What's So Funny About Unemployment?

A funny little unemployment blog for your (un) enjoyment

Archive for January 2010

Who the heck is Felix Sabates and why doesn’t he like Michigan?

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Fox 2 News here in Detroit has been righteously indignant this morning over this quote by NASCAR team owner Felix Sabates about why he wouldn’t race at Michigan International Speedway — MIS for short — any more:

“I mean, there’s nobody left in Detroit other than the police and the unemployed. I’d cut Michigan off the schedule altogether. Michigan – I’m talking about the state – is never coming back to what it used to be, so why go there and throw good money after bad money?”

via Michigan track boss fires back at Felix Sabates | www.thatsracin.com.

Well. Where do I, as an unemployed metro Detroiter (and admitted non-NASCAR fan), begin?

I’ll begin by saying that MIS is actually not in Detroit, but near Jackson and the south central Michigan town of Brooklyn.

I can’t deny Michigan’s high unemployment rate: 14.6 percent in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Yet, unemployed Michiganians or not, I’m told MIS still sells out its summer weekend races. Maybe the police are buying up all the tickets, Mr. Sabates?

Mr. Sabates, you also conveniently forget that NASCAR races American cars and trucks. Where are those American vehicles designed and built? Where are those car companies headquartered? Oh, in Auburn Hills, Dearborn and Detroit, MICHIGAN.

Instead of seeing it as “throwing good money after bad” in a state which you think isn’t coming back, why not see racing in Michigan as an investment to help the state come back? MIS’s track president invited you to come and see the place and the races for yourself. Now that’s something we’d like to see.

Written by Joanne

January 29, 2010 at 10:05 am

Watch what you post, people

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From the “this should be obvious” department, USAToday.com recently reported that people should be very careful of what they post on the Internet, because their potential employers could read it. You’ve Googled employers; of course they’re going to Google you. And read your Facebook page.

In two separate Microsoft studies, less than 15 percent of people in several countries believed their online posts and photos have no effect on potential employers. Meanwhile, 70 percent of recruiters said they didn’t hire someone based on the candidate’s Internet postings.

In one way I’m not worried about this. My personal Facebook page doesn’t have wild party pictures on it (and neither does the WSFAU Facebook Fan Page, by the way). I don’t make whiny status updates about hating Mondays or get into flame wars. And my Facebook profile is set to private. If you Google my name, you’ll mostly find links to work I did for my previous employer. That ought to impress a future employer.

But yet, I worry — and you’re looking at the reason why I worry.  (Yes, you can find this blog via Google and Yahoo,  too.) Sometimes I worry that blogging about unemployment may hurt my chances at a future career. Although I once had a potential employer compliment the blog.

Yet, as the title suggests, I write this blog to make the best of a bad situation.

Written by Joanne

January 28, 2010 at 6:23 pm

iWant an iPad …

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… even though iKnow iDon’t need an iPad. And iCertainly can’t afford to spend $499 (for the base model) now on anything which isn’t food or shelter.

Or maybe, just maybe, by the time the iPad appears in my local Apple Store in March or so, I’ll have a job, and I’ll need a new mobile computing device. That $499 price tag is comparable to a base netbook/laptop computer.

Or maybe I’ll win the MegaMillions lottery tomorrow night and have enough money to buy iPads, iPhones, and MacBooks for all of  WSFAU’s Facebook fans (and I know exactly who you all are). I’d better go out to the party store and buy a lottery ticket or two ….

First of all, I admit I am easily distracted (or should I say seduced?) by nice shiny electronics products. The iPad — despite its unfortunate feminine-product-sounding name — is your typical nice shiny Apple product. Yes, it looks like a big iPhone or iPod Touch. This looks like  design by association to me. Millions of people have iPhones, and millions more of us love our iPods.

