America is neck-deep in a Jobs Crisis, as everyone who has recently graduated, relocated to a new town or found themselves unexpectedly without employment knows only too well.

Our leaders and the news media, however, appear surprised, scrambling to address the problem as if it were an unseasonable hurricane or train derailment, with passionate speeches and round-table debriefings, backed by logos and theme music. It’s not as if they hadn’t mentioned unemployment previously, but it was like a small crack in the ceiling that gradually grew larger and larger until the whole thing suddenly came down around their ears.

So I am surprised to be facing a jobs crisis of my own: an inability to hire someone for my shop. I need a salesperson to work Saturdays and alternate Sundays, and because my body is starting to make loud creaking noises when I lift heavy artwork and furniture, I decided that a male applicant, or a strapping female, would be best. So I placed a sign in the window and a pithy ad on Craigslist, and waited for the throngs of would-be shopkeepers to pile their belongings into their cars and venture west.

The response was, in a word: disappointing. Resumes arrived from foreign engineers, non–English speakers seeking wine industry employment, and candidates who were conspicuously unavailable Saturdays and every other Sunday. A couple of possibilities surfaced, but none suggested that elusive candidate with the soul of huckster P.T. Barnum in the body of hunkster Brad Pitt (or Mrs. Pitt; I’m flexible).

It reminded me of the time, early in my retail career, when I decided to hire “some nice young kid from the neighborhood to help in the stockroom.” I had no idea that today’s youth are too fully booked for afterschool employment, juggling grueling academic, social and volunteer schedules requiring two full-time personal assistants (aka their parents).

Meanwhile, all this heavy lifting at the shop creates a psychological mine field for me. Alone at 10 p.m., dragging some hulking cabinet from Point A to Point B, I seize the opportunity to berate myself for a long list of questionable life choices: “If I were married, my husband would be doing this,” or “if I were still in theater, I’d have stagehands doing this,” or “if I were practicing law, I’d be using my brain, not my brawn.”

Never mind that my mythical husband would be busy working the hospital late shift saving lives or have a bad back from all our acrobatic sex; that union stage hands get time and a half and can’t work past 11; and that the only thing requiring lifting at law firms are giant mounds of paperwork and the bodies of senior partners found unconscious at their desks.

No, my internal monologuist insists: “I’ll probably die alone when this giant object falls and crushes me, and no one will find my body until some late-night patron of Ana’s Cantina notices my bloody carcass through the window and calls the cops.”

1. If the opening is for a salesperson, don’t send a resume saying you are seeking employment as an engineer, mechanic or anything other than a salesperson. Employers will assume you either suffer from ADD or simply send resumes to every job posting on Craigslist that doesn’t have the word “massage” in the job title.

2. If the job is for Saturdays and Sundays, don’t send a resume saying you are perfect for the position, and by the way you are busy on Saturdays and Sundays. And now is not a good time to mention that you need two weeks off next August for your cousin’s wedding.

3. Don’t spell “their” as “there” and visa versa. Most of the resumes I received had typos or misused words, and some appeared to have been translated from English into Hungarian and then back again by someone speaking neither language fluently.

In fact, instead of overblown tax holidays and stimulus programs, maybe our government leaders seeking to promote employment should simply hand out dictionaries, teach basic reading comprehension, and provide free gym memberships so I can finally get that 80-pound license plate map up on the wall without further psychological and physical trauma.

And that’s what I would call getting the job done.

(Laura Rafaty is the owner of Pennaluna on Main Street, a resident of St. Helena, a former attorney and Broadway theatrical producer and an author and columnist.)