What's So Funny About Unemployment?

A funny little unemployment blog for your (un) enjoyment

Archive for the ‘unemployment’ Category

Labor Day without laboring

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I wasn’t in much of a celebratory mood yesterday on Labor Day. To me, Labor Day was just another Monday. And the end of summer. I’m really going to miss summer.

This morning I found an excellent essay on NPR.org asking people to think of those of us who were without labor on Labor Day. It does an excellent job of summing up what it’s like to be long-term unemployed.

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Written by Joanne

September 7, 2010 at 10:22 am

Posted in unemployment

The School of Unemployment

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Since it’s early September, I’ve been thinking about going back to school. Not that I am going back to school; I already have two degrees and I don’t quite feel like going back for a third now.

No, I’ve been thinking about the whole back to school experience: buying new clothes and books, saying goodbye to your parents, going back to class … And I’ve been thinking there should be a School of Unemployment to help the newly unemployed along the way. So I’m going to teach it, today.

Good morning, class. Welcome to the School of Unemployment. My name is Joanne, and I’ll be your teacher. Listen carefully, because you will be tested on this material — but not by me.

One of the first things I will tell you is you’re not alone. The national unemployment rate hovers around nine percent; my home state’s unemployment rate is just over 13 percent.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of us out there. So join a support group. Many churches sponsor them; so do some job centers.

Follow a routine. Get out of bed early each day. Then, don’t spend your entire day sitting in your easy chair watching bad talk shows and judge shows. “Who would do that, teacher?” Never mind who. Just remember, daytime TV is not your friend. Use your time productively. Try networking and making some phone calls as well as searching the Internet.

Make calling your state’s unemployment agency part of your weekly/biweekly routine. Mark that appointment on your calendar and keep it, no matter what. If you don’t, it will cost you.

Do something besides job hunting once in a while, too. Now that you have all this time, it’s your chance to work on your hobby, read a book, clean your house, take walks, or do whatever else you want — within reason.

Libraries are your friends. Sure, your local library has books. But did you know they also have computers? And DVDs? And reference books and materials for researching that company with which you’ll be interviewing? And, if they’re like my local library, free wi-fi without having to buy a cup of coffee? And friendly librarians to help you use it all? (Disclaimer: I’m a librarian.)

Budget your money. As if you needed me to tell you that.

Finally, keep your sense of humor about it all.

Written by Joanne

September 2, 2010 at 7:53 am

Dear What’s So Funny About Unemployment:

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It’s time for the first installment of “Dear WSFAU,” our new feature where our staff gives advice to the job lorn:

Dear WSFAU:

I see from your last entry that you were about to attend your high school reunion. How brave of you, going to your high school reunion when you don’t have a job to talk about! I too am unemployed and have been invited to my class reunion this summer – but I’m too embarrassed to go! I wish I had your nerve!

Sincerely,

Embarrassed

Dear Embarrassed:

First of all, you think we’re brave? Ha! If the WSFAU staff let our jobless status keep us from going to summer parties, we would have spent these last two summers cooped up and bored at WSFAU HQ. (And believe us, summers can get really hot here inside WSFAU HQ.)

Secondly, don’t be embarrassed about your jobless status, Embarrassed.  Whether it’s at a backyard barbeque, your friend’s kid’s high school graduation party, a family wedding, the high-octane fuel-injected crowd at the Woodward Dream Cruise, or, yes, your high school class reunion, your old friends will just be happy to see you this summer. They won’t really care about your lack of a job. Heck, in this economy, some of them may not even have jobs themselves.

So go to that reunion. Enjoy the rest of your summer. Before you know it, it’ll be fall. Then it’ll be time to see you at football tailgate parties and the cider mill. (Mmmm. Cider and donuts.)

If you have an unemployment-related question or concern, why not ask What’s So Funny About Unemployment in the comments section? Remember, we care more about you than MARVIN ever will!

Written by Joanne

August 1, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Posted in unemployment

My, it’s hot around here

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Since the temperature is now cooling down tonight — to, oh, about the 80s — we figure it’s time to wipe our sweaty brow and write about how we unemployed persons are coping with the terrible heat wave which has descended upon Detroit and the East Coast since the holiday weekend.

We had an easy time coping with it over the Fourth of July: We were at a pool party. But alas, the holiday and the pool party are now over. Taking a refreshing, private swim on a hot, hot day is no longer an option for the WSFAU staff. (Sigh.)

Since the Fourth, we have found a few other ways to escape the heat. Yesterday, we window-shopped in the nicely air-conditioned mall. I admit we played with the new iPhone 4 in The Apple Store. However, we did not buy one. (Too many reports of reception problems — and it costs too much money.)

We’ve also been hanging out in coffeehouses, taking advantage of the free wi-fi, the cool drinks, and the air conditioning. I’m far from the only laptop owner who’s been doing this the last two evenings. However, I do need to wrap it up soon and go home to bed. Because tomorrow is going to be another hot, hot day.

Written by Joanne

July 6, 2010 at 10:32 pm

We’re number two! We’re number two!

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We’re excited because Michigan is no longer the number one state in unemployment.

Instead, we’re now number two:

Unemployment rate: Michigan, Nevada trade places as No. 1 jobless state – CSMonitor.com.

Good luck, Nevada! You’ll need it!

Written by Joanne

June 23, 2010 at 7:47 am

Posted in Michigan, unemployment

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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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