Ask a Gaxian: Employment—Bedding—Wedding.

Dear Gax,

In my effort to find employment, I’ve sent resumes to several retailers offering minimum-wage jobs. So far, the only jobs I have been hired for are fixing my dad’s computer when it breaks and walking my neighbor’s dog. The problem is, both of these jobs pay significantly better than what the retailers were offering. How can I get motivated to get a real job, when real jobs don’t pay nearly as well?

– Confused Worker

Dear Confused,

I am also confused. You say you are seeking a “real job,” but the work that you are attempting to escape is lucrative. Perhaps you are self-aware enough to admit that at this stage of your development, you require structure and the illusory stability that a “real job” may provide. Or perhaps you feel yourself growing complacent and need to have your spirit hobbled by working in a retail environment. Or you are a homebody, or young, or old but immature, and would like to take steps toward independence. This is a noble sentiment, but your framing mindset is misguided.

You do not say if you have a longer-term goal for your life. Perhaps you wish to fight an animal to the death in a sporting event, as was my first ambition as a pupa. Whether you already hold this goal crystallized in your imagination or you are still choosing which animal it should be, approach job opportunities as if someone had asked you, “Will you accept this sum of money to learn _____?” Fill in the blank with the parameters of the work. Will you accept this sum of money to learn how to deal with irate customers? This is a decent skill to have, as humans are miserable and unfortunately, you will be interacting with them for quite some time. Will you accept this sum of money to learn how to run some specialized device? To become familiar with a particular class of retail product? To meet and tolerate other humans, most of whom will be insufferable but a few of whom might be good to know as you collectively attempt to stay a half-step faster than the swiftly-advancing shadow of death?

If you are able to look at job opportunities as opportunities to be paid to learn some skill that you can later build upon or translate into more lucrative work down the line, you will begin to emit a “success pheromone” that will attract better things to your life. It does exist. You humans cannot detect it consciously, and be grateful — it smells like pig butt. But it is good for your careers.

Gax, proddingly

Dear Gax,

I have trouble sleeping at night. Try as I might, my mattress seems entirely incapable of rendering any sort of comfort. Yet, I am stuck with the blasted thing: I cannot afford another mattress. What do you suggest I do to help myself sleep at night?

– Involuntary Insomniac

If the mattress is the problem, then change it. Flip it around, turn it backwards, or place shirts or towels underneath your sheet to make it even more lumpy. Build it up into a nest rather than allowing it to be some flat thing that nobody likes. There is no prize for keeping your mattress unmolested until you die. Put things on it that are in the negative shape of your body, so you are cradled by these things. I cannot believe how many humans do not understand the importance of sleeping in a cradle position. Did your kinsmen never bend you over stones until you wept with comfort?

But this assumes the mattress is indeed the problem. Perhaps you are retiring with tension, your body unable to disengage from the worries of your day. You do not say whether you have stairs in your warren, but if you do, you should run up and down them twenty times before retiring. If you do not have stairs, you may run in place, but be sure your knees crest your navel. At each step say a nonsense syllable such as “dorp.” Change the syllable each circuit. This will flush out your brain, soften your muscles, and make you deliciously limp so that you will be unable to prevent yourself from being devoured sleep will beg you to enter it.

As a last resort, hold an egg in your mouth as you go to bed. This will keep your thoughts occupied.

Gax, practically

Dear Gax,

A close companion of mine is a Gaxian, and has given out invitations to, from what I could gather, is his wedding. What is the appropriate behaviour for a Gaxian wedding? Should I bring a gift? Wear any particular clothes? I’d hate to cause offense…

– Nuptials? No Clue

Consider yourself honored to have been invited to your first gaxitan! The gaxitan life-bonding ritual is an elaborate affair, steeped in tradition and often involving the participation of close family and friends. While the full gaxitan is unfortunately difficult to perform here on Earth, as ammonium nitrate can react explosively with your atmosphere, an abbreviated and modified form of the ceremony is often performed by expatriate Gaxians. Of course, depending on the faith and preferences of the six to eleven others being bonded to the prime gaxitanta, human traditions may be incorporated as well. A common one is stomping on a glass! Usually this comes after the gaxitanta has regurgitated the officiant.

It is not required to bring a gift, although again this may be perfectly fine in a blended ceremony. You should be careful to wear waterproof garb and shoes you do not mind burning. (You’ll probably not want to take them home after the bonding, anyhow.) It’s perfectly okay to wear some old grubbies, just enough so you can make it over the obsidian shards and find your seat. After the bonding, which will take place at the midpoint (around the ninth hour), you can leave your shoes off if the sticky ink fluid makes them uncomfortable. (Once the gaxitanta molts her carapace, you’ll be able to make it back out over the shards just fine.) Just take some Dramamine beforehand, bring a scouring pad or old toothbrush, and most of all, have fun!

Gax, joyfully

[Gax is an alien from the planet Gax. Have a question for Gax? Leave a comment on this post.]


  • Vitalis

    Dear Gax,

    Has your civilization found out the answer to life, the universe and everything? If so, would you share it with ours?

    ~Sincerely, big questions.

  • Not Ian

    My friend works for a large international organisation that promotes human rights, political reform and so on. he recently had a romance with a girl from Myanmar who, it turns out, is the nice of a general in the junta. She’s fun but kind of clingy. Should he quit his job and shack up with her in her Rangoon mansion, or risk the wrath or a woman with access to soldiers and assassins by breaking up?

  • http://gumshoedesigns.com Mike

    Dear Gax,

    The eldest member of my familial unit has become too old to operate an automobile. However, my parents and uncles are too respectful to inform said elder of her infirmity. How can I keep my great-grandmother from slaughtering innocents on the highway while maintaining familial decorum?

