Fresh off their second attempt at the GED — which both said they were “really really close” to passing — Brandon Stewart and Bryan Munroe excitedly began making plans today to apply for the newly vacated position running Apple Computers.
“I been lookin’ for somethin’ ever since I dropped out the ‘leventh grade,” said Stewart, a rangy boy with a scraggly mullet peeking out from under his backwards baseball cap. “I thought that clerkin’ job at the BP was gonna work out til I got robbed that night. I ain’t puttin’ up with that shit.”
“I’m pretty good with computers, so I think I might have a chance with this one,” said Munroe, wiping his face with his soiled Def Leppard t-shirt. “I got a smartphone. Look-a here.”
The 19-year-old resident of York, S.C., held up his Vonage cell phone. His forearm still glistened from the sweaty morning spent at his job dressed as an ice cream cone and waving at cars from the front of the new Dairy Queen.
Both young men, proud products of a South Carolina education system that let them meet girls and borrow Brandon’s stepdad’s truck to “attend” remedial classes twice a week, have been looking for work since late 2009. News Wednesday that Steve Jobs was resigning as head of Apple gave the two self-described rednecks hope they’d land a position they could hold onto longer than six months.
“I read it online — ‘Apple’s Jobs Leaving’,” said Stewart. “They said ‘jobs’ — plural — so it sounds like there’s at least two openings. One guy that quit was founder and chief executive officer, so maybe I could be founder and Bryan here could be CEO.”
“We each have unique skill sets that would allow us to work closely together,” Munroe added. “I’m the smart one and Brandon’s the strong one. I could do the thinkin’ parts and he could do the parts that required beatin’ people up.”
“What I really want to do is get into Ultimate Fighting,” admitted Stewart. “Workin’ a couple years as founder of Apple would look good on my resume. I know a guy who knows a guy who knows (mixed martial arts champion) Kimbo Slice, and he said Kimbo would be impressed by that.”
The two teens spent lunch together at McDonald’s Thursday, planning how they might get their applications submitted to the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant. Munroe swiped a laptop from a diner who had gone to collect a second order of fries, and the pair scoured the Internet for information on the openings.
“It says here the guy who quit had pancreatic cancer, so they’re probably looking for someone who won’t call in sick all the time,” Munroe said.
“Hell, I hardly missed a day even after I got shot at the convenience store,” Stewart said. “I might not know what I’m doin’ most of the time, but half the job is showin’ up, right?”
“Damn straight,” confirmed Munroe.
Both men admitted that their failure so far to achieve high-school equivalency certificates could be a roadblock to their consideration. But Stewart said “if they (Apple’s board of directors) really want to make a big deal out of school-learnin’, we could try the GED one more time.”
“I bet I could get my brother to take it for me,” guessed Munroe. “He made it all the way to his senior year in Special Ed at York High before he dropped out.”
By the end of their mid-day planning session, Stewart had already drafted his resume, and Munroe was working his cell to line up half-cousins and baby mama’s who would agree to serve as personal references.
“Check it out,” Stewart said, handing the laptop to this reporter. “This here’s my resume, all ready to print out.”
“Did I spell ‘resume’ correctly?” he asked of the all-caps head reading “REZ-U-MAY” at the top of the page. “Think I’ll mail ’em maybe a dozen extras. That’s gotta help my chances.”
Munroe wondered if the two might improve their odds of getting the jobs by personally delivering their CVs to the northern California campus.
“Road trip!” shouted Stewart, followed by a rebel yell. Then, on further reflection, he noted that he really wanted to “go huntin’ and fishin'” this weekend and that “hell, we ain’t even got a car.”
As the duo wrapped up their lunchtime session, each reflected on the career change they hoped would lift them from the life they shared in a rusted mobile home.
“I’m not sure what the pay is gonna be, but I won’t settle for less than $9.50 an hour,” Stewart said. “I made $8.50 at the BP but that doesn’t count all the free Slushees I got after the manager went home.”
“I just don’t wanna wear any more ice-cream suits standin’ out in the hot sun,” said Munroe. “I’ll settle for $9 if they don’t make me wear a CEO costume and if they let me work indoors.”