Even Temporary Unemployment Sucks

June 30, 2008


As part of the great Big 20-Something Bloggers Blog Swap, I bring you a post from Ben

9:56 a.m. — Wake up.

At first, the prospect of waking up whenever I felt like it, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches whenever I feel like it and taking a shower whenever I feel like it seemed like absolute freedom. By the third week, this schedule revealed its true nature: absolute tedium.

11:03 a.m. — Roll onto floor from bed.

My anxiety isn’t even financial in origin. Because I, bachelor, didn’t spend a dime that I didn’t have to all last year, I have enough saved up to coast until well past Labor Day. Past that, if need be.

11:04 a.m. — Turn off alarm.

Once I’m awake, I remember how much I hate coasting.

11:32 a.m. — Stumble toward Internet. Eat instant oatmeal. Make sandwiches as needed; play Guitar Hero as desired.

Really, I can’t even call it coasting. I’ve been interviewing when possible and dropping off resumes when not — it just feels like coasting, in part because I still haven’t the slightest lead for a job. Journalism around where I live has exactly zero positions available, and substitute teaching won’t warm up until school starts again.

4:23 p.m. — Shower.

That means six more weeks of joblessness; six more weeks of Deep Space Nine reruns; six more weeks of migrained boredom. I need to do something.

4:52 p.m. — Apply online to big box retail and national chains. Touch up resume or work on cover letters, if needed. Repeat until tired.

I find something to do.

4:53 p.m. — I’m tired; I keep up the job hunt.

Even though I exhausted all my leads yesterday, I try to come up with new ideas. For me, idly looking for a summer job is better than futzing around on a feed reader, or on the blog, or on the forums, or playing Tetris, or organizing my iTunes.

7:09 p.m. — Exhaust all leads. Go back to Guitar Hero.

I’d give up the chance to get five stars on Through the Fire and Flames if it meant I would have something more substantial to do. However idyllic doing nothing might seem to the guy from Office Space, I can report, firsthand, that it isn’t all that he cracks it up to be.

11:02 p.m. — Go to bed.

Doing nothing is, at first, an instant high, but really it’s just empty calories for the brain — I feel my brain atrophy already.


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