    -deadlocked descendant

  • http://blog.skunkcolors.com glass_skunk

    Dear Gax,

    Sometimes It’s a real pain to get motivated to do chores. I hate doing the dishes, and the floors will just be dirty again on the morrow! Is there a Gaxian tip for housecleaning motivation?

    ~Lazy Mazy

  • Roundedge

    Dear Gax,

    My brother has been going through a rough period of his life. About a year ago he lost his job as an advertising consultant and as a result of his subsequent depression his girlfriend broke up with him and expelled him from their shared living arrangement. I’ve allowed him to stay with us for the past 5 months, but it does not appear he is making any effort to find a new job, or a new place to live. I’ve suggested job advertisements, and even drove him to a job fair, but he puts little effort into these opportunities. My wife is becoming irate with the both of us, and my children want their playroom back. How do I get my brother out of this slump?

    -My Brothers Keeper

  • http://www.orbit.me.uk Bob

    Dear Gax,

    I have been very frustrated at work lately, I work for a company founded/run by Gaxian’s. The first couple of years was fine, but with the growth of the company my Gaxian colleagues have become more difficult to deal with. They are not interested in my strategic suggestions and the top level management are increasingly micromanaging all processes.

    Is there something that can be done? Should I resort to genocide? Or just move on?

    Yours homicidally,

    Bob

  • http://www.orbit.me.uk Bob

    Dear Gax,

    I have been very frustrated at work lately, I work for a company founded/run by Gaxian’s. The first couple of years was fine, but with the growth of the company my Gaxian colleagues have become more difficult to deal with. They are not interested in my strategic suggestions and the top level management are increasingly micromanaging all processes.

    Is there something that can be done? Should I resort to genocide? Or just move on?

    Yours homicidally,

    Bob

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’701096239 which is not a hashcash value.

  • patg

    Dear Gax,
    The company I work for makes Slot machines. Is there any chance of Gax adopting gaming as a way to increase revenues without raising taxes?
    Thanks,
    pat

  • Phoenix Godwin

    Dear Gax,

    Among other entrepreneurial pursuits, I am trying to write a fictional novel. Unfortunately I often find myself easily distracted, making the progress excruciatingly slow. One of my problems is that I jump at any social opportunities I come across, and start to feel anxious or even melancholic if I don’t spend time with any of my friends after just a couple days.

    I do not have a car in order to narrow this proclivity to be in a social environment, however I would like to further adjust in order to become more independent and efficient in my pursuits. Is there any advice you can give me?

    Respectfully,
    Phoenix

  • Winthrope

    Dear Gax,
    I am coming into some free time due to never taking a vacation from work at the office. I’m at a loss as to where I should go during my two weeks, most likely due to the drain of the work environment. Perhaps you could suggest a travel destination?

    Winthrope

  • http://poorochondriac.tumblr.com LeRoy Feinberg

    Dear Gax,
    I’m a humanoid male, in committed-bond partnership with a humanoid female. My problem is this: I find her fluid excretions offensive on both olfactory and spiritual levels. How do I let her know, without breaking her fragile and woefully-inefficient human heart?

    -LeRoy

  • http://iridumsound.co.uk Mike Bonsall

    Dear Gax,

    Please help.

    I find myself constantly trying to fabricate the latest fashionable quip, retort or reposte. While I consider myself creative and socially adept, I find it it difficult to come up with original material in this field, though I am woefully aware of the prominence this small part of human discourse enjoys. To be the one who always coins the ad nauseum phrase of the moment, the oft quoted Mercutio of ones workplace or social clique is to have a rare power over others.

    A colleague excels. On Sunday, he referred to an acquaintance as a “complete mouth-breather”.

    How can I possibly compete?

    - just behind the curve, UK

  • Vexed

    Dear Gax,

    Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, and I feel the need to protect my body from physical harm by providing some other sacrifice to my future mate. I considered brightly colored plant genitalia, but I’ve used that idea before and females do not take kindly to repeated or clichéd gifts. Do you have any suggestions? Maybe a delicious animal that I could find and catch in California?

    -Vexed on Valentines

  • Vexed

    Dear Gax,

    Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, and I feel the need to protect my body from physical harm by providing some other sacrifice to my future mate. I considered brightly colored plant genitalia, but I’ve used that idea before and females do not take kindly to repeated or clichéd gifts. Do you have any suggestions? Maybe a delicious animal that I could find and catch in California?

    -Vexed on Valentines

  • Buxley Iscariot

    Dear Gax,

    I am vexed by what I would consider to be a truly peculiar medical mystery. Recently I underwent a procedure to surgically remove a rather large nugget of calcified bone which had accumulated just underneath my right toe. Although the procedure itself went swimmingly, I’ve since noticed that my foot is losing mass at an alarming rate. Additionally, I have simultaneously developed a craving for cinnamon. Doctors have not been able to diagnose my bizarre symptoms but the general consensus is that it must be related to the procedure. Have you ever heard of anything like this happening to anyone- human, Gaxian, or otherwise- previously?

    Quizzically yours,
    Buxley Iscariot

  • D. Thomasy

    Dear Gax,

    I am not sure how familiar you are with the Earth educational system, but I soon will be graduating from the first non-mandatory portion (known in the United States as “college”) with a degree in biology. The problem is, I am not sure what to do next. Should I continue my education, perhaps pursuing a PhD or an MD? Should I take some time try to work off some of the massive debt I have accrued in my education so far? Should I just give up and down a cyanide and rat poison smoothie? I just don’t know!

    - Degree in Panic