Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Hermit Story

I noticed this little odd story from N-24 today.....region of Austria seeking hermit.  Hermits aren't usually a big-name job-field and so it had my curiosity.

If you head straight south from the Chemsee area of Germany (in deepest Barvaria), and cross the border, into a fairly wooded and mountainous region of Saalfelden.

It's safe to say that Saalfelden is God's country (Bama slang for a fairly religious community).  There's not much industry there, but they make up for that with tourism....mostly around winter sports, summer hiking, and tourists who just want solitude.

This hermit job?  Well....they've got this tourist type trail that goes by a mountainside, and has a cave and Christian theme attached to it.  Call it a test of faith or whatever, but people come for the solitude and an appreciation of faith.

So this hermit job mostly revolves around you being there at the cave area....welcoming tourists and hikers, and talking up pro-spiritual feelings.  Happy talk....calming of the chaos in the world....conversations that lessen stress.  Well....and you could talk on soccer, the weather, diesel engines, beer choices, favorite card games, or the state of politics in Germany....if you wanted to.

The two harsh realities of this job?  Well, the committee searching for the right candidate states up front....there's no pay.  And the location on this remote hillside?  There's no electricity, heat, running water or internet.  It's just a little hut, which you (the hermit) would operate from April to November. As the committee hints strongly, things are awful tough in the winter....so it's not a place you'd want to hang out.

The chief thing on your resume?  You need to have some relationship to the Christian faith and be able to handle living at 4,500 ft approximately.

I sat and pondered over this deal.

First, if you haven't ever hung out at 4,500 ft in altitude....in the Alps....it means you need to watch the weather around the clock.  Storms, even in June and July....move in and out rather quickly.  Some days might be perfect with fifteen hours of sunshine, and others might be awful windy and stormy, with lightning coming in at maximum power.

Second, the no-pay thing means you need to have some kind of hobby or background....where you have some cash flow.  But then you have to remember this odd feature.....no vehicle or transportation,  So if you did want coffee or sugar, or some fresh bread....well, that might be a four-hour hike to some marginal grocery shop.

Third, you are playing the character of the hermit to help folks with silly problems or serious life issues.  This means listening to some women talking about a lost partner, or some guy whining about bad decision-making, or hearing out some German all hyped up about Trump.  Being a Hermit is pretty demanding.

Naturally, if I were asking about the job....I'd ask what happened to the last hermit.  Maybe he just passed on, or maybe he got stressed out as a hermit.

A profession without any real future?  Well....yeah, that's one problem with the hermit-trade.  You can be a four-star hermit, with charm and character....yet never really progress in this world.  Or you could be a one-star hermit, who is a nutcase and voted Best Hermit of 2017 for Austria....just because you wrote a 600-page book on hermit lifestyles.

No one says much over applications....if any women have applied, or if there's a long list of questions about this whole deal.  My chief question would be what the heck do you do from November to April?  Do you lounge around Graz and sip coffee at the coffee shops?  Do you head off to Thailand for several months of rest with the other hermits of Europe?  Do you go and work for some Austrian ski-operation and serve hot coffee?  Or do you head down to Vienna and spend your free time on TV political forums?

It's an interesting topic.  By the end of March, the committee will have picked their candidate, and toward the first week of April.....as snow starts to melt....our new hermit will head up to his operation and start to welcome folks.  Maybe after six weeks, he may decide this was a foolish idea and quit.  Course, how would you explain this brief period on your resume?  A couple of months of hermit-duty in central Austria?  Yeah, that might not be good start on your next job.

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