Marty Murphy began his Tuesday morning commute at 6 a.m. He sat on the LIRR, bound for Penn Station, nervous about what lay ahead. The 54-year-old father wasn’t on his way to work. Rather, he was on his way to look for work.
Dressed smartly in a charcoal blazer and tweed cap, the Irish American stood outside Penn Station for almost three hours on Tuesday morning, with a sign draped around his neck.
“My name is Marty Murphy, I want a job. Retired NYC firefighter; licensed operating engineer; construction site fire safety manager; commercial property manager. Please take my resume, if you can help,” his big sign read.
In a desperate bid reminiscent of those who took to the streets during the Great Depression, the lifelong Queens resident was making public his plea for work.
“I felt very uncomfortable doing it this morning but in two minutes I was hysterically laughing,” said Murphy, who has been unemployed for 14-months.
“I’m hoping it will lead to something,” he added.
He first came up with the idea when his eldest son, Danny, 22, found himself out of work after graduating from SUNY New Paltz earlier this year.
“I made my son Danny go do it two months ago,” he told the Irish Voice. “I told him to think outside the box”
“Danny did it one day and he had a job in two weeks,” he revealed, saying that his eldest son has got a great job with an advertising agency.
Inspired by his son’s success, Murphy decided to take his own advice and intends to go back to Penn Station and maintain his pilgrimage over the coming days.
“People were very encouraging,” he told the Irish Voice, after handing out 19 resumes and receiving three business cards.
The retired FDNY firefighter joined the International Union of Operating Engineers local 30 seven years ago and decided to start looking for work on his own as things in union hall have slowed down, he says.
He spent nine months working alongside the famous bucket brigade in Ground Zero after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“I lost about 40 percent of my lung capacity,” says Murphy.
The third generation Irish American who traces his roots to Kilkenny and Kerry has been doing some part time carpentry and cabinet work to tide him over.
While his main concern is looking after his son’s college tuition fees, Murphy admits that things could be a lot more bleak.
“Don’t feel sorry for me,” says the father, who owns two homes. “I have friends who are foreclosing on their houses.
“I just really want to get a job. I don’t want to be mister mom and hang around the house,” Murphy said.
“I am hoping something happens in the next few days,” he concluded.
To contact Marty email firstname.lastname@example.org.