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Unemployment: How to Stay Sane, Part 1

August 24, 2010

More than a year ago I was laid off and have spent my time figuring out what to do next. I’ve applied for approximately 794 jobs (give or take several dozen) and have only had a handful of interviews. You see, the problem is that 1. The world doesn’t understand their need for editors and 2. I only have a few years of experience and 3. A lot of people with a lot more experience have been laid off as well.

So what does one do with all the free time they find on their hands during unemployment? My situation is a bit different than many because I’m single and don’t own a home. Some people take this opportunity to spend time with their spouses and kids or to finish all those projects they never had time for. But if you don’t have an epic list of things to do around the house, how do you fill up those 8 hours of the day you now have? You can only fill out so many job applications or write so many letters of inquiry before your head explodes and you start referring to your roommate as “Dear Hiring Personnel.”

First and foremost, memorize TV listings. It is very important that you catch up on all those episodes of What Not to Wear you missed when you had a life. Or walk down memory lane by watching Home Improvement reruns and think about the simpler times of the mid-90s. Bonus: You can surf the internet while watching TV, which brings us to number two.

Bookmark 329 blogs to read each day. This seems like a lot, but many blogs don’t update every single day unless it’s their full time job or something they make money from. So go right ahead and invest your time and emotions into the lives and thoughts of complete strangers. You’ll get helpful hints on upcoming trends in self-published books and which meme will become popular for three days before a new meme comes out. Also, you get to see all the funny YouTube videos before your friends who are stuck in their cubicles making money and paying their bills.

It will be a cold day in you-know-where before my cabinet ever looks like this.

Take up an inexpensive hobby.This hobby could include reorganizing your kitchen cabinets once a week, or going through your roommate’s drawers while they’re at work. Or you can take walks and bring your remote control with you so when you pass by a house with the TV in view, you can try changing the channel (this works only if they have the same cable provider). Hilarity and confusion will ensue.

Learn how to stare awkwardly when people talk about work. People will get tired of hearing about your unemployment woes. You might make them feel guilty for stealing that box of pens from work or using the copy machine to make fliers about their lost cat. So the next time they make a joke about how “work sure is boring, but the paycheck is nice,” just stare blankly to see how long it takes them to realize that you don’t really know what it’s like to receive a paycheck anymore. Unless by “paycheck” they mean “pity check” from your grandmother so you can buy Spaghettios.

Those are the first five things. Stay tuned tomorrow and learn five more things that will keep you from going insane while unemployed.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Meredith permalink
    August 25, 2010 9:25 am

    “It will be a cold day in you-know-where before my cabinet ever looks like this.”- that is hillarious- number one reason, because I know just how serious you are when you say this!
    Oh my sweet 10 packages of brownies, where are you when I need you….

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