Friday, January 9, 2015


If you've never been unemployed, you're lucky.  You also need to read this multiple times to understand what a shitty shitty feeling it is and how to treat your unemployed friends so they don't plot your murder in the middle of the night (because you know they've got a lot of time on their hands).

The most obvious reason is you're not making any money. Some people have this magical thing called "savings" because at one point they were making enough money so they had some "left over" at the end of the month.  Not sure what that's like, but it sounds nice.  But even if you have savings, it'll run out eventually. 

Being unemployed makes you feel worthless.  Literally, you ARE worthless - WORTHless since you have no actual monetary worth, nor are you providing any benefit to society.  So technically feeling that way isn't too far off from reality.  If you're unemployed due to layoffs or something that was out of your control, people pity you.  If, heaven forbid, you're unemployed due to your own actions - for example quitting a job that had a toxic work environment or going back to school to change careers and then can't find a new job once you're done - well then, you're not only lazy but make bad life choices.  So now you're poor AND a bad person, according to some.

You do nothing all day except look for and apply to jobs, only to have the internet eat your resume in whatever algorithm-type program determines which candidates are good enough for human eyes.  Apparently I don't know the buzzwords, because I have never once been contacted for a job I applied to through an online application.  If I just have to throw "puppy" and "sprinkles" in every other word, I'll do it, but someone needs to teach me the magic formula so that I can be rejected by a human instead of a computer program.

So you have all this time, why not meet some new people?  Oh that is the WORST idea.  At least you can sum up your current situation to your friends in one sentence - when meeting new people, including potential dates, it's almost inevitable that the question "What do you do?" will come up in conversation.  "What do you do?" and "Where are you from?" are the two worst questions you can ask me.

What do I do?  I do nothing. I literally sit around and do zero things. Or sometimes I try to make it easier by just saying that I'm an attorney.  Unfortunately I've realized that leads to "what kind of law do you practice?" and a whole bunch more explaining on my part.  If I'm honest and say I'm "in between jobs" then people ask what I'm looking for.  That's hard to explain too.  And in all honesty, talking about my job search makes me want to sit in a corner and cry, so I'd just prefer that not come up. Even bending the truth slightly has backfired, so I can't pull off a full-out lie like "Oh, I'm a pilot for Alaska Airlines."

The other worst question is "Where are you from?"  If I'm traveling outside LA, I have the easy solution of just telling people I'm from LA.  I think of it as my home and don't plan on leaving unless some hot Korean model whisks me off to Asia to be his trophy wife.  When I'm in LA, however, it's a different story.  NO ONE is from LA, so they know you likely aren't either.  Sometimes I try just saying I'm originally from Missouri, which works about half the time. Most people aren't interested in or aware of Missouri so that just gets a pass.  Then I end up meeting people from Missouri or thereabouts who want me to get into specifics, and then I just have to practically tell them my life story. 

It always turns into me explaining I lived in both Missouri and Texas but my parents are back in Missouri - then "Oh, where in Texas?" and when I say Austin I get an earful about how great they've heard it is blah blah blah.  THAT'S WHY I DIDN'T TELL YOU THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE.  I wanted to avoid this conversation.  No, I don't like live music, I never saw bands, I didn't do a lot of outdoorsy things because it's hot as balls 90% of the time, yes people are more liberal but that doesn't mean there isn't a gun-toting redneck in the same restaurant right then.  In LA I can be completely isolated from rednecks and nutty right-wingers - in Austin, there are fewer than the rest of Texas, but you can't promise or deliver on full isolation.  Then they start talking about places that are cool right now but only showed up five years ago, before I have to explain to them that literally the only place that's still there that I know and went to is Hula Hut (dear, sweet Hula Hut).  I haven't lived there in 11 years.  It's legitimately a completely different city and I likely don't have a clue what you're talking about if you visited last year.

So yeah, dating while unemployed is just impossible.  What other questions are there to ask someone brand new besides "Where are you from?" and "What do you do?"  Pretty much nothing.  What do I do in my free time? Well, since all my time is free, I do very little, especially because with all said free time I have no money to do things.  What are my hobbies?  Do I really want to say reading, knitting and blogging?  Probably not.  Do you have any pets?  Yes, I'm a cat lady, thanks for pointing that out. 

The vicious cycle - if you're single when you become unemployed, you have to remain single until you get employment, which sucks because unemployment makes you feel shitty and it'd be nice to have someone to make you feel better about it, but you can't find that person because you're unemployed and therefore lazy and uninteresting.  Ugh.

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