Hello, I’m Unemployed



I hate being unemployed. I have been cowering under this title for a little over a month now. My ‘home office’ is a shrine to a particular type of insanity that I adopt when I have far too much idle time. At my desk I relish the few short hours of plotting and scheming before I am reminded about my harsh reality. It usually takes something seemingly insignificant to propel me back towards the sharp pavement of this middle earth. Sometimes its a song, or a plane flying overhead full of people who are going places and doing things. In fact, just yesterday, I developed an unhealthy resentment towards our mailman who carries out his duties with irritating promptness. Oh yes, that’s another thing, I wait for the mail to come. No need to reread, you saw it correctly the first time. I await the mail each day. Based on my extensive observation I have hypothesized that it arrives sometime between 3:05 and 3:26 PM. There was once a time when getting the mail was a nuisance, ‘who has time for it?’ I would say. Sometimes I would go three or four days without it to let it build up as to be more worth my time. In light of recent events it has catapulted itself to the top of my to-do list as a reason to change into actual pants for, at least, a small portion of the day.

Did you know there are 24 hours in a day? That’s a lot of hours. There never used to be this many hours… I try to budget out a good 8 hours for sleeping which makes the day slightly more manageable at 16. However, since I am no longer exercising my brain, it is capable of running on much less sleep and, realistically, I am only able to keep my eyes shut for about 6. I have developed an unfortunate condition recently called ‘hypochondria’. I googled it and the symptoms are TERRIBLE. I have them all! Over the last two hours it has crossed my mind that I might have cancer. Slipping slowly into senility does not appear to be an active symptom of cancer so I may be suffering from something else.

Around 12:05 I begin to plan what I would like to have for lunch. My options usually fall into the following two categories: Lunch that requires money and Lunch that does not. I am embarrassed to say that all this free time has not changed the way I feel about cooking. For so much pain and effort, the outcome is usually terribly disappointing. I wish to avoid the potential scenario of being unemployed, mentally ill AND malnourished all at once.

After lunch, around 1:30 I begin to scour the apartment for items to sell on Ebay. It’s amazing the kind of crap people are willing to pay shipping for! Ebay is proof that there are others like me out there. It is a cataclysmic breeding ground for the unemployed/hypochondriac types. I have successfully sold such items as a ‘well-loved’ copy of The Great Gatsby, a pack of 8 AA batteries and a pair of unopened wool high socks. I briefly consider making a career out of selling mundane items on Ebay and promptly slap myself and move on to the next of my day’s activities.

It takes about an hour for me to become utterly disillusioned with the fantasy land that is the internet and I begin the ‘learning new skills’ portion of my day. The next two hours are filled with such infuriating undertakings as learning to play guitar, ‘knitting’ and learning French. If nothing else, you can bet that when this is all over I will unapologetically pad my resume with these gems.

Around 3:00 I get dressed for my appointment with the mailman downstairs. I leisurely walk downstairs and put my key into the box. There is mail in there! A wave of elation washes over me. I am careful not to look at its contents until I have arrived back to my apartment. I take time to relish the opening of all these envelopes addressed to me. This is the highlight of my day. The mail proves that I still exist as a human being, citizen and consumer. The day that the world stops marketing its products to me will be the day it is all over.

I begin to feel better as the sun sets. This means only one thing, people are starting to get off work. I can emerge from my ‘day job’ and join the hordes of people walking around after being stuck at their desk all day. I still remember the ‘gosh I had such a long day at work today’ eye roll and use it indulgently as I pass other members of the workforce. I carry out the rest of the day like a normal human being and sip red wine while watching Lipstick Jungle on Netflix. I get back into my pajamas and enjoy the opportunity to use them as intended.

A sudden jolt of panic takes over my being as I glance towards my wall calendar to find the next day empty. It is then that I remember, I will need to get the mail tomorrow.


140 thoughts on “Hello, I’m Unemployed

  1. I’m currently unemployed and trying to figure out how to make $$ writing. I know it’s so hard, but your blog made me laugh because I understand how you feel! You’re a good writer. Keep up the blog!

  2. AT least you have your humor. To anyone in this same boat, including myself (been unemployed for almost a year), don’t beat yourself up, if its you, then great, you can fix that, if it isn’t you, don’t believe anything else, you will fall into depression and it might just start to affect the job hunt.

