Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thoughts On.... Unemployment

I started this year unemployed and depressed. The thing about unemployment that no one mentions is that after a little while, you get USED to being unemployed. And that's when the rot starts setting in.

Becoming unemployed is always unpleasant. Unless you're leaving work cause you won the lottery (which is a bonehead move anyway), you're gonna feel depressed, rejected, and despairing about your future. How will you survive? What will you do? This fuels a desperate, frantic job search. You email resumes everywhere, you become a master at writing in-depth cover letters in a blink of an eye, but your efforts are for naught. The vast machine of employment in the country responds to your actions with a deafening silence.

A little while after being laid off/fired (or quitting, if that's what you did), life starts to feel like a vacation. You get to sleep in. The pressure of overbearing bosses is gone. The stress of meeting deadlines evaporates. It feels so good you can almost convince yourself that you pulled the wool over everyone's eyes and have actually IMPROVED your life. As time passes, and your unemployment continues, that illusion fades.

Your friends have no time for you. They still have to get to work in the morning. Your severance pay is exhausted with the bills that you still have to pay. Unemployment insurance barely allows you to live. You spend the bulk of your days looking at job postings you don't have a prayer of qualifying for, but you apply anyway. Pandora's cruelest gift, Hope, driving you forward. You hope for a miracle. You hope that someone, somewhere wants to talk to you. You hope that you'll get a call, or get an appointment for an interview. And until then..

you wait.

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