Friday, September 24, 2010

The Stages of Unemployment (AKA, The Slow Descent Into Hermithood)

Editor's Note: For some reason, this whole post disappeared when I was trying to get the damn formatting right, so this is the second draft.  GRRRR!  So please excuse any weirdness or blatant typos, as I am totally paranoid of losing this one too.  Sigh.

For the uninformed, I was laid off from my job as a psychotherapist (working with "sexual deviants", you might say...) in March, so I've been blissfully unemployed for the past six months, with hardly any job prospects in sight.  

I had a brief moment of lucidity the other day that interrupted my cheese-puffs-and-Friends-DVDs-incessantly-checking-my-phone-ever-five-minutes-to-see-that-no-one-called marathon, in which I began to realize that my ability to socialize with others has gone to shit.  Curiously, this lack of social ability began right around the time I started this blog.  Ahem.

So in light of my new sense of clarity, I began to develop a theory.  As a budding psychologist, I feel that this is definitely publishable material, right along the lines of "The stages of grief" and "conflict resolution".  Look for me on The Today Show and Larry King (or whatever the hell it is now) after my bestselling book outlining these stages hits the stands!

The Stages of Unemployment:

1.  ACCEPTANCE (Combined with extreme happiness)

No more getting up early!  No more seeing the same people every day!!  No more talking about SEX and MASTURBATION and SEXUAL FANTASIES!!!!  WEEEEEE!!!
Hot damn!!!  No more work!!  I get paid to sit on my ass!  I never have to talk to my boss again!!!  I'M SO EXCITED YOU CAN JUST HEAR THE ENDLESS EXCLAMATION POINTS IN MY VOICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clubbing on a Thursday night?  Why not?!  It's not like I have to be anywhere!  Unemployment benefits will pay for my drinks!  YIPPEEEEEEE!

All night marathon of Law and Order?  SWEET!  I'm in!!!  I can watch that shit all day and night!!

I went jetting off to Hawaii literally the day after my last day of work, and the following month I visited Savannah with the fam.  Things were going great!  I actually thought about just staying in Hawaii and never returning to the frozen over Hell that was Minnesota in March.  I hear that Hawaii has pretty severe domestic abuse problems, maybe I could just stay there and "rehabilitate" the wife beaters who drink too much.

And by rehabilitate, of course I mean give them pot.  It's my understanding that marijuana is widely available there.  Ahem.


A few months roll by, and I start to feel like an idiot.  I'm embarrassed to say that I'm unemployed and living at home at 27.  People start to cock their heads to the side and look at me with the sad eyes when I tell them I got laid off...

And when they find out I am single... And living at home....

The sad eyes bulge out more and more with every pathetic detail.  I begin to feel a little anxious and fearful for my future, especially as I read newspaper articles about our generation of 20-something losers who take advantage of their parents forever and float along through life, spoiled and senseless as to how to be an actual adult.  

Surely that's not me!  I was in the Top 10 of my high school!!!  I AM A SMART COOKIE, DAMNIT!!!


I looked for work like Lindsay Lohan looks for booze.  No job postings?  Ah, who cares?  No one could possibly look past someone as qualified, attractive, and just plain awesome as me, right?!  I sent out resumes without a care in the world, a big smile plastered on my face as I waited anxiously by the phone.  

I work out every day, telling myself over and over again that just because I'm unemployed that doesn't mean I have to become a big lump on the couch!  No siree!!!  No one's going to reject me for a job when I'm this fit and fun and bubbly, RIGHT?!!!

Then there was that whole hospital debacle.

And my motivation went down the toilet, along with my gold-encrusted resume and my dignity.


Weeks pass by with no response.  No interviews.  No phone calls.  No job postings.  Not a damn thing.

Social interaction becomes a burden, since I have nothing new to talk about.  I get crazy ideas in my head about going back to school yet again.  I get the crazy eyes as I try to figure out what to do with my life.

I stay at home and cook huge elaborate feasts just to feel like I am being productive.  Eating is my only solace as I begin to realize that I will be an unemployed loser forever.  Maybe I can go on Hell's Kitchen and blow Chef Ramsey away with one of my grand repasts?

I take up a musical instrument (the guitar) that I don't know how to play just to pass the time.  The neighbors call to complain.  I entertain feeble hopes that someday, I can be like an undiscovered Ingrid Michaelson, plucking some tunes with my angelic voice in the local coffee shop.  Maybe Simon Cowell will drop in and swoon and offer me a contract!  Yeah, Mom!!  IT CAN HAPPEN!!!


Pretty soon, my shopping addiction becomes fixated on buying new pajamas that will fit around my expanding waistline and won't irritate my unshaved legs.

That's if I can bring myself to leave the house to actually get to the store.  My appearance slowly dwindles until I look like a prehistoric creature.

This is me.  Or maybe Heidi Montag.  The resemblance is uncanny.
Netflix and Doritos become my best friends.  I begin to stream TV on DVD through my Wii just so I won't have to leave the house to get the mail for my next DVD.  Pretty soon my mom will have to serve me meals on a serving tray since I'll be too obese to get up.

