I spent the summer after my junior year of college in LA. I was a girl from Virginia who had been going to college in New Hampshire, so I was really unprepared for the mentally ill homeless people and the fact that, if you are a pedestrian at any time, men will offer you money for sex.
My adorable naivete led me to befriend a homeless woman, question her about her job history, insist that she could get back into gainful employment, and smuggle her into an internet cafe to make a resume. I crafted a pretty impressive resume, considering the circumstances. Roxanne had studied physics at junior college in the seventies. Sometime thereafter she had been a hotel maid. But for twelve years in the middle, she refused to tell me what she was doing.
“Were you in prison?” I asked.
“Oh no, nothing like that!”
“Did you have kids?”
She refused to tell me. I shrugged and left a twelve-year gap on her resume, figuring that people would just assume she had kids.
In the end, I printed out 20 copies of her resume and packaged them very nicely in a bag so they wouldn’t get messed up in her shopping cart. By that point, I had caught on that the situation was way more complicated, so of course I doubt that my efforts really helped get someone off the streets. But I hope Roxanne thought it was nice that someone believed in her. She also kept insisting I looked like Isabella Rosselini, so that’s nice.
But a 12-year gap on a resume is kind of a problem.