When we last got together, I was freshly unemployed. I was a little worried due to the statistics that are out there. At the same time, I was a little optimistic since I have a 15-week severance package. Well, six weeks have come and gone, so it’s time to start Part 2 of Diaries of the Unemployed. My attitude has changed: I’m fucked.
Let’s begin with the state of Kansas and their Department of Labor. Short story: grossly inefficient. I didn’t receive my first unemployment payment until the fourth week. If I didn’t receive my first severance payment on Week 3 (like most people don’t get to enjoy), every one of my bills would have piled up and been late. That puts people in an even worse situation than they are already in. When you owe the state money (taxes, vehicle registration, etc) they are insanely efficient when collecting your money. However, when THEY owe YOU money, they’ll get to it whenever. Funny how that works.
I spent the first three weeks taking care of personal stuff and exploring interests I never had time for. My apartment is clean for the first time ever. I finally started learning Japanese from the Rosetta Stone program I acquired a LONG time ago. I have always wanted to standup comedy, so I wrote a 10-minute set (unemployment doesn’t make your balls grow to get up on stage and do it, apparently). On the fourth week, I went to Dallas to visit family…and get wasted. Why? Because I had the time and money for the first ever. Severance pay + state unemployment = more money than when employed.
One month of enjoying life. Sounds great, right? Well, reality sets in very quickly after Week 4. Finding a job is a full-time job. To date, I have sent my resume to over 100 employers…that does NOT count the hundreds of radio job I have already applied for. Less than 10% respond. The 10% that do just want to let me know that they have decided to go with another candidate. Here’s the kicker: none of these jobs require a college degree or experience…I have both in most cases.
Knowing I need a job ASAP, I have applied for jobs that I am overqualified for, but still need. When I was 19, I was a bank teller for two years. I was also a college dropout in addition to being a dumbshit teenager. So far, TWO banks have denied my application for bank teller. Ten more years of life and work experience AND a college degree are no longer enough to get that same job. It was at this point when I realized how shitty the job market really is. All those articles you read, all those news reports you hear on television…well…they are VERY real. Trust me.
You might have also read or heard about unemployed people becoming depressed. I thought I had the ability to steer clear of that. I’m starting to feel that decline. Idle hands are the devil’s playground; no truer words have ever been spoken. Unemployed people have VERY idle hands, plenty of time to think. Being unemployed and single is the worst combination. Those who are jobless and in a good relationship have the support and love of their significant other. It makes things easier emotionally and allows them to spend time with someone other than themselves and their thoughts.
Us single, unemployed people do not enjoy that luxury. Not only do we not receive that love, support and occupation of our time, but furthermore, we are under the impression that as long as we don’t have a job we will never acquire it. There’s some truth in that. Most women require a suitable mate to have a job. It’s not a tall order by any means. The reason why people have this prerequisite is to ensure they don’t date a deadbeat. On the flip side, the reason many of us don’t have a job has nothing to do with laziness, work ethic or lack of skills/talent/education/etc. It’s because we were laid off during a terrible economic recession. Unfortunately, not too many are sympathetic to that situation or simply don’t understand.
Six weeks into unemployment and I feel like it’s the world against me. I realize that it’s not, but it’s hard not to feel that way at times. Finding a job is more difficult than I realized. The media was not exaggerating the situation. Finding a date seems almost pointless. Most people refrain from dating while seeking a job, but the state of the economy should not hinder your love life and your desire to seek love and relationships…but it does. Being unemployed makes you powerless, vulnerable, and even undesirable. Remember this the next time you meet someone who gets laid off from their job. It’s no picnic…unless Yogi Bear is a metaphor for the state of the economy, in which case, it is indeed a picnic… and Ranger Rick, the incompetent law enforcer, well, that’s the United States government for you. Boo-Boo is the little bitch that idly sits there not doing a goddamn thing even though he wants to me. Wait. Does that make me Boo-Boo? This metaphor has gone too far.
In Part 3, I will either be talking about my new job or you’ll be reading my suicide note.