There are two things worse than being unemployed: being diagnosed with a terminal disease and losing a close friend or family member. I'm lucky to say that myself and those around me are healthy, at least physically. Mentally I could use a little help...
I'm somewhat of an expert in being unemployed. There was that whole time when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life so I was more looking for temporary jobs than real ones (mostly because no one would offer me a real one with an out-of-date advertising degree and a law license in another state), then there's now - the "post-graduate-school-job-search" unemployment. My daily life is spent on the computer, filling out form after form of shit that is on the resume I uploaded but the company wants me to take the time to fill it out AGAIN. It is not a good life. It is a shitty, shitty life where you have to ask other people for money (my parents) and generally feel terrible about how much of a complete failure you have become.
So to make my life a tiny bit less shitty, let's agree that we should not ask the following questions:
"So, how's the job search going?" - Um, fucking terrible, thank you for asking. I literally have nothing in my life but searching for jobs, asking for jobs, or talking about jobs I'm applying for, so if I don't bring it up, it's probably NOT GOING TOO WELL. People like to share good news. I am one of those people. When I get an interview, since it's such a rare occasion, I blast that news all over social media and hire a plane to fly a banner. So if I don't bring up some lovely tidbit about how I got a lead on a job or had an interview or someone called me, ASSUME IT'S NOT GOING WELL.
"Have you heard from Company X?" Once again, do you think I'd keep it from you if I'd just been hired? NO. I would probably incite a riot with glitter and unicorns and trombones so that the entire city of LA would know I was newly employed with Company X. OH, I FORGOT TO MENTION, I GOT A JOB, SINCE I'VE BEEN SO BUSY NOT HAVING ONE FOR SO LONG. If I haven't said anything, the answer is NO, I haven't heard, or worse, they rejected me. Thanks for bringing that up.
"Have you tried, like, Starbucks?" Have you tried sticking your thumb up your ass? I'm sorry, but I just spent a fuckton of money to change careers so I think I'm going to stick to that area, thanks. And for the record, before I went back to school I DID apply to Starbucks, and they wanted nothing to do with me. I just added more education and backed myself into a seriously overqualified corner, I don't think this new degree is what I was missing when they didn't hire me the first time.
"You should go use your career services office. It's part of what you paid for." You are correct on the second part, I DID pay for it, and it's fucking worthless. I might as well go throw my resumes off a building and hope one lands on a CEO's head. The career services office may or may not have told me to "lower my expectations" and "take what I can get" when it came to internships, so I'd hate to see what they say about jobs. I had 2 unpaid internships, I really can't lower my expectations any more than that, since slavery is illegal. Whatever happened to "What are you interested in doing? We have connections in that industry, here are some contacts"? Also I have very little trust in you when you a) look 10 years younger than me and went straight into "career services" without having A CAREER and b) when you post "administrative assistant" jobs on the daily email to STUDENTS AND ALUMNI. Hi, we went to school so we wouldn't HAVE to be administrative assistants, thanks.
"Why are you moving to THE VALLEY?" Oh, I don't know, BECAUSE I'M FUCKING POOR?? Sure, the valley isn't on my list of "places I must live at one point in my life" but it's cheap, it's safe and it's surprisingly closer to my friends than Silverlake. And when your landlord sells your building you don't have time to wait til you get a job to go apartment hunting in better neighborhoods, you just find what you can afford where you won't get shot and you take it.
"Let me tell you about my recent vacation to Europe/the Caribbean/somewhere else you can't afford!" NOPE. Stop right there. That's fantastic that mommy and daddy paid to send you on a nice vacation after graduation and you don't have any stress about finding a job because you can either live with them or they'll support you, but I'm fucking 32 and that shit doesn't happen anymore. If you're my age and employed and taking a vacation, good for you, you deserve it. You worked hard, saved money and vacation days and I'd be doing the same thing. You're not who I'm talking to. And if you just happen to have boatloads of money for whatever reason and go on vacations weekly and continuously post about it on facebook, I might just have to unfollow you. And yes, I did go on a "bar trip" after law school, but it was entirely financed by my airline points and a gift of my parents hotel points. That's right, COMPLETELY FREE (minus food/drink/entertainment), unless you count the $100 copay from the ambulance ride and emergency room visit. So you can't call me out about being hypocritical on this one.
"Have you considered being a stripper?" Actually, yes, yes I have. There are a few things that get in the way of that career path, however - my profound hatred for being nude and inability to conceal my disgust of gross humans. That and I've been told that when I'm trying to be sexy, I look decidedly NOT sexy. While I consider myself in somewhat better shape than Chris Farley, my being a stripper would be very similar to that SNL sketch with him and Patrick Swayze being Chippendales - and people aren't paying to laugh when they come to a strip club.
"Isn't it nice to have some time off?" Look, I enjoy the fact that I get to choose my wakeup time every morning, but when "time off" is your default and it's not PAID time off, then NO, IT'S NOT NICE. It's not nice to spend every day on the computer searching for jobs, bothering your friends about potential openings at their company or paying for your gas in quarters. No, I don't particularly like the free time I spend on the phone with this or that company asking why my car/insurance/cable payment is late. And there's only so much time you can spend reading at Starbucks before you start to hate both reading and Starbucks. And life.
"You should move home (with your parents)" a) where my parents live is not "home" - I have never lived there nor do I know a soul. My home is here, and it is unfortunate that my parents don't live here, but they don't. b) if I did move "home," what the hell would I do? There are WAY fewer jobs in Columbia, Missouri, population 50-100k, than there are here in the greater Los Angeles area. If I moved "home" I'd have to work at Applebees with a side gig at the Flying J truck stop down the road, or I could pretend the last four years of my life didn't exist and go be an attorney again in a place where I have no friends. That worked out well the first 2 times.
"Don't you have money saved up? Weren't you a lawyer?" HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH go fuck yourself.