What's So Funny About Unemployment?

A funny little unemployment blog for your (un) enjoyment

Archive for May 2010

Unemployment and family in Michigan

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“Nearly half of Michigan’s people say an immediate family member has lost a job in the past two years, a new Detroit Free Press/WXYZ-TV poll shows.”

That amazing quotation is from today’s Freep.com story on unemployment in Michigan.

So I am actually not exaggerating when I say that it feels like half the state is unemployed.

Even though Michigan’s April unemployment rate was 14 percent, more, much more, than 14 percent of Michigan is personally affected by unemployment.

I have met a lot of unemployed people in my little corner of Southeast Michigan. Which happens when you’re unemployed and you go to support groups for the unemployed. Most if not all of the unemployed people I’ve met in the last year and a half have families: Husbands, wives, children, parents, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, in-laws, etc. I’m single, but I do have family — and friends who are like family to me.

Unemployment affects your family and friends. If nothing else, they worry about you. They pray for you and about you. They call you with job leads, send you job ads over Facebook, and anxiously ask “have you thought about (fill in their latest career idea for you here)?” And “Are you okay?” They lend you things: Money, meals, rounds of drinks, a place to stay. The really good family members and friends don’t seem to care about being paid back.

How many people are in this situation of caring for and about their unemployed family members?

Well, even leaving aside Michigan’s 14 percent unemployment rate, just take the poll result of 47 percent who told the Freep and Channel 7 they have or had an unemployed family member, figure the state has about 9.9 million residents

And even with my math skills — hey, I’m a writer, not a mathematician — you should get roughly 4.5 million people in Michigan families affected by unemployment.

Written by Joanne

May 30, 2010 at 11:39 am

For our shy readers

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The most introverted member of the WSFAU staff quietly brought this article to our attention this afternoon:

The Shy Job Seeker | Psychology Today.

We at WSFAU sympathize.

Here’s a little secret: We’re not always the humorous social networking butterflies that you may think we are. Sometimes, we’d rather just keep to ourselves. Especially when it comes to job hunting.

Yet we go out there and network and blog and speak and go on job interviews as best we can.

It’s not always easy, but we do it.

Why?

Because it’s what we need to do in today’s world to get another job.

And because, with practice, it can be fun.

Written by Joanne

May 29, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Posted in unemployment

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I can’t stop following

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…  the adventures of the brilliant parody/satire “BPGlobalPR” Twitter account.

If you’re on Twitter, follow it.

If you’re not on Twitter, get on it and follow it.

Why? Because BP Cares. 😉

Written by Joanne

May 27, 2010 at 9:10 am

The good side of job loss

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While checking my social media accounts — which sounds so much more sophisticated than “I was on Twitter” — this morning, I found a link to a TweetMyJobs.com article on job loss.

It mentioned an episode of one of the funniest sitcoms of all time, “Seinfeld,” when George accidently had a busboy fired — and the busboy’s life was saved because he had been fired. The post asked if there could be reasons why your job loss could be good news for you.

My job loss has been good in some ways. It gave me time to volunteer for a good cause or two. I’ve met some great people in the Ferndale Career Center support groups and through career counseling.

And, of course, to make a long story short, I started this blog.

Written by Joanne

May 24, 2010 at 9:04 am

In the wee small hours of the morning

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It’s the middle of the night. I can’t sleep. I haven’t posted in a while. So here I go:

  • As of yesterday, I am no longer a U.S. Census Bureau census taker. It’s OK, though. I always knew the job was temporary. But it was fun — and the pay was very good — while it lasted. However, I’m sworn — yes, I took an oath — not to ever tell what personal information I collected from whom. Under penalty of up to $250,000 in fines or five years in jail. (Not that I can remember the exact details anyway.) So there goes my book/short story ideas about census-taking or the most interesting people on my blocks.
  • This afternoon, I go to my dentist to get a crown for my broken tooth. I know what to expect; I’ve had a crown done once before. And I have a small mouth (yes, physically) so dental work for me consists of the dentist saying “open wider, please.”
  • This evening, I’m supposed to meet friends for dinner at a Japanese steakhouse. Which normally I would find fun and delicious. But with a hours-new dental crown? I believe I’ll just watch the chef while I carefully sip the miso soup.
  • Switching subjects to entertainment, I found out yesterday one of my favorite entertainers had emergency surgery yesterday. Get well soon, Bono.
  • Also in entertainment, 24’s finale is Monday night. I’m going to have to watch it online or on DVD, because I will be away from home Monday night. I’ll always miss Jack Bauer. And Chloe.