Secondly, the iPad has its limitations. No Flash. Which means no watching Hulu and other web video on the iPad, they say. (Ah, but Apple wants you to buy its iTunes videos.) It has a touch keyboard. (Yes, but you can buy a separate keyboard. Or use its Bluetooth capacity to hook up a wireless keyboard and mouse.) The screen may or may not be right for book reading (but I’d sure like to try it). AT&T provides the 3G service. (I’ve had AT&T cellular service forever and I’m not complaining. Much.)

Third, if you’ve read this far, you may be saying, WSFAU, how is the iPad important to the unemployed? Good question (and thanks for reading this far). Well, it’s important for the unemployed to keep abreast of the latest in technology. You may be asked about the iPad in your next interview.

Plus we here at WSFAU can see potential for this shiny new thing to be used in various fields — library science, education, graphic arts, sales, journalism, public relations, to name a few off the top of our heads.

Written by Joanne

January 28, 2010 at 10:34 am

A crowded and busy afternoon at the job fair

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This afternoon, I went to a big job fair in Lake Orion (just north of The Palace of Auburn Hills).

It attracted a big crowd — I waited almost an hour just to get into the UAW hall where it was taking place, and I was directed to one of the very last parking spaces. As we job hunters said while waiting in line, it could have been worse. It could have rained, snowed, sleeted … As it was, I was glad I listened to the little voice in my head which said “wear your pantsuit” and not a skirted suit as I usually wear to job fairs. It was cold in that line!

Whether it was the size and layout of the union hall (every other job fair I’ve ever been at has been in a hotel or at a college), the hundreds of people who crowded into it, or both, I’ve seldom seen such a line at a job fair. If they’re out there, I’d like to thank the UAW volunteers who directed traffic, brought us coffee outside and kept the line moving inside. Good job, all of you!

Thankfully, this fair was worth the wait.

Last year I went to a few too many job fairs which mostly consisted of direct sales companies, military recruiters*, truck driving schools, online universities, and maybe one company or agency to which I wanted to apply. But today’s job fair was different. It had about 20 companies and temp agencies who were actively taking resumes, talking to people — and, according to the buzz in line, hiring. I managed to talk to five or six of them (and get a few brochures from a computer training school).

*Let me just say for the record I have nothing against having the military recruit at job fairs. It’s just that I am not the type of person they’re recruiting.

Links to the job fair’s media coverage (I would have taken my own pictures of the line outside, but, alas, my smartphone’s battery was dead):

Fox 2 story and video/photos

WWJ 950 AM news radio story

– The Oakland Press Video > Video-news: The best place for news in and around Oakland County

Written by Joanne

January 27, 2010 at 10:25 pm

The State of the Jobs Union

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President Obama is now giving his first State of the Union address (last January’s address to Congress didn’t count) and he’s focusing on jobs.

Excellent, we say.

Early in tonight’s address the president called for a new jobs bill, $30 billion of small business funding, various business tax breaks, and a new small business tax credit.

Sounds good to us here at WSFAU, Mr. President. Because, as you said tonight, there are too many of us sending out resumes without result (or interviewing without result); too many of us who don’t know where our next meal is coming from.

We certainly agree this country needs a healthy and an innovative economy. A strong economy is the only thing which will get us all back to work — and keep us all working. Because we don’t accept second place for the United States of America either, Mr. President.

UN: 27 million became unemployed in 2009

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Just in case you’re feeling like the only person out there who has lost his or her job, here’s a statistic for you: The United Nations says 27 million people worldwide lost their jobs last year.

So you’re not alone. You’re actually 1 in 27 million.

(Yeah, this news didn’t quite cheer me up, either.)

via UN: 27 million people became unemployed in 2009 – Yahoo! News.

Written by Joanne

January 27, 2010 at 12:28 am

A Monday Funny

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via Unshelved by Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes.

As an unemployed person who volunteers in a library, I can tell you this cartoon is definitely reality-based.

Written by Joanne

January 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Posted in unemployment

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