Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

 

We whine.

We whine about the most ridiculous things.

We whine about things aren't merely first world problems, but second-rate first world problems.

We deserve so much, yet somehow we achieve so little.

We tell ourselves that all we need is a chance. We tell ourselves that we're better than this.

And then there's Frederick Callison.

Day after day, he sat outside a Smart & Final store in Sacramento, California.

Callison was homeless, but he wasn't begging for money.

He was begging for a job.

He'd worked in kitchens as a line cook. He'd moved to Sacramento from Washington to work in a Salvation Army kitchen, but somehow that job didn't go quite as he'd hoped.

So he was on the streets, where he sat down and begged for a job.

He sat down, clutching his resumé and hoping that someone would pay attention.

He sat down, but he wasn't down and out.

As Today reports, he held a sign that said: "Need work and food."

Many take those two for granted. Frederick Callison did not. He didn't want your money. He wanted a chance to work and look after himself.

You might wonder how a homeless man could afford to have a resumé printed. Well, a local business allowed him to use a little office space and use the printer.

"I don't like to beg. And I won't. I refuse to," he told CBS Sacramento.

Instead, he had his dignity, his resumé and a hope that someone would take notice.

He even paid for his position in front of Smart & Final by helping corral carts. He asked for nothing but the sidewalk in return.

Finally, someone took notice. It was Michael Marteen. He posted about Callison on Facebook.

He happened to have worked for a catering company in the past. He had looked at Callison's resumé and wondered if he could help. His post was spotted.

Now, Callison works as a cook at a restaurant called Pizza Rocks.

I fancy life doesn't necessarily rock there. I also fancy that few have behaved with the good grace Callison did during his ordeal.

Now, his new employer has given him clothes. He has a temporary place to stay.

Meanwhile, we hear stories of people who say they can't survive in tech jobs that pay relatively little, but still offer relative luxuries like health insurance.

Frederick Callison is 52 years old and he's still trying to work.

He's still trying to behave with pride and dignity. He still doesn't want something for nothing. He still doesn't feel entitled.

Perhaps his values seem quaint. Perhaps his approach isn't something you'd ever consider.

Frederick Callison sat on a sidewalk, clutched his resumé and hoped that someone would hire him.

And you think you're too good for your job, right?

Published on: Mar 4, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.