A brief history of unemployment part 1

A brief history of my unemployment

It’s good to be the King sayeth Mr. Brooks


I figured with all the unemployment posts that I’ve written, I should probably give you a little background as to why I’m unemployed. Yes, I quit. The first time. I needed to quit. It was a decision that was not made lightly and it was a decision that took me several years to think about and six months to decide. I didn’t want to quit because I saw it as a failure but when you’re coming home stressed to the point of not giving a shit, moody and despondent and prone to panic and depression, it’s time to make a change. It honestly wouldn’t have been fair to anyone if I had stayed.

So here it is, my history of unemployment part 1

2010 – After five years working at a legal education provider, I quit. I didn’t have another job lined up because I quit due to the fact that I was going bananas.I started looking for a few jobs before I quit but I wasn’t getting any call backs then. So I figured, better I leave before my head explodes and the nice cleaning ladies have to clean up brain matter off of my cubicle walls.

June – July 2010 – My rest period. I needed a break and my husband agreed with me about this grace period.

July – August 2010 – I was supposed to be writing. Instead I was beginning to get writer’s block because all I could think about was how in the hell am I going to get a job. Though I hadn’t been applying (please see grace period) I had been looking. It was scary

August 2010 – May 2011 – Sending out resumes like a mad woman, learning how to write a cover letter and hating the fact that cover letters aren’t even read, no interviews, no call backs, a few rejection emails

May 2011 – Call a temp agency and get placed at a company for a gig that is supposed to last two weeks

May 2011 – June 2012 – Two weeks turned into 13 months because they liked me

November 2011 – present – sending resumes out like a mad person, cover letters, jobs that I really want and jobs that I could take are both ignoring me, sending resumes and emails to other temp agencies. We all know how this one ends.

August 2012 – my temp agency proves even more worthless than I originally thought. I turn down a gig because I don’t have the qualifications and it would only be for about a month.  This is the one and only time they had gotten back to me

September 2012 –  Start All Mirth No Matter so that you guys can enjoy my insanity


So there you go, in a nutshell, why I’m still unemployed and how a decision two years ago can affect your everyday life in the present.

unemployment monday – when I grow up….





Waking up at three in the afternoon after not being able to sleep until three thirty in the morning is a problem.

Lethargy, despair, and a cup of coffee greet most of the unemployed in the morning –  myself included.

I’ve noticed that the job boards are playing the same songs.  There hasn’t been any real change in the posting  and the so-called additions of jobs are usually in fields that are so specific (with all employers begging for experience) that even if I wanted to apply I wouldn’t get the job.

I don’t have the experience and I’m likely to never get it at the rate we’re going. But that’s OK, I don’t exactly want to be a registered nurse (I don’t think I can stick people with needles).

So, scouring the job boards, applying for jobs that interest me plus any jobs that I think I can get is what compromises most of my days.

I’m not getting any bites.

A friend of mine said that I should set my goal for companies that I want to work for. All the companies I want to work for are either not hiring or I’ve applied to them and they’re simply not hiring me. This friend also hit upon something I should think about, what is it that I want to do.

Well, that’s the problem. I’m not sure. I keep waiting for the answer to hit me and then I just delay it saying ‘well when I grow up’.

I’m already grown up. There is no more waiting.

As a kid I wanted to be everything.

I wanted to a cop. A teacher. An Ad Exec. A dancer. A singer. An Actress. A writer (I’m still struggling with this one). A book store owner. A bartender. A QVC model (please don’t ask). A baker.

I think you get the point.

As I got older, I realized that I just wanted to be successful and I wanted to be that ever elusive thing called happy. I never wanted to be rich but I did want to be comfortable.  I wanted to be interested in my job and I wanted to work in a place that fosters its people.

That’s all I really want. To do something that is interesting and that I’ll be happy in. As long as I can be creative, as long as the environment is warm and easy-going and as long as the work means something then sign me up.

As we all know, how companies hire is a straight up mystery to me. I’m qualified, intelligent and college educated. I have everything they want and yet I have nothing.

So, I might not know what I want to be when I grow up but I do know that I am good at jobs. All I want is a chance.

And also, the location of where my small spoons keep disappearing to.

unemployment Monday … there’s a hole in my soul

I don’t believe that humans, as a species, are lazy. We wouldn’t have come this far if we were totally and completely apathetic, in fact we probably would’ve evolved into some sort of lichen if we were really all that lazy.

As for individuals? Well, yeah. I believe individuals can be anything they want to be but that they don’t necessarily reflect on the species as a whole.  However, that’s a rant for another day.