    It’s hard to keep a positive outlook, but if you’re not out on the streets, be happy, you have so much time on your hands, you just have to do something with your time and don’t feel guilty about it. It helps if you keep a schedule and put things you need and want to do on it and cross them off. review you schedule after every week, look at all the stuff you’ve done. This sounds corny as I write, but it works, and it’ll probably work for nearly anybody else.

  3. Oh god. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Failing to get a job using my university qualification, I work part time at the supermarket (all 3.5 hours a week and casual when needed) and feel / do exactly the same the rest of the time. Such a hilariously realistic look into my own life.

  4. Hello I’m Unemployed I’m unemployed too. I don’t know your age but mine is the problem. I posted a piss-take on employers “Smelling the urine” when they slip up and actually grant an interview with an over 50s applicant. Hope you get a chance to read it. Good luck with the Job Hunting.

  5. what about watching the savings slowly sliiiide away, wondering somewhere in the back of the mind with the hypochondriacal thoughts, “hope that’s not me at 4 in the morn pushing that shopping cart in the ghetto looking for recycling in folks recycle bin every Tuesday.”….hope that’s not me, looking in the mirror, hope that’s not me…

  6. Okay so if your life ever goes catastrophically katywumpus and you wind up homeless and unemployed IN YOUR MOM’S CONDO with her RETIRED BOYFRIEND who TAKES TWO HOURS TO MAKE A SALAD EVERY DAY and SUCKS HIS TEETH in the worst winter in Baltimore since 1993 (and, long story, all of your winter clothes are in Istanbul and all your shoes are in Panama and you have no money cause you have no job) here are some other activities: live tweet the three hour conversations about weather every night. Stress eat. Drink coffee til it’s time to start drinking wine. Eat out of boredom. Go hang out with other homeless unemployed people at the library. Go to the museum so often the security guards know your name and you know more than you ever thought you would about Abyssinians. And finally, plot your escape. (There are so many hours in a day! And so freaking many days in a week!)

  7. This rocks… I’m still looking for employment but do get some extra work on a current tv show named after my town. It’s not much even though I’m not a country fan, but the networking and incredible friends has been awesome.

  8. I was recently unemployed for just over six months. I got dressed up for dr appointments and Kmart, and I’d check on the fridge several times an hour.

  9. This really made me laugh. I was unemployed for a while last year and found that The Real Housewives of… (insert variety of cities) became the highlight of my day. It was pretty terrible as I had once prided myself on being the type of person to not watch such drivel. Good luck with your mail collecting 🙂

  10. I found humour yet a relation to my own situation. I recently was laid off my job, my career as an HR professional in a small town with the highest unemployment rate across Canada. I lose myself in fitness to keep my sanity. I actually ignore my mailbox, I don’t really even want to see any bills. I might try the Ebay option. Wish you the best in your ventures to employment.

  11. Yup. Yup. Yup. I think one of the thing I hated most of being unemployed, among a Christmas-list of top many, was having to listen to people complain about their jobs.

  12. I love this post and know how it feels to be unemployed,I am 61 and have been unemployed for three and a half years due to bad health. And nearly all my days are the same, I live alone in a one bed-roomed flat, no friends no family. I live on sandwiches of processed meat, two for breakfast, two for lunch, and two for my evening meal, can’t afford a T.V licence so I spend my day at the computer, trying to figure a way to make some money online. But it seems you need money to be able to make money.

  13. Reblogged this on eigram9 and commented:
    brilliant, engaging writing.
    establishes the pace & general acceptance of everyday-ness;
    it’s routines, processes and perceptions.
    captures with
    s _l _o _w _n _e _s _s
    the repetitive tedium of the human condition.
    The author choses to end with a universally relatable “daily activity”: checking our USPS mailboxes after the mailman has made his deliveries.
    regardless, sporting a “neck tattoo” as badge of non-conformist unemployed~honor or having your mail screened, pre-opened, sorted and answered FOR YOU, b4 you even know its arrived, the author manages to connect seemingly disparate lived experiences, with the
    sweet, lovingly~hilarious, generous delivery my grandfather had the presence of mind and the wisdom to share…
    mostly because he was there; he was PRESENT and THE (best) present 🙂

    thank you for reminding myself of these special moments

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