absurd. I'm late for class, my pimple hurts, just give me anything. I'll even take an entry level position."

"Will do, pal. You start right after graduation. You work 100 to 120 hours a week in a flourescently-lit work-carrel that you will soon know as 'home.' Of course, you will have to kiss-ass unabashedly for the privilege of keeping your job--this is called `paying your dues.' Individualism has no place in the monotonous, automated arena that is now your life..."

"Fine, fine, I don't care! As long as there's no..."

"Tie? Well, yes, I'm afraid a tie is still necessary."

"Life is bleak, I thought. Then I got mad.

"No more games, pretty boy," I said, "No ties, see? I'll make xerox copies from morning to night! I'll shove papers from Desk A to Desk B, and write memos until I drop dead of boredom! Then I'll get up the next morning and do it again! I'll even work in a bank! Just no ties, see?"

He turned his head in disgust, as many of my more pronounced syllables were splattering heavily.

"Okay, okay, just no more spitting. Here's your job. This career is extremely competative now that most jobs require ties. I usually save these for favors..."

"Give it here, or face the terrible consequences!" I shrieked, making sure to spit.

"Yuck! No more! Here it can wear whatever you feel comfortable in-no need to shave--and you can work any hours. You can start right away, or whenever you want. The key to the job is a special sign that has been developed after years of scientific research. Federal regulations limit us to only a few signs a year..I (sob) was saving this one for my own son..." He was crying.

"Let him wear a tie, demon." I grabbed the sign and ran out.

As I skipped along in triumphant glee, people began to throw me coins.

"This is great!" I thought, looking proudly at the sign that read: "Won't Wear Tie. Hungry. Please Give."

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