You Lost Your Job? Good for Me! Submitted by: Free Status Update
(OPENPRESS) September 3, 2009 --Not being too sadistic, but there is comfort in knowing you're not alone.
I have been sitting around now for over a year waiting for a good freelance job to materialize. Preferably one that might actually last a few weeks instead of a few hours. For my copywriting job, the economy grounded to a halt spring 2008. And many in the field of advertising felt that same sting then. Who knew then of the impending flood of other job holders who would later become job seekers?
I was thinking last summer how much it seemed that my normally slow summer was far slower than previous ones. "Oh, it'll pick up in the fall" I tried to convince myself. But it didn't. So I checked the batteries in my phone. I went as far to call myself weekly from my cell, to be sure my home phone worked. One day, I ran into a friend. I don't hold my back my feelings so watch your words when you greet me. "How's it going, Bryan?"
And there it was. A pause signaled the door was open. So I unleashed a torrent of well-placed expletives and exaggeration, all for the purpose of emphasis, to let him know that my summer had sucked on a record scale. I had dug open Al Capone's vault in front of the world and it was empty. Nada. Zilch. There was nothing there and I wanted everyone to know it!
I tend to have a flair for the dramatic when describing my life. My only hope is that I embellish it enough with humor to make it worth listening to.
Then my friend began to tell me his tale of woe. At one point it was a dueling banjos version of "whose life sucks more?" He'd resorted to having Depression dinners, which is a potluck dinner prepared for a little money as possible. I had never realized the full versatility of beans and rice.
After this airing of grievances, we both sort of realized a calming effect of knowing that we were not alone and each of us was struggling.
I decided to act on this reciprocal venting. So I'd email or call friends that also worked via the feast or famine schedule. After I'd express how slow I had been, they'd feel comfortable enough to let me know that they too, were tight in the wallet and wondering what's next. Some have been fortunate enough to have a spouse or partner to pull up the slack. Others have been getting by with odd jobs working retail, or bartending, etc. Others, like me, have opted for depleting their 401k. It's funny how the future doesn't seem nearly as relevant when you're about to lose your present. I have had so many lecture me on the need to hold onto my 401k.
"Well, just take a job," they say.
Insert blood curdling scream right here.
Unless you've been unemployed for a year, you have no idea how hollow that statement is. I'm in Georgia where the unemployment is over 10 percent. I know Michigan's got us beat so I'll bow to their deeper misery. There are not a lot of jobs out there. It's often the ones who have steady jobs that offer the line every time. Kind of reminds me of the folks who are most vocal against health care reform.
Anyhow, the purpose of this diatribe is to let you know that this writer will keep it up. While my days seem dark, and I could probably bum out Marilyn Manson with my mood, I still remain the optimist. Sure, every once in a while, I like to put my head up my ass. It has a medical term – cranial-rectal inversion. But also know that you can't see very well from there so to improve my mood, I occasionally remove it. Then I look around. And take a deep breath.
Just know you're not alone. For many of us who are out of work and struggling, this is our great depression. And for the record, I hope it doesn't get worse! Let us support each other. If you don't have a support group of any kind, and by support, I mean friends who will listen, find them! Who do you know that's been laid off? Or whose workload has been significantly reduced? Even many of us who do work have taken a huge hit financially. Reach out to someone. Not to sound cold, but take comfort in their suffering. Then offer them a kind word and just listen. Sometimes, that's all I need.