Laid off (with my mind on my money and my money on my mind)

Revelations on Unemployment

If I got a dollar or two every time I heard one of the following phrases, I could essentially never go back to work. Since I’ve had plenty of free time to mull over the kind words of everyone around me, I’ve developed brief translations of each little sucker punch of encouragement.

1. “You’ll find something”
As opposed to finding nothing. Ever. Not even a job as a receptionist or dog groomer or medical test subject. Also can be stated as “thank heavens I’m not in your situation because the job market really sucks.”

2. “I’ll keep an ear out for any good opportunities”
Oh, great, wow, thanks so much. So basically while you play on the internet all day at your job you’ll check monster.com for me. That’s really helpful.

3. “Maybe this happened for a reason and it’s a sign you should try something new?
Oh like credit card debt and COBRA? Yeah I’ve definitely been slacking on both of those. You’re right, this is totally a blessing in disguise.

4. “At least you got severance”
“You can still come drinking with us, right?” Yes, the company that laid me off, whose CEO made roughly $63M last year, was generous enough to pay me for an additional two months after kicking me to the curb. I can’t deny that this is pretty sick, but this may be the last money coming my way for quite a while, so I’m probably not going to rush out and use it to purchase 16 ounce Bud Lights at Applebee’s. At least not yet.

5. “There are so many people in your situation right now”
Oh no you didn’t. Is that supposed to make this any better? When I hear this one I picture myself as Adam Sandler and you as Bob Barker about to be body slammed. The price is wrong bitch. This is about ME and only me. I don’t care who else this happened to. Those suckers who worked for Lehman Brothers for 30+ years are no more unemployed than I am. I reserve the right to feel irrationally and selfishly bad for myself until I am once again gainfully employed.

6. “Oh, you work in [insert given career field here]? My sister’s baby sitter’s father-in-law has a neighbor who works in that field too, I think. I can e-mail him if you’d like.”
Yeah, that’d be epic. I bet this is my big break. Please, hurry this one along it sounds really promising.

In truth, the glass is still half full. I have been touched and astounded by the outpouring of support and assistance I have received in the past few weeks. I may be sick of hearing the same old words of encouragement, but I’d be far worse off not hearing them at all. This is an interesting experience, to say the least, but not all bad, and as the saying goes, it could always be worse.

I know that whatever happens, and wherever I end up working again (please let it be before 2010) I will land on my feet. This may seem overzealous but I’d like to look back on this one day and laugh.

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