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. Hi, I had similar experiences here in Germany, too. After I became unemployed I could not sleep and my thoughts went round and round in circles. Fortunately I wrote poems. I became depressed. At least I went to a doctor.
    I lost my last job last July. Fortunately I can start anew this April in the office I was three years ago.
    In the first time of unemployment I was very optimistic about jobs. I lost this optimism during the second time. I attend psychotherapy – which unexpectedly helped me indeed.
    Last month I became 60 and invited collegues from my old office to my birthday party. A week later they invited me and proposed a new job, – at first for 6 months 21 hours a week. Better than nothing.
    I wish you all the best.

  2. In one short meeting, I too became one of those “unemployed people”.

    The experience was awful to say the least. I did end up at a place to collect a paycheck and I am fighting to regain my financial footing because well…once you get a job; you still have to make up for the ground you lost.

    But the experience did give me a few things. I am more organized due to trying to keep up with the multitude of jobs I applied for. I don’t take things for granted. I have a lot more empathy for others. So much so that I volunteer now to help out people who are unemployed.

    Keep at it and you will be on a new path soon!

  3. I have MS and I’m pretty much unemployable. My husband and I have had three companies, one of which was a huge success from 2006 – 2012. He is a Master Plumber and I was lucky enough to WORK – from home doing the books. We hired a bunch of guys and subcontracted with companies that remodel grocery store chains. We watched the housing market start to twitch, then plummet. Then we watched as the new president came in with all kinds of ideas about how NOT to succeed in your own business, among many other really, really bad ideas to “help” the economy; then, starting in about 2010 we watched our company dissolve bit by bit from a busy, thriving, money making corporation into a failed, debt ridden mess.
    My husband has been looking for work since we dissolved in 2014 and, at 55 years old we’ve gone through all of the savings that was supposed to head us towards retirement.
    He is now in the hiring process of a large company that is going to send him to Afghanistan where he’ll be a plumbing foreman. Good money, but he’ll be gone for a year.
    Staying strong is good advice. Tough to do. But good advice.

  4. Was the same for me for the past year, until 2 weeks ago. I learned canning and a lot of DIY. I can share a great home based business opportunity if if anyone is interested. Men and women. Email me 🙂

  5. The toughest part of being unemployed is maintaining a schedule. I found that if I maintained a schedule, I would be far more productive. I am glad the mail service can help you maintain your schedule.

  6. I spent 6 months very similar to this on disability leave. LONGEST. SIX. MONTHS. EVER. A month back at work and I still haven’t shaken the “time to check the mail” habit.

  7. I loved your post and can relate to it. I am in early retirement (similar to littlemissrene), and your day sounds similar to mine. You certainly use your time well in terms of writing. Wish I could : 0

  8. I thoroughly enjoyed this. It made me.laugh and feel a bit sad. Inthunk you ought to ho into writing. You’re absolutely gifted at painting a perfectly visual picture :). All the best to you in your search. 🙂

  9. Omg…look at those errors.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this. It made me laugh and made me feel a bit sad. I think you ought to go into writing, you’re absolutely gifted at painting a perfectly clear picture :). All the best to you in your search. 🙂

  10. If you would like a way to make good money from home , while doing all the other things you love to do with just a 20$ investment, feel free to send me a msg and i will be sure to get you the info!

  11. Very, very funny, and kinda sad. I did unemployment back in parts of 2011-2012. The hardest part was to stop working. I felt like I had to keep learning skills or helping my parents who’s house I was staying in or job searching every hour of the day. And yes, I checked the mail and email, obsessively.

  12. Is it just me reading it with a particular sense of humor or do most unemployed (myself included) have this weird funny look on their situation. I love the article! Just wow 🙂

  13. Funny funny article…AND true. After 11 months of being unemployed, I finally found a job and start next week. Keep your head up, keep the faith and keep your awesome sense of humor!

