It’s a Status Thing – What Do You Do For A Living?

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 I had a funny ego thought today. It came from what I call the Madonna complex of my mind. It was, I won’t be happy until I am famous. It made me laugh to myself.

If you don’t get too uptight about losing a job or financial matters, it can be kind of fun learning life lessons. At any rate this is a little reflection on status.


After I took that high status job as News Director at Daily Fly, a job I no longer have by the way, I had a dream one night; it was about my status. I may have been trying to prove to my family and friends I could work a real job if I wanted to. I worked hard there; gave it everything I had creatively and emotionally, but secretly I was getting sad. Our world moves too quick. I wasn’t painting or writing much poetry. So I am happy to be myself again – wandering around town, going through dumpsters, writing songs, painting pictures and looking for clues to my existence.

Now, I learned to like and love the people I worked with, truly. As you know a lot of game playing can go on in work places. Can you please just say what the truth is? If you don’t like me why are you pretending to do so?  

Subconsciously this may have been one of the reasons I ended up on the streets in the first place; you go crazy trying to figure out what games are being run on you and how to stop them.

What do you do for a living? Now, if you fancy yourself as being above working class, this is the question that is on your mind with everyone you meet. I ain’t judging anyone, our society is structured that way and I was that way myself, until I was humbled on the streets. However, status is a false god and if pursued long enough will lead to death.

I noticed it on the streets. A lot of social workers and missionary types see themselves as helpers of the poor which keeps them in a one-up position. Hobo’s did not trust those types and ran every kind of game on them in the world. Helpers that saw themselves as equals who took the time to get to know the homeless as equals and individuals, were trusted and able to change lives.

I was getting a little bent out of shape with my church and other folks not showing up to eat with the people at the Reach Out Center, and it may be my old friendly enemy status. Can we as Americans learn to love each other more than our own status?


This may be the heart of our national political debate as well. Working class folks, the backbone of this country, the generous folks who help their neighbors through rough times, are not really that high on our country’s status bar and are fully aware they are not that appreciated clinging to guns and religion as they do.

Now I am sure there is some racism when it comes to Obama, but he is also disliked for his upper crust pretensions and elitist attitude, as are a lot of liberal Hollywood types.

As I said, I have been status driven – still am, I am sad to say. If you get to know someone, say a hobo, for instance, after a while you are going to have to admit they are human. And if you are really honest, you may have to admit they are even better at being human than you are, which is what I concluded. This may deal a blow to your status, but it will do your heart some good.

To be fair a lot of folks, including those in my church, my not know how to approach homeless people. Well, here is what not to say. “What do you do for a living?” “What university did you attend good chap?”  Make it something friendly and say it with warmth, something like: What’s the word today, my fine fellow?

Hobo John here! I love you with everything that I have! That is my motto, my mantra and the truth of things, and if you are breathing, you have enough status to be my friend. What do I do for a living? Not a damn thing. Why are you asking?

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