What's So Funny About Unemployment?

A funny little unemployment blog for your (un) enjoyment

Archive for March 2009

Errands and the Unemployed

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Today I needed to do a few errands: Banking, bill paying, going to the post office, and grocery shopping.

As every unemployed person discovers sooner or later, one nice thing about unemployment is that we unemployed people don’t have to do our errands only during weekends anymore. We can go out on weekdays and conduct our personal business when the stores, banks, and post offices are much less crowded than on Saturday or Sunday.

However, there are some funny things about this:

  • As you cruise the nearly-empty aisles finding bargains at the cheap grocery store, you may wonder, “Shouldn’t I be home looking for a job to pay for groceries?”
  • At the bank, you find out about your dwindling balance that much quicker.
  • At the post office mailing your bills, you wonder why there’s always a line at the counter no matter when you go there.
  • At home writing your blog post, you remember you needed to go to the dry cleaner and shoe repair shop, too.

Written by Joanne

March 31, 2009 at 2:40 pm

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Two out of the Big Three Could Be Bad

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Today’s big news (well, last night’s too) here in Detroit is that the CEO of General Motors has joined the ranks of Michigan’s unemployed. He was apparently given his walking papers by the government.

Meanwhile, the president spent his morning assuring us all that GM and Chrysler need to be saved (gee, you think?), giving them a month or two to get their act together (yeah, that’ll do it) and that it’ll be OK to buy a car from a bankrupt company because the government will back car warranties (insert laughter here).

Written by Joanne

March 30, 2009 at 12:24 pm

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Unenjoyment

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During that awkward time when I was first telling people about my job loss, someone misspoke the word “unemployment” as “unenjoyment” to me. I don’t remember exactly who it was. I do believe it happened at the bar, so alcohol was no doubt involved.

Since then, it’s stuck with me: Unemployment, unenjoyment.

No, unemployment is not meant to be an enjoyable time in anyone’s life. You’re broke, and you have to go out and look for a job.

The funny thing is — and we here at WSFAU always look for the funny thing — unemployment can be enjoyable.

Enjoyable? Are you nuts, you say? I’m broke and I have to look for a job!

Ah, but here’s the thing: You still need to find ways to enjoy life. You’ve got time on your hands now, and you can only job hunt for so much time during the week.

Here’s some ways you can enjoy your unemployment:

  • Spend a little time on your hobbies. Not too much, though: You still need to find that job.
  • Don’t forget your friends and family. Spend your free time with them.
  • Volunteer. WSFAU does. Find a worthy nonprofit which needs you .
  • Join Toastmasters and improve your public speaking skills. Again, WSFAU recommends this.
  • Start your own blog.

Written by Joanne

March 28, 2009 at 12:03 pm

TGIF?

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So I checked my Facebook page this morning to see what my 74 most-wired friends are up to.

Two of them — employed ones — made obligatory “Thank God It’s Friday/I’m ready for the weekend!”-type status updates.

Another one of them had made a “Thank God it’s Fri-oh, wait, it’s only Thursday …” update yesterday.

We here at WSFAU do sympathize with the plight of the employed. Heck, we were employed as of, oh, late last year.

Yet we find ourselves having to rely on such devices as calendars and the primetime television schedule in order to distinguish one weekday from another. When you’re unemployed, the days do tend to blur into each other.

I do admit to wanting to know it’s Friday for two reasons: 1. Lenten observance (Remember not to eat meat I really can’t afford anyway!) and 2. My employed friends can come out to play for the next few days.

Written by Joanne

March 27, 2009 at 11:13 am

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Coming to my Census

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While I was writing my last post, the U.S. Census Bureau called me.

No, they weren’t asking how many people live in my apartment. Or in my head. The census itself isn’t being taken until 2010.

They were calling to offer me a temporary job as a enumerator to help them prepare for the upcoming census.

Shortly after I was laid off this winter, I applied for and took a short test for census bureau jobs. People told me they were looking for temps in my area, and the pay was good — better than Michigan’s unemployment pay rate.

