Ohio Rep Stoned Sober: Not Enough Drug-Free Workers Left In America
ADAM MICHAEL LUEBKE
Ohio’s representative Dave Joyce gave a speech to the local Chamber of Commerce about how over 3 million jobs remain vacant each month because businesses can’t find enough sober, drug-free workers who also want to show up daily. Joyce’s number of 3 million has been fact-checked and is, accordingly, accurate. In fact, the number is more like 3.9 million jobs stay vacant each month.
But what about these open jobs? I agree with Joyce that far too many people abuse alcohol and drugs. It’s how an empty society with no direction acts. We’re a nation of stoned narcissists. But let me tell Dave Joyce and the rest of the world that I am, indeed, sober. Too sober. It might be the Vitamin B,or it might be the coffee.
Yet, I can’t find a full-time job to save my life (or to pay back my student loans). I feel like a battered soldier hunkered down in George Washington’s Valley Forge camp. The cold wind is blowing. I’ve got rags for shoes. Syphilis is out of hand in the camp, yet the whores prowling the edges of the valley providing their services seem the only warmth left to a bunch of men who are freezing in the grim realities of no hope for a real future.
Meanwhile, I’ve been applying for six months to open job positions within my field of teaching and writing, and I’ve heard nothing back. Not even a “Thank you, sir, for applying. Thank you for mentioning just how sober and serious you are. We appreciate your interest, even though we aren’t mutually interested.”
My working life experience has been quite the opposite of Dave Joyce’s expert opinion. I’ve had full-time jobs before, and I was so sober and uptight and showed up to work on time that my boss offered me a joint. “You need to calm down,” he said, “you’re bringing down my high.” Another fellow employee once told me, “You should stop working so hard, you’re making me feel worthless.”
All my colleagues wanted to do after work was go to Happy Hour and get drunk on discounted well drinks and tap beers. I thought that was the least honorable way to waste even more of my life after working in a store all day. Yet, these alcohol and weed people are holding full time jobs, and these few years later, my sober ass can’t seem to get an approving nod from anybody.
Perhaps I’d be better off drifting comfortably into a daily routine of marijuana smoking. Four beers with dinner, and puffs of the magic stuff first thing in the morning, and continued throughout the day. Keep those nerves loosened while I stress about not being able to find full-time employment that pays a living wage. Get the reggae records playing. Maybe a newly loosened vibe would actually help a fellow land a career. “He just seems so laid back and fun,” the Human Resources lady might quip.
But no. I can’t take a chance to delve into that lifestyle. Not while Bob Joyce is out there talking about drugs and booze and workers not sober enough or motivated enough to work every day.