I begin watching television, like Bachelor Pad and America's Next Top Model, just waiting eagerly for the next episode to see who gets voted off next!  My brain cells continue to die until human speech becomes a combination of nonsense syllables and pointing.

Um, my mother just told me that if I was being totally accurate in this picture, I should put "two big boobies" on top of my rotund body.  Nice!!
Exaggeration?  Well, maybe.  I hope so.  I'll let you know.  If I don't rot away first.


In happier news, I received a blog award!!! My dear new friend Jing from The Jinger has graciously bestowed me with a blog award, which was most definitely unexpected and appreciated!!

According to the rules, I have to:
1. Accept the award.  Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2. Pay it forward to 10 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.
3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they've been chosen.

Here are the 10 bloggers whom I've recently discovered and decided to nominate for this award!
1. Sara Swears A Lot - 'cuz everyone loves swearing!
2. Ramblings of an Emotional Idiot - Which, for the record, is NOT an accurate title. :)

Holy crap, 10 is a lot!

I think between my challenge I just bestowed on a bunch of people and the awards today, I have officially run out of blogs I am following.  So, sadly, I can only pass it on to 7.  Lame!!!  But you guys should definitely check out the blogs that ARE listed, and congratulations to them.  

Have an awesome weekend everyone, and THANKS for stopping by!!


Jing said...

I love the fact that you have "cheese-puffs-and-Friends-DVDs-incessantly-checking-my-phone-ever-five-minutes-to-see-that-no-one-called marathons", I have cheese-puffs-and-CSI-reruns-incessantly-checking-my-phone-every-five-minutes-to-see-that-no-one texted marathons!

And don't stress about the whole job search thing, I have a lot of friends who also graduated top 10 in their class in high school or with honors from college that haven't found jobs yet... apparently a lot of employers find that they are too overqualified for the entry-level jobs and the employers can't afford to pay higher salaries so they just end up hiring someone less qualified (with less salary expectations). So just keep looking and using your networking connections, you'll find the right job soon!

Sara said...

Aw, thank you!!!!

And the unemployment cycle for me only has one step: PANIC!!!!!!!!!!

I always freak the fuck out when I don't have a job. I'm a loser.

Roxanne and Lorraine said...

I most relate to the not having anything to say when you don't do anything bit, so you just end up staying home and doing lots more nothing. Vicious cycle.

Thaaaank you! ;)


grumpy said...

Thanks Bi :)

I am hurtling towards unemployment at the beginning of next year. Sigh.

I tend to not pass on lovely awards. Not because I am ungrateful but because I lack the technical aptitude to stick the bloody pic in a post. How cool am I?

Sandra said...

This is such a terrific post! Love the pictures (you drew them? Hot damn woman!)
Chin up, there is a reason you aren't finding work just yet...maybe you will be the next blogging sensation!

Me, myself and I said...

Hilarious! I lost my job last year while I was 6 months pregnant which I am not sure I have written about.
I laughed so hard at your rotund body on the couch, the first thing that came to my head was You're turning violet, Violet!

Thank you sooo much for the blog award. I jumped up and down like a total idiot with a huge smile plastered to my face! :)


Anonymous said...

1st thanks for sharing those links, I'll be sure to check those out.

2nd I hope you're more like pre-surgery/pre-marrying-that-crazy-bastard-Spencer Heidi Montag because the after-product was is a crazy-plastic-looking-Avatar-resembling-whiny-little-bitch-who-throws-parties-for-their-little-neighbor-boy.

3rd You'll find a job, the economy sucks and it's hard but you'll find something.

Anonymous said...

I had a fantastic friend during my unemployed days who would show up and drag me out of the house during my worst hermit-y times. I'm hoping you have someone like that too, and keep your fantastic sense of humor about the entire situation!

MeredithDuck said...

Hi! I came across your page from the blog jump at Diary of a Fair Weather Diver. Love your drawings - I would imagine that if you put the vodka in the mac and cheese that could turn out rather tasty....

Anonymous said...

Hope the job market picks up soon. But you know you'll miss the slovenly lifestyle of unemployment!

theTsaritsa said...

I'm currently unemployed too and living off the state, and your description of the different phases of unemployment are so true! I watch more Law & Order episodes than is probably healthy, and I also avoid a lot of social interaction because (yep) I nothing's happening in my life to talk about. Ha! Great blog!

Sarah said...

Hilarious post! Congrats on the award. Definitely well deserved!

Nissa said...

Love it! I see we have several similarities, such as watching Bachelor Pad.

lovesofmylife said...

hahaha I love that. I think I probably followed your list last time I lost a job, before I even read this. Mind twins, you and me.


Anonymous said...

I have never smiled sooo much to a blog post as much as I did with this! However, I feel bad for smiling at your misfortune! Thankyou for dropping by my blog :)xo

Anonymous said...

Hi! found your blog through 20SBs. loving your blog. so funny! :D following you as well.


Denise Nicole said...

I feel you. I was unemployed for over a year and i was freaking back at home with my mom sucks..but things always end up right in the end. Your pictures were hilarious..i love it. You have a funny blog. I will absolutely be following :)

i found you though btw