I train for a week in mid-April — oddly enough, my interviewer didn’t yet know where I’m supposed to report to training — and then work for eight weeks. The job itself is likely to include nights and weekends, so I can still job hunt while I earn some extra cash.

And I can tell Michigan’s MARVIN system goodbye for awhile. 🙂

Written by Joanne

March 26, 2009 at 4:52 pm

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Playing the game at the job fairgrounds

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I am now resting and blogging (and watching daytime TV judge shows) after attending two job fairs in as many days.

The thought came to me: If they’re called “job fairs,” then where are the rides and games? You know, like at the county fair?

On second thought, job fairs are a game. Especially here in Michigan, the Unofficial Unemployment Capital of the Nation.

Hundreds, thousands of us, dress up in our best suits and line up to get inside a suburban hotel ballroom to make a good impression on a few dozen of our potential employers du jour. All with the same goal in mind: Get a Job.

Step One: Survive the Line to Get in the Door. Big job fair lines these days can make you think of old black and white pictures of Great Depression lines. Except no one in those 1930s bread and soup lines used his iPhone to Google a list of job fair exhibitors while he collected his strength to go pound the pavement. (Which I saw yesterday, and which gets my envious vote for Smartest Use of a Smartphone Ever.) Most wait in line quietly, hopefully, probably even prayerfully. Some, usually women, strike up conversations with their fellow job seekers.

After what seems like forever, and you finally make it to the front of the line, it’s time for Step Two: The Ballroom Doors Swing Open. An HR-type woman comes to tell you you may now enter the ballroom (in an orderly fashion). You and several dozen of your new colleagues enter.

Step Three: Figure Out Your Next Move. Every job seeker/unemployed person knows (or should know) what’s inside a job fair: Tables full of brochures, cards, maybe a little swag, and smiling recruiters. And lines of your fellow job seekers behind each of the smiling recruiters. It’s up to you to figure out just how many of these tables/recruiters/lines to hit up, and how.

Step Four: Wait in More Lines in Front of the Recruiter(s) of Your Choice.

Step Five: Meet Recruiter of Your Choice. Smile. Introduce yourself. Give your little sales pitch for yourself. Listen to her or him and find out if they have something for you (that something being a job). Hand over your resume. (you did bring plenty of resumes, didn’t you?) Get his or her business card, company brochures, and/or little pieces of swag. Thank recruiter, even if they’re not hiring anyone with your mad skills.

Repeat Steps Four and Five as necessary. Or until: A. You have talked to the prospect(s) you wanted to see and they liked you, you lucky person! B. You run of potential employers, or C. You slink back out to the parking lot, convinced you’re totally unemployable because no one there had a need for the likes of you.

Written by Joanne

March 26, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Allow me to introduce myself.

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I’m an unemployed person in southeastern Michigan who stayed up way, way too late the other night reading humorous (and a few serious) blogs about unemployment.

After laughing a little too loudly at posts about such things as wearing pajamas during the day, not making it out of your apartment some days, the futility of calling your state unemployment agency’s telephone line, how much time we “formerly employed professionals” (ahem) spend on the Internet, (ahem) and what lengths to go to to get free restaurant meals, I checked to see where my fellow unemployed blogging Americans were blogging from.

First, I wanted to know if they were spying on me.

No. They were writing from California. Heh. Lightweights.

Not to belittle their — or anyone’s — job losses.

Not that The Golden State is without its economic troubles. I understand its unemployment rate is now over 10 percent. That’s not good.

However. We here in Michigan are #1 in the country when it comes to unemployment: 12 percent. Try jobhunting in our economy, my fellow unemployed Americans! I dare you!

It’s so bad here in Michigan, Jay Leno decided to come here from California to take our minds off things for a few nights.

It’s so bad, I decided the Internet needed a blogger from here in The Great Lakes State to make light of it all.

Here, I hope to examine what’s so funny (and not-so-funny) about unemployment here in my home state.

After I go to a job fair later on today, though.

Written by Joanne

March 26, 2009 at 6:04 am