  14. I was unemployed for nearly two years (!) and this post brought back a flood of memories. I can relate to your irritation over the mailman – damn him for being gainfully employed! I felt the same type of resentment towards grocery checkers, bank tellers, McDonald’s cashiers…even the homeless on the corner holding up cardboard signs. At least they were handed money on occasion, which was more than I could say for myself. Good luck finding a job!

  15. This is a funny post, but sad at the same time. I struggled to find a job as a writer when I graduated, and did a few unsuccessful interviews.
    After one especially bad interview, I came out thinking I’d never get the job, but the same company offered me a position a week later! I know it’s not what you want to hear right now, but it WILL work out OK. Good luck!

  16. I agree that it is funny, yet sad. Last time I lived in Sweden I was unable to find work, and it is soul destroying. Even with two small kids (or perhaps, because of), every second felt like an hour, and I would spend so much time just looking at the clock willing it to move on. The sad thing is that when you are back in work, you will look back and muse about how you should have enjoyed it while you could – but so is the nature of hindsight!

  17. (I think) you forgot to mention that the olny period you should feel as a “part of the society” and “like all the other ordinary people” is at the weekends and holidays. At least this is happening to me.

  18. Depends on what career path you want. There are some people that are corporate workers that have facial tattoos because it is a religious thing not just a sign of rebellion. It does stink.

  19. This is awesome. I was unemployed one summer, this rings painfully true lol. When I lost my job, someone gave me two valuable pieces of advice: get a library card, and get hooked on a trashy reality franchise.

  20. I’m sorry to read of your unemployment. As the days add on, it can be a little more difficult to remain optimistic and seeing the possibilities from the experience but try not to let it get you down. You have such great talent with words and did a wonderful job sharing your story in a manner that is engaging, light and (dare I say it?) funny has well. It’s an art. I hope you soon get the right job of your liking. Don’t give up on going after what you want and need!

  21. Currently, my husband & I are both unemployed for the 1st time in over 20 years. I have been what my husband jokingly refers to as “job free” for going on 9 months, he for 6 months. The economy is bad & we are both over 50 . . . seems to put a whole new spin on things unfortunately. Job free would be great if we had money – but dipping into your retirement savings, at a cost, 15 yrs or so early sucks! Lately, I have been drifting, becoming discouraged & have been working to refocus. Def can relate to the mail . . . though the bills I still get via snail mail are depressing 🙂 We have been spending lots of time with our grandkids – so that has been a blessing in disguise . . . & that I have the opportunity to spend time outdoors when the weather is nice – so already got a nice little tan. . . gotta make lemonade with the lemons live has been throwing out lately 😉 Hope you find a job soon – stay focused, upbeat & hopeful . . . hope we all find jobs soon!!!!

  22. Hi, just letting you know I had a year not doing anything much. I enjoy my study much more now then before I had a year off. I also found your comment about the mail very interesting. thanks for posting.

  23. Oh my goodness. I hear you! I spent a little over three weeks unemployed. Every day melded together and I was terribly lost. How said is it that I desperately missed working?!

  24. Unemployment is not the problem. Lack of money is the problem. With a big lottery win then working would never be important again, and the days would not be long enough to do all things that are possible when you have enough money. Work is only a means to an end. Hoping for a lottery win !!


  25. Unfortunately too many people in today’s society identify themselves with their job. The answer is to cultivate as many hobbies as you can. When I retired, I found that I could devote all my time to my hobbies, while I watched many who retired at the same time deteriorate into unrecognizable shadows. The ‘tread mill’ does you no favours.

  26. Yep, this is my life. Except for “unemployed” or “early retirement”, it’s “career change” (because at 28 I’m probably too young to have early retirement). Wake up, check email/facebook, check for jobs online, check the mail, have a shower, eat, drink third cup of coffee, check for jobs online, check Facebook, die a little bit inside each day.

  27. Dude you’re awesome for writing this. I remember when I was there and it was like waking up to a nightmare daily. Glad you can find some humor in it all though lol.

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