This unemployment Monday I got to thinking about the value of work. I’ve been feeling pretty damn low lately. I’ve been wracking my brains to try to pinpoint the actual reason why (you would think it would be obvious to me but there are other things going on in my life that I can never be so sure). I’ve been lethargic and pinwheeling between moments of brilliant creative thinking and hopelessness. In short, I guess I’m a little blue. The reason why, the big bright neon reason why, is simply that I am not working; I am not receiving validation as a person in society.

Work is a necessity. Office work, while suffocating and soul sucking at times, is just as important as farming used to be two hundred years ago. We are all cogs in a machine but we are all rewarded cogs. I’m not just talking about the monetary tag attached to work but the actual feeling of satisfaction after completing a job well done and contributing to the overall bottom line.

I do not get the same sense of accomplishment when I do my laundry, it’s close, but it’s not the same.

Humans like to feel like they have done something; that they have made their mark in the world somehow.

It’s an adrenaline rush but it’s not the same as finishing a project that took you two weeks and stressed you out so badly that you started to lose sleep and snap at those close to you.

There are others out there that will argue with me and say that keeping house and maintaining it instills the same feeling.

You wouldn’t be arguing. I agree. There’s a sense of accomplishment but to me, read “to me”, it’s not the same.  It’s arbitrary, I suppose, but society dictates that every member of the society that is over a certain age should be working to further the society.

Sitting at home searching for positions while I’m waiting for the coffee to drip doesn’t do much to fill the hole for me. Frankly, I’m not really furthering anything other than my electric and shopping bills.

When an unemployed person goes out and meets people that she/he doesn’t really know, it begins to wear on them that they have to keep answering the question of “what do you do” with a self-conscious smile, a bitter chuckle and a “I’m unemployed”.

It begins to make me feel like I’m less of a person.

I don’t particularly have a career but I’m good at jobs.  I hate waking up and I might curse having to work within confines but it makes me feel like a productive member of society.

Then I feel sad as if I haven’t contributed anything to anyone.

That feeling you get at work is an intangible feeling. Some will it accomplishment or ambition; I, frankly, don’t know what to call it but I do know that I’m missing it.

Hell, there’s only so many times you can sit on your couch eating Havarti and Pepperoni and watching a very bad Hallmark Channel film.

unemployment mondays. pajamas and whining

NYC Unemployment Rate as of July 2012: 10.2

Days Spent in my pajamas since July 2012:  23+

There is very little that is glamorous about being unemployed. Unless you’re rich. Then you’re having an extremely different experience than the one that I’m having and to that I say, “good for you, you lucky son of a bitch”.

For me, who is decidedly not rich, unemployment is something that I never thought that I would have to suffer through. As a kid, back in the day when the economy wasn’t so weird, I always thought that I would have a corner office by the time I was in my early thirties while living in an awesome large Manhattan apartment. I thought that I would be able to hop around if I didn’t like my chosen career.  Clearly I was watching too much television.

I’m a writer; I’m probably a couple of years away from being a failed writer. Writing doesn’t pay the bills though.

I’m nearly 30. I neither have a corner office nor do I live in Manhattan. Which is ok. I discovered that the kind of office environment that I thrive in is not the one I envisioned when I was 12 and desperate to be an adult. In fact those jobs are extremely hard to come by, because no one wants to leave a fun and creative environment.

I also don’t have a book deal.

I would say that I feel bad for the graduates that just got out of school but I’m not that altruistic because at the end of the day it’s between me and them. I have about 7 years of office experience doing everything from answering phones to coordinating events.

That and a dollar can get me a small cup of street coffee.

The experience, the know-how and the awesome personality? I have all those. What I don’t have is a job because guess what, I’m competing with hundreds if not thousands of people for one job.  I mean, I’m good, but I’m not that good.

So, I wake up at a very late time, sit in my pajamas while I wait for my stomach meds to kick in and my coffee to brew and I scour the same internet sites for several hours hoping and praying that today I’ll go up against less people. Or, maybe, just maybe, they’ll be an awesome job out there that I am qualified for.

If nothing else, at least a job that I’m qualified for.

I check my email like a crazy person for emails from companies; I check my SPAM (why am I getting things in Russian?) and I check my phone manically. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Nil. Nada. Goose Egg. The operative word here is “crazy” because the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.  The results are the same. Nothing. Zip. Zero.

This concludes Monday’s unemployment rant.

Pardon me while I check my gmail.