Well, now I’m tired again. Time for me to post this and go back to sleep. Good night (or good morning).

The “I Need A Freakin Job” Movement

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The other day, while I was driving and listening to radio news about the president’s recent visit to Buffalo, the announcer mentioned someone posted a billboard President Obama would likely not see in Buffalo. “I Need A Freakin Job,” they said the billboard said.

“Well,” I said. “There’s a story for WSFAU! I’ll have to Google ‘I need a freaking job’ and see who posted that billboard. I was born in Buffalo …” (My parents and I only lived there until I was two, so I don’t remember Buffalo well.)

Early this morning, the billboard posters and their video hit Yahoo News. It wasn’t just one desperate unemployed guy begging Mr. Obama for a job. Turns out I Need A Freakin Job is a movement of young unemployed people who want social change — and renewed government attention on unemployment.

Of course, they have a web site.

And, naturally, I Need A Freakin Job has a quickly growing Facebook page/group.

Good luck, INAFJ.org. We hope you get the president’s attention — and  jobs. And I’ll say it along with you, for as long or as short a time as it takes: “I Need a Freakin’ Job!”

My up-and-down week

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It’s been a busy week full of ups and downs.

On Sunday, Mother’s Day, I visited my stepmother. The visit went well, except for a few things:

  • I cracked a molar on some of her crispy — and delicious — homemade candy. Luckily, the tooth didn’t ache, and it still doesn’t hurt. But it sure felt funny at the time …
  • My stepmother’s MacBook’s screen is damaged and her Internet service was down, so I couldn’t show her my Mother’s Day blog entry.

On Monday, I had a job interview. Which went very well — no more cracked teeth or damaged laptop screens. 😉 Some signs that it went well:

  • I wasn’t nervous.
  • One of my interviewers took notes on a MacBook Pro.
  • Instead of just saying “Thank you for coming in” at the end, they said “Thank you for coming in” and suggested I walk around the downtown neighborhood (the interview was in another town) to get my bearings.

On Tuesday afternoon, after my trips back home, I started my car to go out and run a few errands. The speedometer/ information display flashed “Service Vehicle.” I consulted the owner’s manual — which said it could be anything. So I drove to the dealership. A short wait and $114 later, they said it was a loose wire. At least it happened Tuesday and not the days before.

Wednesday morning, I finally went to my dentist to see about my cracked tooth — and have my dentist see it. Thanks to modern technology, my dentist did show me the tooth — well, a very good photo of it. I don’t have a copy of it, and you don’t need to see it. I’ll just say he says, and I agree, the tooth now needs a crown.  And I’ll be eating soft foods for the next month or so until the crown’s finished.

Yesterday morning, I got up and drove to another appointment I thought I had. It was on May 13 — of last year. So I walked through the rain, went out to my car, started it up — and “Service Vehicle” flashed again. Back to the dealership. Some sensor was loose. At least they only charged me $20 more.

This morning, I woke up early and did something I’ve never done before. I knocked my glasses off the table on which they were sitting overnight. Luckily, I can — could — see clearly enough to find them.

It hasn’t just been a week of broken stuff. I saw my friends, went to my job hunting support group, and went to Toastmasters meetings this week, too.

Also, this week’s rains finally let up enough for me to get out yesterday afternoon for a successful afternoon of census-taking. Luckily, I haven’t (yet) had to take Ms. Blaferngar Blaferngar’s census:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/147972/saturday-night-live-census

So this morning I believe I’ve earned the right to say TGIF.