Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Unemployment Land: A Pointless Essay

Welcome to Unemployment Land This is how we roll.

I never imagined that, at 32 years of age, I'd be unemployed for this long. When it comes to my skills in relation to my field, I'm no slouch. In fact, I've got skills and experience in areas that a lot of people in my field wish that they had. Still...after two almost-hire situations, where things fell through at the absolutely last minute, I'm seven months adrift (thank you, holiday season)in this jobless ocean, getting weary, and a bit cabin-feverish to boot.

Knowing now the length of my journey, I feel like I should have kept some kind of Captain's Log to remind myself of the once-gung-ho, optimistic job seeker who awoke at 5:00 a.m. and spent entire days applying to new opportunities, anything even remotely close to touching her wheelhouse. She is not the me of today. I have to say, I'm slipping, and I'm afraid I'm becoming a little weird.

These days, The Beags, who has no consideration for allowing a person to sleep in, whimpers at my bedside at 6:15 a.m. each morning until I slide dramatically onto the floor, still exhausted, with exaggerated groaning to make the dog realize just how inconsiderate she's being. Then, I carefully place my feet (with one broken toe) into my sneakers, grab a hat and a hoodie, and glare furiously while I wrangle up the dog, who is leaping and spazzing like she hasn't been outside in months.

We take our abbreviated couple-of-blocks walk, which I feel guilty for (for my dog's sake), but it's not fun walking around on an ouchy pinky toe more than is absolutely necessary. Beags randomly lets out a startling "A-rooo!" at something across the street, which, of course, turns out to be nothing at all. I swear, she's either going senile or she just likes the sound of her own guttural bay echoing against my sleeping neighbors' houses.

Two poopies. It always has to be two, before we go back in. That dog is like clockwork. Or, if there aren't two in the morning, there's another one in there, and it'll need to come out later, and let's just hope she's outside at that point.

Back inside, I feed the pooch a little bit of kibble and a fish oil pill, and I consume some kind of breakfast, usually bread with PB and banana (or almond butter), and some water with electrolytes. I check my email, pore over Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, read articles, and find out what interesting people who are not me are doing with their lives. After that, I log onto job sites and poke around for new opportunities that seem like things I could really see myself doing, and I might bug some recruiters via email to see if they've got anything new for me.

After my morning job hunt, I might do some writing or sketches that will never see the light of day, or I might attempt to do a little research on something I'm interested in. I might call a friend or my mother, and enjoy a long conversation about life, which usually involves ruminating over the same obsessive thoughts, and looking at them from a different angle each time. Even though the person I'm talking with and I are totally sick to death of the subject matter, I can't stop going down that same path over and over. It's a little depressing, so I decide to do a bit of straightening up after the phone call in order to somehow sweep away the melancholy.

I might sing as I clean, or dance around like an idiot (although, not so much, since the toe incident). I might practice different accents in front of the bathroom mirror, or examine the width of my flapjack-esque, flat and wide butt in the living room mirror. I might see how well my socks slide on the hardwood, and then decide that I should probably vacuum, but not right now because I don't feel like it.

By this time, of course, I'm still not dressed. I get myself ready (for nothing, really), and make myself some kind of healthy stir-fry lunch. The Beags and I go out again for a quick pee. I realize that it's too hot outside for a hoodie. Then, we go inside and I hop on the social media/information superhighway wagon again, take care of bills, read that day's OkCupid messages (which I rarely answer), check a few more job sites, and stand up to stretch every so often. The Beags often bugs me while I'm typing, shoving her nose under my hand to force me to stroke her silky little Beagle head. I pretend to try to bite her, but The Beags, having gone through this charade all too often, sits stoically, calling my bluff as I lunge at her, teeth bared. Nudge, goes her nose. I acquiesce.

A little later in the day, I might have a training session scheduled, either a bike ride or a swim (I can't really run on a broken toe). It's one bright spot that gets me out of the house, devoted, on a mission. Afterward, I come home, shower, check email/Internet stuff again, and perhaps I'll get a call or a text from someone I know, one of those working people who actually works a 9-to-5. Maybe we'll hang out, grab a (cheap) bite, or a drink, or maybe I'll spend the rest of the evening watching Golden Girls,some nature show, or Grey's Anatomy. Maybe I'll spend some time thinking about what I should accomplish with ALL of my free time tomorrow. And, somehow, I'll manage to stay up until 11 or midnight, only to wake up and do it all over again tomorrow.

---THE END---

P.S. Want to help me out of Unemployment Purgatory and help me land the job of my dreams? Check out my professional website, here: (and pass it on)!

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