How To Get A Job Doing Something You Love

Eddie Jones

October 1, 2021

HOW TO GET A JOB - by Mark Twain — I love this story.
Higbie was the first person to profit by my great and infallible scheme for finding work for the unemployed. I have tried that scheme now and then for forty-four years. So far as I am aware it has always succeeded and it is one of my high prides that I invented it.
I said, “What kind of a job do you want?”
He said, “Why, laborer. They get five dollars a day.”
I said, “If that’s all you want I can arrange it for you. If you will do as I tell you to do and don’t try to improve on my instructions you shall have the job before night.”
He said eagerly, “I’ll obey the instructions, I don’t care what they are.”
“Well,” I said, “go there and say that you want work as a laborer; that you are tired of being idle; that you are not used to being idle and can’t stand it; that you just merely want the refreshment of work and require nothing in return.”
He said, “Nothing?”
I said, “That’s it—nothing.”
“No wages at all?”
“No, no wages at all. You are to work for nothing. Make them understand that—that you are perfectly willing to work for nothing. You’ll get the job.”
Higbie said, indignantly, “Yes, a hell of a job.”
I said: “You said you were going to do it and now you are already criticizing. You have said you would obey my instructions. You are always as good as your word. Clear out, now, and get the job.”
He said he would. I was pretty anxious to know what was going to happen—more anxious than I would have wanted him to find out. At sundown he did at last arrive and I had the joy of knowing that my invention had been a fine inspiration and was successful. He said the foreman was so astonished at first, but that he soon recovered and was evidently very glad that he was able to accommodate Higbie.
Higbie said, “How long is this to go on?”
I said: “The terms are that you are to stay right there; do your work just as if you were getting the going wages for it. You are never to make any complaint; you are never to indicate that you would like to have wages or board. This will go on one, two, three, four, five, six days, according to the make of that foreman. Some foremen would break down under the strain in a couple of days. There are others who would last a week. It would be difficult to find one who could stand out a whole fortnight without getting ashamed of himself and offering you wages. Now let’s suppose that this is a fortnight foreman. In that case you will not be there a fortnight. Because the men will spread it around that the very ablest laborer in this camp is so fond of work that he is willing and glad to do it without pay. You will be regarded as the latest curiosity. Men will come from the other mills to have a look at you. You could charge admission and get it but you mustn’t do that. Stick to your colors. When the foremen of the other mills cast their eyes upon this bulk of yours and perceive that you are worth two ordinary men they’ll offer you half a man’s wages. You are not to accept until you report to your foreman. Give him an opportunity to offer you the same. If he doesn’t do it, then you are free to take up with that other man’s offer. Higbie, you’ll be foreman of a mine or a mill inside of three weeks, and at the best wages going.”
It turned out just so.

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